The new generation of Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches will not run on Google’s Android operating system (OS). Rather, they will run on Samsung’s own Tizen OS, USAToday reports. People familiar with the project describe it as a move by Samsung to protect its long-term interests by reducing its reliance on Google software.

Tizen to Take Center Stage

Anonymous sources told USA Today that the new HTML 5 version of Tizen, which is set to be unveiled at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress this week, will also be featured on the new edition of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The sources, who asked to remain anonymous because Samsung’s plans have yet to be made public, also said that the company intends to use the Tizen operating system on all of its products in the future.

Tizen is an open-source software for smartwatches, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Launched last year to a rocky start, the possibility that it may be the operating system for the new Samsung Galaxy Gear suggests that Samsung has not yet given up on the project, despite the initial setbacks it faced.

Samsung Looks to the Future

It has been suggested that the move towards Tizen is part of Samsung’s long-term plan to secure a slice of the software pie and lessen their reliance on Google’s Android OS. “Samsung is trying to protect its own long-term interests, not fortifying Google’s Android camp while building their own camp around Tizen,” said Stuart Richens, vice president of digital media at Network Communications, which owns the Apartment Finder mobile app. Richens said they made the app Tizen-compatible because “if they make that move [toward Tizen] in a big way, we want to make sure we are there early.”

According to CNET, Samsung has made public their desire to transition to being a full-service provider to avoid being hurt by the “commoditization” of the mobile world. Introducing the little-known operating system on the new version of the Galaxy Gear is a smart way for Samsung to acclimate users to the operating system, paving the way for Tizen to run a future Samsung smartphone.

Many popular smartwatch makers, like Pebble, already use their own software, so Samsung’s move is not unprecedented. That these other smartwatch makers have faced little difficulty in getting their devices to work with Android products is a reassuring sign for Samsung, indicating that users may not notice much of a difference with a Tizen-powered smartwatch.

Do you think a move towards Tizen in the Samsung Galaxy Gear is likely?

Image courtesy of Flickr




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