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Samsung gives money to boost Linux adoption as it joins the board of the Linux Foundation

June 6, 2012

Samsung is very well known for the successful use of Android on its smartphones. In fact, Samsung is using Android so effectively in the Galaxy S3 that it has been able to knock the iPhone 4S off the top position in the uSwitch Tech’s Mobile Tracker chart in just a few days of availability.

Like all modern operating systems (mobile or desktop), Android is made up of different components, including a user interface (touch based) and an underlying core called a kernel. Since Android’s core components and kernel are based on Linux, this makes Samsung one of the largest Linux companies in the world.

In recognition of this, Samsung has upgraded its membership level in the Linux Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the growth of Linux. By increasing its involvement with the Foundation, the company is re-confirming its commitment to Android (and Linux). Samsung will pay the Foundation half a million dollars per year, which in turn buys it a seat on the board and the title of Platinum member. In its new position, Samsung will work with the Linux Foundation on improving its work with the Linux kernel community and by adopting better open source practices.

According to Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, Samsung’s support is a “strategic business decision that will result in advancing Samsung Electronics’ success and accelerating Linux development work.” WonJoo Park, the Vice President of Samsung Electronics put it like this, “We’re looking forward to increasing collaboration and support for our growing portfolio of Linux-based devices and to making contributions that advance Linux for all.”

The Linux Foundation has three levels of corporate membership: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Samsung was previoulsy a Silver member, but has now upgraded to the highest level membership. Other Platinum members, of which Samsung is the seventh, include well known industry leaders like IBM, Intel, Oracle, and Qualcomm. Ironically, Google and Motorola (which is now part of Google) are only Gold members!