Four new mobile OSes -- caught on tape!

Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch, Tizen, and Sailfish made a splash at Mobile World Congress. The mobile race just got a lot more interesting

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Also trying to elbow its way into the mobile OS arena was the Tizen OS, backed by Samsung. Tizen announced at MWC that carrier France Telecom-Orange has signed up to sell Tizen 2.0 handsets this year; Japanese carrier DoCoMo is also committed to launching Tizen smartphones in 2013, and hardware will come from both Samsung and Huawei. However, in a demo at MCW, Tizen 2.0 "showed some teething issues with, for example, a browser that stuttered when scrolling up and down."

Cnet moaned, "Firefox and Tizen have a lot of men in suits standing in press conferences banging on about how each OS is the best thing since Otto Rohwedder decided to do something about his irregular toast. But both operating systems are awful -- sure, it's early days, but they're both Android copycats, poorly executed."

View Tizen OS in action on a Samsung prototype device:

Jolla, founded by former Nokia employees, is also hoping to make a dent in Google and Apple's dominance with its Sailfish OS, a reincarnation of the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. While Jolla didn't launch any products at MWC, it did release the first version of its SDK. The company plans to launch the first Sailfish-based device in the next month or two, with plans to go on sale before the end of the year. Jolla also hopes to license Sailfish to other phone makers.

According to CEO Marc Dillon, it will be a high-end device that's "maybe a bit more midtier" in pricing. "In order to be successful we don't have to sell that many devices compared to the other guys. If you have an 800 million global device market, a million devices is still a wild success for Jolla, at the moment, and for Sailfish," Dillon said.

Engadget conducted a hands-on review of Sailfish OS:

Welcome to the underdog newcomers. The competition among mobile operating systems promises to stay lively.

This article, "Four new mobile OSes -- caught on tape!," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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