15/02/2010

Nokia and Intel to go Mee (or MeeGo)

Intel who drove the Moblin initiative (as in MOBile LINux) have joined forces with Nokia's Maemo Linux OS and come up with MeeGo a combined effort taking parts of both.

The system is expected to run on multiple architectures and not just Intel processors (many mobile devices are based on ARM chips).

Moblin hasn't really gone anywhere yet, while Maemo is used on Nokia N700/800/810 tablets and the recently released N900 smartphone.

The combined effort seems more of a defensive move against Android which is making headway in the smartphone arena (and Google giving away Nexus One phones to pretty well any conference it is involved with doesn't hurt it's popularity).

MeeGo does pose interesting questions about the future of Symbian (which is still the most popular phone operating system with an installed base of about 330m phones). The Symbian Foundation recently put all of the OS into the public domain as Symbian^3 with promises for Symbian^4 later this year. There were similar worries when Nokia said Maemo would be used for high end smartphones, so it's likely that this strategy will continue, Symbian for lower end phones and MeeGo for high end ones.

Though MeeGo might be a good OS it will have a struggle with Android, though the biggest loser might well be Windows Mobile 7 which is also due to be announced at Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week.
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