Samsung eyes Linux push this year

BARCELONA Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:48pm EST

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BARCELONA (Reuters) - The world's second-largest cell phone maker, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), will start to sell several phones using open-source Linux software platforms this year, a senior executive told Reuters in an interview.

Won-Pyo Hong, head of product strategy, said the firm would start selling more than three phones using Google's (GOOG.O) Android software by the end of the year and would "definitely" unveil a phone using LiMo's Linux software this year.

Hong said it was unclear yet whether the first Samsung phones running on Android software would be launched in the United States or in Europe.

"By the end of the year, we will be on both markets," he said.

Computer operating system Linux has had little success in cellphones thus far, but its role is increasing with the operator-focused LiMo platform and Google's using Linux for its Android platform.

Linux is the most popular type of free or so-called open-source computer operating system, which is available to the public to be used, revised and shared. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Hans Peters)

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