Samsung Electronics has sought to clarify any confusion about the future of the open source operating system, Tizen.

The South Korean giant confirmed that all of its new smart television products launched in 2015 will be powered by the Tizen operating system.

Tizen TVs

Smart televisions offers additional capabilities beyond that of the humble television. It allows users to download specific apps and provides other online options including connectivity to the Internet, video streaming and other functionality.

In its announcement, Samsung said that all of its Smart TVs in 2015 will come equipped with its new platform built around the Tizen operating system.

“Tizen enables flexibility with even more content and devices, allowing developers to easily create compatible content, while connecting users to a world of limitless entertainment possibilities,” said Samsung.

“Building our Smart Platform around Tizen is a groundbreaking step towards a much more intelligent and integrated system,” said Won Jin Lee, Executive VP of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Tizen not only enriches the entertainment experience for our customers today, but unlocks great potential for the future in home entertainment.”

The thinking is that Tizen TVs will be able to sync with other Samsung devices that also use Tizen, and Samsung hinted that it views this development as the first step to create a control centre for the smart home. This could mean that Tizen may also appear in other household devices such as refrigerators or washing machines.

“Tizen’s compatibility with other devices establishes Samsung’s Smart TVs as the control center of any Smart Home,” said the company.

Android Reliance

Samsung will of course need to convince the developer community about the viability of Tizen, given the company’s almost total reliance on the Android platform for its smartphone portfolio. Samsung is thought to be keen to explore opportunities to move away from Android, but experts remain unconvinced that Samsung would risk its smartphone domination with a move to the open source OS.

Samsung has for example consistently delayed the launch of the first smartphone running Tizen, claiming it needs more time to develop the open source operating system’s ecosystem. Indeed, there is still no word on when the Samsung Z will actually launch.

The Linux Foundation first introduced Tizen in September 2011, but the OS has faced questions about its future. The Linux Association has previously assured TechweekEurope that the operating system is “alive and well”.

Samsung meanwhile has already released some Tizen-powered products, notably smart watches, digital cameras, and other wearable devices.

Samsung previously announced it would merge its Bada mobile OS with the Tizen platform in early 2012. Bada of course was Samsung’s in-house OS that it introduced in late 2009.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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