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The next time you go shopping for a smartphone, you might see some unfamiliar software on the screens lining store shelves.

The smartphone market is dominated by Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android software, with Microsoft and RIM hoping to carve out the remaining market share for their new Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10. But several completely new operating systems will soon be available.

Manufacturers, carriers and other parties have realized how important the mobile operating system is in providing control over the modern computing experience. Apple and Google are able to sell apps and digital content through the stores tied to their mobile operating systems, causing users to become “locked in” to their ecosystem of hardware and software.

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