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Devendra's Log

MeeGo - an alternative to Android?

MeeGo is an initiative by Nokia and Intel, to create what looks like an alternative to Android. Both Nokia and Intel have been dabbling with Linux. Nokia with its Maemo initiative and Intel with its Moblin initiative. Maemo is present in Nokia tablet devices that pre-date the iPad. Why they have not been as successful is an ongoing debate.

With MeeGo, both partners expect to unite forces and create an alternative operating system stack that can be used in smartphones, tablets, and netbooks. Nokia and Intel have very little incentive to succeed with MeeGo. Let me explain why.

Nokia already has another smartphone OS, it is called Symbian. Symbian is one of the most popular smartphone operating systems, with tons of applications. So what incentive does Nokia have in pushing MeeGo? I just don’t know, it looks like a fragmented focus is not helping them much right now.

Let us look at what Intel has to gain from MeeGo. Netbooks are not exactly what earn Intel significant margins. It is there because it does not want ARM-based microprocessors to be there. MeeGo supports ARM, mainly because of Nokia and Maemo. So will they push MeeGo when it can help ARM as much as its own breed of Atom processors?

For now, I think that MeeGo is mostly for Intel, Nokia and other strategic partners to try and compete against Android and ARM. Let us watch and see how far they can take MeeGo.