Will Tizen and Amazon’s secret cell phone open the door for Windows?

There are duelling rumours out there. One is that Amazon is going to finally launch a mobile phone in the near future. The other is the looming threat of Tizen entering the market – at MWC 2014. 

For those not keeping up, both Tizen and the Amazon OS both share a sort of common blood line with Android, but true cross-compatibility probably won’t be in the cards. Tizen reaches back to Linux for its start, so sharing apps may only be a distant dream. On the other hand Amazon’s is more of a flavour of Android, but not exactly having swap-able parts. So with both, essentially one having either sort of device will need to go to new app stores to get the programs they need.

So why does this matter? Well, both groups have backers with deep pockets to keep pushing the operating systems until they stick. For Tizen, the largest of the consortium is Samsung, who as we all remember, is the reigning king of Android, and Amazon OS has, well, Amazon.

A leaked image of Samsung’s ZEQ 9000, running Tizen

So let’s say both do a pretty good job of penetrating the market. Now developers will have five OSs to code for and they already grouse about having two while trying to ignore the third. By and large, programming for Android devices is like staring in an action movie with Nick Cage: you kind of don’t want to but you know it’ll make you cash. Besides, a developer has only so much time and money, so choices will have to be made. Someone’s going to lose out here. Whomever loses, that share will probably be eaten up by Windows. Arguably this will be at the cost of Android.

Why Windows for the win in this assumption? Because this is what Microsoft does. They play a conservative game, they take their time and they wait for missteps to capitalize on – like a dilution in the mobile OS market. This was the same battle plan they had with Xbox and they’re using it again with mobile.

While we all may not like it, the Microsoft camp has a pretty good set of products and, as more and more of us switch to Windows 8 on our desktops and laptops, the learning curve gets flatter and flatter for Tiles. Couple this with the leveraging of their other products into mobile and choice gets easier, especially when using something else means having to learn another ‘new’ thing. In America, they might call this Tizen’s Ross Perot moment.


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