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29 September 2011, 09:47

Report: Nokia working on Linux OS for low-end phones

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Nokia Logo Nokia is reportedly working on a Linux-based operating system code-named Meltemi which is aimed at low-end phones. Sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the project was being led by Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president for mobile phones. Nokia has declined to comment on the matter.

Meltemi – the Greek word for the dry northerly summer winds of the Aegean Sea – would represent the third Linux-based operating system that Nokia has developed. It created Maemo as an advanced OS for smartphones in 2005, work that was later merged with Intel's Moblin to create MeeGo, again aimed at high-end smartphones. MeeGo was abandoned by Nokia and has now been absorbed by an Intel, Samsung, Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation group to create Tizen.

Unlike Maemo and Meego, Meltemi is aimed at the low end of the phone market that is the feature phone business, which accounts for around 47 per cent of Nokia's business. Nokia has traditionally run Symbian on these devices, but according to the WSJ's sources, customers are expecting the devices to "act like smartphones". Meltemi was first noted in an April internal memo seen by The Register which referred to the project as somewhere MeeGo personnel could be moved to internally.


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