Samsung has officially launched its new mobile phone operating system, as the company looks to emulate the success of other handset manufacturers like Palm and Apple.

The new OS, which will be called bada, will allow developers to get involved "as they never have done so before", supposedly. Samsung says that bada will be "at the heart of our European mobile business".

The new OS becomes the latest operating system for the Korean company to support and sits alongside its Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian offerings. It'll be rolled out on a "massive number of handsets", according to Hosoo Lee, one of Samsung's executive VPs.

Samsung bada (meaning ocean in Korean) is, according to Samsung, the "driving force in accomplishing Samsung’s vision of a smartphone for everyone". To that end, it'll be rolling out in 50 countries at first, with worldwide expansion to follow in the second half of 2010.

Based on a new version of Samsung’s signature TouchWiz User Interface - version 3.0 - the OS will offer Flash, web control, motion sensing, fine-tuned vibration control, and face detection as well as supporting sensor-based, context-aware applications.

By using devices, such as accelerometers, and tilt, weather, proximity, and activity sensors, application developers say the company will be able to implement context-aware interactive applications. Samsung will be offering developers a $300,000 prize in an app competiton, to entice them to work on the bada platform.

Samsung has yet to say whether this will be the only OS it will support in the future. Earlier in the year the company denied it was ditching Symbian. Samsung did, however, roll out plenty of video games developers, including Capcom, EA Games and Gameloft, so it's possible that Samsung wants a piece of the iPod touch's gaming success.

The first Samsung bada powered phone is due in the first half of 2010.