MeeGo devices in 2011

Intel says MeeGo devices will be available early next year

MeeGo devices in 2011

There was a lot of excitement when Intel and Nokia joined forces earlier this year to create MeeGo, a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices. The blending of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin operating systems had all the signs of being a big player in the mobile market, not only because of the backing of two industry heavyweights but also because the open nature of the OS opened up opportunities.

However, despite a version 1.0 of the OS being released a couple of months ago MeeGo went relatively quiet. The 1.0 release was out but there weren’t actual devices available for users to get their hands on. Now Intel is saying that consumer devices with MeeGo will start becoming available in early 2011.

The delay in releasing devices running MeeGo could be a mistake, particularly on Nokia’s part, as the cellphone giant watches the smartphone market race away from it. Although still the dominant handset maker, the Finnish company is losing ground to the likes of Apple with its iPhone and a slew of manufacturers releasing Android-based devices. Android in particular is making rapid headway in slashing Nokia’s Symbian dominance in the market.

Intel and Nokia announced MeeGo in February, a full eight months ago.

Doug Fisher, vice president of Intel’s Software and Solutions Group, quoted in a Forbes article, said that the company was “very pleased with MeeGo’s progress so far.” He said that the two companies had several deadlines for 2011 including a the release of a 1.0 version of MeeGo designed for netbooks in May and preview of the software, modified for handsets, in June.

MeeGo 1.1 will also be released late in October.

Although Intel says devices will be available in early 2011 it doesn’t look likely that these will be ready in time for World Mobile Congress (WMC) 2011, the traditional show for major product launches. WMC 2011 will start on 14 February.

There is also the chance that a number of set-top boxes and in-car-entertainment systems based on MeeGo will emerge before year-end but consumer netbooks and tablets will follow next year.

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