BARCELONA, Spain--Look out, Android: three challengers are gunning for your app cash. Firefox OS, Tizen, and Ubuntu Touch have all made their debuts at mobile industry shindig Mobile World Congress this week. And in my opinion, Samsung and the mobile industry are backing the wrong horses.
Mobile phone carriers and manufacturers have grown fat on phones running Google's Android software, but they're keenly aware that in so doing they're also lining Google's pockets with money spent downloading apps, games, movies, music, and the like. The next stage in world domination for Samsung and the rest is wresting control -- and income -- from Google by making phones with their own software onboard.
Samsung is backing Tizen, a long-gestating operating system that's been kicked around by almost every major player in the mobile world at some point. Meanwhile, ZTE, Alcatel, LG, and other manufacturers are committed to Firefox OS. Both are aimed at cheap, low-power phones.
Meanwhile, British company Canonical has brought its open-source Ubuntu software, beloved by geeks around the world, to phones and tablets in the shape of Ubuntu Touch. Officially, there aren't any carriers or manufacturers behind it yet.
Which is a crime, because it's brilliant.
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