Also coming out of Mobile World Congress 2012 have been not just one but two advances for the competing Tizen platform. Tizen, you may recall, is the Intel-backed open source project launched by the Linux Foundation in September. Since then we've seen a preview of Tizen's source code, and we've seen some considerable interest from Samsung; this week, up-and-coming device maker Huawei has jumped on board, and a beta release of the Tizen platform source code and SDK have made their debut. The beta release features an updated UI framework and Web APIs for easier development of rich Web applications, the Tizen Association says, while the SDK features support for Windows as well as Ubuntu Linux. Huawei, meanwhile, says it plans to create and commercialize Tizen handsets for a range of markets. What that will ultimately mean, of course, is mobile Linux in yet another form.
3. Ubuntu for Android
Speaking of Ubuntu Linux, let's not forget its debut running alongside Android on upcoming smartphones. Offering a full desktop experience when the mobile device is docked, Ubuntu for Android will come preloaded along with Google's platform on participating smartphones. That's nothing short of a double dose of Linux on a single device.
Then, of course, there's also Linux-based webOS, which appears to be marching along nicely, with a brand-new browser being added earlier this month. I haven't heard any webOS news coming out of Mobile World Congress -- it won't be fully open sourced until September, after all -- but it's another one that's definitely worth watching.
Either way, I think it's really interesting to see how Linux is spreading throughout the mobile world.
Apple's iOS currently accounts for 54 percent of the mobile/tablet operating system market, according to Net Applications' January data, while Android claims 18 percent. I can't wait to see how things look in another year or two.