Samsung Adopts Tizen For Smart TV OS (Where's Boxee?)

Dave Zatz —  June 2, 2014


As Samsung continues to hedge against Google/Android reliance and standardize across disparate product lines, while perhaps avoiding Microsoft royalties, the company has expanding the Tizen OS initiative beyond smart watches and to connected televisions. Via Liliputing:

Samsung’s Tizen-based TV SDK Beta will be available early July following the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco from June 2–4th. The Tizen-based Samsung TV SDK Beta supports the HTML5 standard through its framework called Caph and enables developers to write apps that run on a Tizen OS –based TVs.

For maximum impact, we expect Samsung will have to provide an efficient mechanism for developers to port Android apps to the similarly Linux-powered Tizen. But what of the Boxee team? The video startup was acquired by Samsung about a year ago… and, since then, it’s been radio silence. I have it on good authority that “Boxee” is dead and personnel form a product innovation team within Sammy’s “visual display” business unit. As to what the NYC-based group is currently working on, we can only guess. But, given their skillset, fleshing out a new television OS and UI certainly wouldn’t be out of the question.

6 responses to Samsung Adopts Tizen For Smart TV OS (Where's Boxee?)

  1. Probably means few of the Boxee devs stuck around very long after the Sammy deal…

  2. My intel is a few months old, but it seemed most of the staff was picked up and had remained, including Samsung moving those that remained to the NYC burbs. I have zero details on what they’re working, but do know which unit they were assigned to. (I think one or two of the support people moved to D-Link and the overhead folks like PR did move on.)

  3. Standard procedure for acquisitions is for the staff to be required to stay on for one year to get their payout. Boxee acquisition was around early July 2013, so those people are still working there. Not much of a payout in this case, it’s not like they’re Oculus Rift, so there’s a reasonable chance they’ll stick with Samsung.

  4. Rodalpho, what you say is right. However, I suspect Boxee was acquired for less than the investors had put in – meaning no payout. There could still be some sort of arrangement to stay on for X period of time for various reasons, especially given the packing/shipping costs Samsung shouldered to move employees from Israel to New York.

  5. If they’re brought them in on an H1B they have good of reason to stay put after the acquisition.