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Samsung plunges $500k into Linux Foundation

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Samsung has opened a new front in the mobile wars against Apple by upping its investment in Linux and its mobile software. Samsung will plough half a million dollars into the Linux Foundation and get a seat on the not-for-profit's board of directors by becoming a Platinum member of the Foundation, it has been announced.

Linux doesn't state how much its corporate Platinum members donate for the privilege of top-tier membership - but Apple Insider reports that the amount is circa $500,000.

Samsung joins The Linux Foundation's six other corporate platinum members: NEC, IBM, Fujitsu, Intel, Qualcomm and Oracle.

Samsung's interest in operating systems is not a surprise. As the biggest mobile handset maker in the world, and manufacturer of many other devices including tablets, TVs and white goods, the company has a vested interest in the software on its hardware. We imagine Samsung will be particularly interested in the new Linux for mobile operating system Tizen, a potential rival to iOS and Android.

Google's Android OS is based on a Linux kernel, but even so it would seem worth the Korean company's time to investigate alternative flavours.

And it's not just mobile phones that use Linux, software will become an increasingly important part of devices such as TVs as the era of smart gadgets dawns.

In the short term, Samsung have committed to work with The Linux Foundation on streamlining its participation with the kernel community and adopting open source best practices.

Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation said the the partnership would be good for Samsung and good for Linux:

The company’s commitment to Linux and investment in its development firmly plants it in a position to continue its achievements in the mobile, embedded and consumer electronics markets. This is a strategic business decision that will result in advancing Samsung Electronics’ success and accelerating Linux development work.

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