MeeGo: Intel and Nokia Counter Android?
Intel and Nokia have merged their respective technologies: Moblin and Maemo, to create “MeeGo.” Simply put, it’s a Linux-based platform claiming support of hardware architectures from something as simple as a mobile hand-held device to in-dash car-computers and everything in between. Is this a Google Android alternative or wishful thinking on the part of two big-name companies?
So what does MeeGo have that other distros don’t? What’s so great about it? Apparently, MeeGo offers the QT application development environment, coupled with the Moblin core OS. That pairing is what both — Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini and Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo — think will propel MeeGo to go everywhere. “[it’s going to] Create an ecosystem second to none” says Kallasvuo. But I’m skeptical.
To be fair, the Linux Foundation has agreed to host the distro, making it some-what of a big deal, and they’ve also agreed to govern it using the “best practices of the open source development model.” I’m not really sure what that means. To cut to the chase, you can expect to see MeeGo in the second quarter of 2010. But here’s the kicker — actual MeeGo devices are expected to arrive by the end of 2010.
I suppose it’s not all that far-fetched. Nokia makes the phones, Intel supplies the chips, and then…the melding of quality open-source software? It could be a match made in heaven, but for some reason, I’m just not buying it yet. Meanwhile, the press release states that “Nokia and Intel expect MeeGo to be adopted widely by global device manufacturers, network operators, semiconductor companies, software vendors and developers.” That’s a really bold statement, especially when we see how long Android adoption took.
Google Android Alternative?
MeeGo, like Google Android, offers an open platform for a multitude of processor architectures and will also be serving up apps. What good mobile platform doesn’t have apps? Dubbed “The Ovi Store;” this will be the market for apps, content and other oddities for the Nokia devices, including MeeGo and Symbian-based devices. But then, for Intel, you’ll have access to the “AppUpSM Center” which will specifically be the market place for Intel-based MeeGo devices. The reason for this split is that the Intel Atom Developer Program will be providing support for applications targeting Atom based devices.
If that sounds confusing, you’d be right. Splitting up the app store based on device, but yet both devices are running the same OS? This sounds like a bad idea. They’re adding clutter to an already cluttered and unstructured mobile-Linux marketplace. But then, oddly enough, the press release states that “…since MeeGo runs on multiple device types, people can keep their favorite applications when they change devices, so they are not locked into one kind of device or those from any individual manufacturer.” So, how is that supposed to work?
I must admit. I think the mobile Linux market (Android, Chrome OS, Ubunut Netbook Remix, just to name a few) already is very crowded. A cursory glance at the MeeGo.com website alludes to the fact that this distro will be much more focused on media-rich applications and interactivity, go so far to state that MeeGo will pop up in ‘connected’ televisions (TV’s with Internet functionality built in.) But that’s just a lot of claims, pop and circumstance. There aren’t even screen shots of what the proposed OS is supposed to look like.
Like all things in life, we’ll just have to wait and see.
But I have sneaking suspicion that MeeGo won’t be nearly as ubiquitous as they’d like you to believe it will be.