Didn't see this coming, but then again it isn't really surprising...
Samsung, in its quest to become the supreme overlord of the galaxy, has announced its own mobile phone operating system which it has called 'bada'. For what it's worth, this comes from the Korean meaning 'ocean' which is to convey wet, salty, fishiness "the limitless variety of potential applications which can be created using the new platform."
This dreary marketing rhetoric comes from a solid foundation though with Samsung going down the Android road and making bada a completely open platform. Developers will also be given more power than ever before with direct access to core aspects of the OS including the dialler. Networks will also have the option to ruin customise the OS as they see fit.
"Based on Samsung's experience in developing previous proprietary platforms on Samsung mobile phones, Samsung can create the new platform and provide opportunities for developers," said the company in an ominous opening, given its previous proprietary platform have all been mind numbing mediocre. Still Samsung has the right angle with bada in courting 'developers' (a word it rams home no less than nine times in the release), since the likes of iPhone OS and Android are now being driven as much by their third party content as the main elements of the operating systems themselves.
As you might expect, detail on bada is extremely light at this stage with Samsung stating nothing more than it plans to integrate its recently announced Application Store and an SDK over time, while a formal launch will take place in London in December.
There's nothing really to get excited about here until we know more. I'm happy to roll out the "competition is good" mantra once again, but in all honesty I think open platforms need to come from software focused companies not hardware. After all, are Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia et al really going to welcome a Samsung OS onto their competing handsets?
Still, competition is good...
Update: It seems the fallout from bada is about to begin with Samsung to stop developing handsets on the Symbian platform and Windows Mobile also potentially being dropped. Could bada be one massive mistake or is it about to help clear the wheat from the chaff?