reports are to be believed, Intel Corp. (INTC) may be preparing to
bury Meego only nineteen months after the smartphone, tablet, and laptop OS
project was announced.
Intel had grand hopes to dominate the world of smart phone software when
it paired up with Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) to produce a new
smart phone operating system platform dubbed "Meego".
Announced in February 2010, there were high hopes for the platform.
After all, Nokia was a veteran who brought with it much experience.
Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin seemed a good fit as both incorporated
some slick interface elements and both were based on Linux (though Maemo was
only partially open source).
The project showed some early signs of success with Advanced Micro
Devices, Inc. (AMD) offering to make
hardware for the platform in late 2010.
But by February 2011, Nokia had abandoned Meego to enter a partnership with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), makers of Windows Phone 7.
Intel was left carrying the Meego torch all by its lonesome self. And while a few dedicated partners
have shown off a handful of hardware prototypes, the hope of mass-market
acceptance is dwindling.
For a company used to nothing less than sweeping success, this is likely
a very painful and unfamiliar situation. Digitimes is reporting that enough may be enough and that Intel is considering suspending
development for the platform, in order to focus on delivering hardware for
Android and Windows Phone 7 devices.
If Intel backs off Meego, it will likely be a death sentence for the
fledgling OS, whose prospects already look bleak at best. The operating
system is open source will likely continue to be developed and maintained by a
handful of individuals. But without major manufacturer support, it'll
likely be relegated to only the devices of a handful of dedicated hardware
One possibility is that Google, Inc. (GOOG) could absorb
features of Meego into its own open-source, Linux-based operating system --
Android. If that happens even if Meego dies, the best parts of it may
live on and see mass distribution.