Intel Decides MeeGo’s Fate

by Matt Klassen on September 30, 2011

Ever since Nokia ditched both its own Symbian OS and its joint MeeGo venture with Intel in favour of Microsoft’s WP7 mobile operating system this past year, many wondered what Intel would do when left holding the MeeGo bag. Now it looks like the MeeGo era will end much the same way it began, the little Linux platform becoming merely a drop in a larger OS ocean.

Intel announced this past week that it will be folding its MeeGo platform into a larger more unified Linux-based effort called Tizen, helping the entire Linux community to redouble its efforts to compete against Android and other market mainstays.

While this does indeed spell the inglorious end of Intel’s MeeGo platform, is anyone really surprised? From its inception MeeGo seemed doomed for failure, a worthy Linux effort that that could only be found on subpar Nokia feature phones. But now as part of the Tizen project, will MeeGo’s legacy bring Intel any lasting success?

Finally deciding to make something of its failed Linux MeeGo platform, Intel joined forces with the Linux Foundation, the Limo Foundation, and Samsung in an effort to develop a truly competitive web-based open source Linux mobile operating system, combining both MeeGo and Limo into a new platform dubbed “Tizen.”

“Intel joined Linux Foundation and Limo Foundation in support of Tizen, a new Linux-based open source software platform for multiple device categories,” the company announced. “Tizen builds upon the strengths of both Limo and MeeGo and Intel will be working with our MeeGo partners to help them transition to Tizen.”

According to the statement, Tizen will be developed as a web-centric operating system designed for multi-platform use, intended to operate on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and automotive infotainment systems. Further, the overall goal with Tizen is to create an OS that easily and seamlessly allows users to “run and develop browser-based applications,” as opposed to running native smartphone applications.

But wasn’t MeeGo Linux-based and open source, why not just develop that platform? In a blog post, Imad Sousou, director of Intel’s Open Source Technology Center writes, “We believe the future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5. Shifting to HTML5 doesn’t just mean slapping a web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo has been.”

Truth be told, looking towards the future its clear to me that Intel really had no choice. MeeGo’s day, albeit short, had already come and gone, already an OS relic in a rapidly changing market. But perhaps in its death, MeeGo will be able to bring new life to the mobile Linux revolution, helping to create an open source operating system that will be here to stay.

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January 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm
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January 3, 2014 at 5:43 am

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