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10 February 2011, 10:13

MeeGo: stalling or stopping?

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Despite the appearance of updated roadmaps from the MeeGo developers, the future of MeeGo is shrouded in doubt. Both the Handset and "Netbook UX" (User eXperience) versions of MeeGo seem to be in trouble, according to reports.

The Netbook UX version of MeeGo is on hold, according to Andrew Wafaa, developer of Smeegol, an openSUSE MeeGo variant. Wafaa notes in a blog posting that the release plans for MeeGo 1.2 mention no new features for the Netbook UX variant. In discussing MeeGo with people directly and indirectly involved with MeeGo at FOSDEM 2011, Wafaa repeatedly heard that the Notebook UX version was being put into maintenance mode. This was sufficient for Wafaa to announce the end of work on MeeGo for openSUSE; he will leave the repositories in place, but is moving on to other projects.

Zoom The MeeGo 1.2 Netbook UX.
Meanwhile, the Handset UX version of MeeGo appears to have lost its only proposed device, the Nokia N9. Reuters reported that development of Nokia's MeeGo-based smartphone had been stopped, though Nokia's spokesman declined to comment on the report. Earlier reports had noted the temporary closure of the MeeGo themed branch of Qt. If development on the Notebook and Handset UX's has been halted, it would leave only the IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) and Connected TV UX in active development.

Other reports commented on a now confirmed as genuine leaked memo from Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, in which he is quoted as saying "We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market". Elop also referred to Nokia's current strategy as "standing on a burning platform". Nokia is holding an event on Friday at which it is expected that the company will outline a new strategy and announce new partnerships. The signs to date make it unlikely that it will be good news for Nokia's participation in the Linux Foundation-managed MeeGo project.

MeeGo is a Linux-based distribution for various mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems,; it resulted from the February 2010 decision to merge Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo platforms under the aegis of the Linux Foundation.


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