Home MeeGo Deathwatch: Intel Reportedly to Discontinue Development

MeeGo Deathwatch: Intel Reportedly to Discontinue Development

Intel is reportedly stepping away from its investment into mobile operating system MeeGo. According to DigiTimes, Intel may be discontinuing development of MeeGo due to lack of interest from original equipment manufacturers and vendors. Has another mobile OS been buried in a shallow grave?

MeeGo was initially a joint project between Intel’s Maemo and Nokia’s Moblin projects and was designed as a response to mobile devices not supporting Intel’s Atom line of mobile processors. The Linux-based OS has been doomed since Nokia shifted its resources away from the project when the company signed on to make Windows Phone 7 devices. In the opinion of one Linux admin, Intel has “been flogging a dead horse.”

See Also:

MeeGo: A New Linux OS to Fight iPhone, iPad and More

Nokia N9 & N950 Revealed: Meego Lives, Even As it Dies

The Benefits of MeeGo – An Ecosystem for Developers

Everything Wrong, From Start to Finish

Our Linux expert, Joe Brockmeier (known in the Linux community as Zonker) said that Intel and Nokia have “done everything entirely wrong, from start to finish” when it came to MeeGo. They put obstacles in the way for developers and innovation was hampered. When Moblin and Maemo were merged, the Linux community was not entirely behind the move and developers were discouraged from making changes that were not under the thumb of either Intel or Nokia.

The ostensible death of MeeGo will compound Intel’s mobile problem. Mobile is an ARM-based world. Intel’s Atom processor designed for mobile devices has found no real home in any popular devices. MeeGo was supposed to be Intel’s way to tie an operating system to a chip and create a device line that would be entirely Atom. Nokia then fled to Microsoft and the other OEMs primarily use chips made ARM-based chips made from Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

No Dice for Vertical Atom Integration

One of the reasons that Apple has a line of superior devices with iOS is that it designs its A-series ARM chips specifically for the operating system. It is the classic vertical integration scheme of device design. Android, almost by definition, cannot do this because of the nature of the ecosystem. Android runs on ARM but not all chips are the same, from Humming Birds to SnapDragons.

Nokia did release one MeeGo phone earlier with the N9, to good reviews. Yet, that phone is not going to be sold in the U.S. and Nokia is probably not going to be making anymore MeeGo-based phones for the mass market.

The death spiral of MeeGo wipes out the dark horse of the mobile ecosystem. Android, while dominant, is in a precarious position amid patents battles and how OEMs eventually respond to Google’s acquisition of Motorola. If Android were to be dragged down by the legal system, MeeGo could have been the open-source alternative that OEMs turned to.

Linux community: what do you think about the final death spasms of MeeGo? Is it worth continuing as an independent project outside of Intel and Nokia’s watchful eyes? Let us know in the comments.

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