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September 6, 2011
Remember MeeGo? It was the love child between Nokia and Intel’s respective mobile OS technologies, and was supposed to be the future of netbooks and smartphones alike. But a new rumor suggests that it’s likely dead, despite Intel denying it.
According to the infamous rumor-news site Digitimes.com, Intel is killing off MeeGo. Intel responded to the Digitimes story — and all of the stories on other news sites (including CNET) — denying the OS obit:
“We remain committed to MeeGo and open source, and will continue to work with the community to help develop and meet the needs of customers and end users …”
Okay, but working with the “community” is a bit different than continuing the development, isn’t it? Intel sounds as though it’s still feeding the dogs when really it’s just sprinkling crumbs in the cage. MeeGo is likely to fade away into obscurity, especially amid Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7.
Additional coffin nails have been provided by Nokia, since it has yet to release the one and only MeeGo phone, the N9, with many countries including Germany and the United States not even slated to receive the device. This also raises the question, Why would anyone buy a dead-end MeeGo phone when Nokia has partnered with Microsoft on rolling out Windows Phone 7 devices? Even though Nokia promises software updates, the commitment seems underwhelming, especially when expressed in the form of a tweet.
Meanwhile, according to CNET, Intel has reportedly found success with MeeGo in embedded systems, not consumer devices. That’s an interesting spin, but with Android slowly encroaching on that space, I think Intel may just be saving face for the customers who have already bought into the ecosystem.
Intel has already said it’s supporting x86 chips that will run Android Honeycomb. In that respect, Intel may have inadvertently dug the grave for MeeGo, but its disappearance likely won’t be missed. The mobile marketplace is a violent one, but all flops are learning experiences about what works. I’ll continue to keep my eye on MeeGo, but I’m skeptical about its embedded usage. If you’re an Intel partner or VAR, let us know if you’ve found MeeGo useful in any deployments.
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