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Samsung Intros Mobile OS

The company's open source Bada smartphone operating system will compete with the likes of Symbian and the Google-backed Android.

In a move to differentiate from its competitors, Samsung introduced Tuesday a mobile operating system to power its feature phones and smartphones.

Dubbed Bada, the OS is an open platform that Samsung is hoping will attract both customers and developers to its devices. The company has not released many details about Bada, which means "ocean" in Korean, but said it will have a strong user interface, be developer friendly, and enable mobile operators to offer various content and services.

The company also said it encourages integrating common experiences and functions across applications, which means core functionalities like the dialer, messaging, and address book will be open to developers. Users will also eventually be able to download Bada applications over the air from Samsung's Application Store.

"By opening Samsung's mobile platforms we will be able to provide rich mobile experiences on an increasing number of accessible smartphones," said Hosoo Lee, executive VP at Samsung, in a statement.

Samsung also said the Bada software development kit will be released in December, and handsets with the OS are expected to arrive in 2010. As the second-largest handset maker in the world, Samsung does have some clout in the mobile space, but it is jumping into a highly competitive area filled with credible opponents like Microsoft, Google, Symbian, Apple, Research In Motion, and Palm.

The open nature of Bada means it will most likely be competing with the open source Symbian and the Google-backed Android OS. Both competitors already have commitments from multiple major handset makers, while it appears Bada will only be on Samsung handsets initially. It is also unclear if Samsung will continue to manufacture smartphones with Android or Windows Mobile once Bada is ready to go.


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