Print 23 comment(s) - last by Hydrofirex.. on Jun 28 at 11:54 AM

A screenshot of MeeGo v1.0 for Netbooks.  (Source:
Another Linux-based open source OS will run on all of Nokia's flagship phones

In what appears to be somewhat of a turnaround for Nokia, the world's No. 1 mobile phone manufacturer announced that it is scrapping its ubiquitous Symbian OS on all future N-series models. Instead, its flagship phones will run MeeGo, a combination of two Linux-based platforms: Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin.

The forthcoming N8 will be the last N-series phone to run Symbian, though the OS will still be featured on Nokia's feature phones and lower-end devices, according to CNET.

"The confirmation that MeeGo will be used for the next flagship N-series device shows Nokia is betting the ranch on this platform to beat high-end rivals such as Apple's iPhone," a researcher at British consultancy CCS Insight told Reuters.

The spiking of Symbian looks like an admission from Nokia of the operating system's failure to compete against the increasingly popular Android OS and Apple's iOS, which are both geared towards customization and additional applications for a user experience more akin to a personal computer. Symbian, on the other hand, was first-and-foremost a mobile phone OS. Like Android and Palm's webOS, MeeGo follows the growing trend of Linux-based smartphone software. 

Announced by Intel and Nokia in February, MeeGo is set to power a number of consumer electronics, from netbooks and tablets, to smartphones and connected TVs. An early version of MeeGo for Netbooks was released last month. Here's the list of the features that it includes, from the MeeGo website:

The MeeGo Netbook User Experience includes:

Visually rich Netbook user experience, building on the latest open source technologies.

Instant access to your synchronized calendar, tasks, appointments, recently used files and real-time social networking updates through the home screen.

Aggregation of your social networking content. This allows you to see your social networking activities on one screen, easily interact with your friends, and update your status and site information.

For a fast and rich Internet experience the MeeGo Netbook user experience integrates Google Chrome or, if you prefer a fully open source browser solution, Google Chromium is also provided. Soon we will be releasing the MeeGo Handset user experience which will use the Fennec Mozilla Browser.

Easy to use applications for email, calendar and media player.

Highly optimized for power and performance.

Languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Swedish, Polish, Finnish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, English, British English

The MeeGo v1.0 Core Software Platform Features include:

Kernel based on 2.6.33

DeviceKit and udev for interacting with hardware devices

Modern 2D / 3D graphics stack including Kernel Mode Setting, non-root X

Voice and data connectivity with Connman connection manager, Ofono telephony stack and BlueZ Bluetooth

Qt 4.6

Universal Plug and Play (gUPnP)

Media frameworks

Next generation file system BTRFS, as the default file system

Early reviews of the OS, like this one from ExtremeTech, have noted its ease-of-use as well as its kid-friendly design. "MeeGo v1.0 for Netbooks shows the potential is there to make anything into whimsical, colorful, and nonthreatening entry point to the Internet," ExtremeTech concludes.

A pre-Alpha version of the MeeGo's mobile version is set to release June 30, with October as the target date for a full release.

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By Alexstarfire on 6/26/2010 6:47:37 PM , Rating: 5
Who'd have thought I'd see "customized" and "iPhone" in the same sentence without the word "not" before one of them?

All the iPhones I've seen are practically identical except for perhaps the apps that they have downloaded.

By icanhascpu on 6/26/10, Rating: -1
By Samus on 6/26/2010 11:38:19 PM , Rating: 1
If Apple didn't give us so many neo-nazi reasons, we wouldn't hate them so much.

By Bateluer on 6/26/2010 11:41:06 PM , Rating: 4
The iPhone only comes close to Android and WebOS levels of customization after its been jail broke, and then you have to fight the never ending battle against Apple to keep your device functional as they release updates designed to thwart your jail break. Its not the iPhone can't be customized and made into a decent device, but most people don't jail break.

Even on Android, most people don't root, but they can still theme and install all manner of home and launcher replacement applications.

The fact of the matter is that vast majority of iPhones are nearly identical.

By SunAngel on 6/27/2010 1:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
Its not the iPhone can't be customized and made into a decent device, but most people don't jail break.

You got that oh so right...and the interface...well you know the deal.

By Hydrofirex on 6/28/2010 11:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
...and then you have to fight the never ending battle against Apple to keep your device functional as they release updates designed to thwart your jail break.

I've got a jailborken 3GS, and it just makes things similar to Android where you have to wait for your phone maker to roll out the updates. How many people are still waiting on the new Android 2.2 update? Usually this doesn't matter becuase Apple isn't really adding features, they are just doing "bug fixes", A.K.A messing with Jailbreaks. And most other times they are just giving you features you already have implemented from Cydia. Even iOS 4 has limited offerings to a 3GS that is Jailbroken and capably updated.

I completely understand if this is a turn off to you, but I for one get a big kick out of it every time I Jailbreak my device. I definitely take a moment to pump my arms skyward and laugh maniacally. Sometimes I even bellow, "It's Alive!!!!" once I get to a working Springboard.

I've always loved to tinker with my technology, and there is such a great community of unauthorized developers and open-sourcers behind iOS that it adds a whole other level if you're an advanced user and want to dabble in those kinds of things.


By seamonkey79 on 6/27/2010 12:42:17 AM , Rating: 3
Hacked to the gills and custom as...

I think






By spathotan on 6/27/2010 1:40:54 AM , Rating: 4
And your ignorance gets a 10 here. You flat out just proved his point. You had to hack, jailbreak, mod and whatever other words you can pull out to make it sound special. All that in an attempt to make your iPhone more like an Android/other device.

By hughlle on 6/27/2010 5:39:23 AM , Rating: 3
exactly. i find it a rather entertaining notion that you have to violate the very design and nature of the iphone (closed controlled system, nothing can go wrong unless apple say so) just to do what android can do straight out of the box.

the reason most iphones look the same is that 95% of iphone owners are tools who want the exterior casing and have probably not got the first idea of what they miss out of in contrast to other handsets and systems. if you're a 16 year old school girl, sure, buy an iphone, at that age, life is about being noticed, be it new tits or a shiny phone. enter into the professional grow up world and you realise that branding aside, you'#ve got yourself some pretty average tech in your hand.

By erple2 on 6/28/2010 8:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
You're being a bit unfair. Some people like the simplicity of the iPhone interface. Personally, after having used a buddy of mine's iPhone that he's hacked to include themes and different startup apps and customizations that people are talking about, I find the basic interface of the non-jailbroken iPhones refreshing.

I wouldn't say that 95% of people that use an iPhone are tools. But I would say that a non-zero percentage of iPhone users are using it because it's the "cool thing to do". However, welcome to the world of brand imaging.

Just use Andriod
By feelingshorter on 6/26/2010 4:22:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Just use Andriod
By themaster08 on 6/27/2010 1:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
I use both platforms and I must say that Symbian excells in a number of categories.

Symbian is far more advanced when it comes to WiFi customisation.

Multitasking is far superior, and also memory management.

Storage management is also much better and far more flexible.

To be perfectly honest, since the release of Symbian^3, I can't really think of any particular category where Android excels with the exceptions of developer support and notifications.

RE: Just use Andriod
By indignation on 6/27/2010 5:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
And yet it freezes every now and then, or self reboots every month or so

Android is better

RE: Just use Andriod
By themaster08 on 6/27/2010 5:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
If this was 2005 I'd agree with you.

By Johnmcl7 on 6/27/2010 8:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
Maemo was always intended to replace Symbian for the flagship phones, the N900 was intended as a development type phone to get support and the second Maemo phone would be a proper flagship phone. With Maemo now gone, it makes sense that Meego takes its place.

The intention appears the same as S60 a few years back which started on the flagship phones and gradually pushed S40 further down the range.


By inperfectdarkness on 6/27/2010 10:22:31 AM , Rating: 2

enter: meego. in < 2 years, the market will probably be:

Win Mo 7

in that order. and i'm not complaining.

now my next question is...will apps be able to be easily ported between android and meego?

By Hare on 6/27/2010 11:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
now my next question is...will apps be able to be easily ported between android and meego?

Quite easy. It has taken couple of days to port some iPhone and Android games. MeeGo uses QT so development should be a pretty rewarding experience.

By Penti on 6/27/2010 1:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not Android SDK / Java apps, but they should be able to be machine translated, Android NDK apps or native apps in C/C++ will be portable with some work i.e. porting to the MeeGo QT/middleware platform APIs. Those apps will also run on Symbian. If compiled for those devices.

The C Library on MeeGo is more capable then on Android (Bionic on Android). Low level compatibility is there. But not middleware or UI compatibility as Android is just a framework on top of Linux and not a GNU/Linux system. You also have WRT for widgets and simple apps on the MeeGo - Symbian platform. That is Web Runtime. Apps running within Webkit engine. Android is more like Bada then anything else then it is similar to MeeGo, which is also running on top of Linux.

Games will be quickly portable though as they use the NDK and native code and the OGL ES 2.0 APIs for graphics regardless of device and it's only the game engine that needs to be ported and when the third party and internal game engines are ported there will be little trouble getting them running on any unit, regardless if it's WebOS, Android, Bada, Symbian, MeeGo or WinMo/Phone.

Meego Pre-Alpha demo
By Hare on 6/26/2010 3:40:09 PM , Rating: 4
The picture in the article is a bit misleading.

Here's a nice MeeGo demo

I'd take this over iPad or Android tablet any day.

N-Series aren't the only Nokia smartphones
By Penti on 6/26/2010 5:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia N-series aren't the only Nokia Smart phones. You will still have the C-series, probably X-series and high-end business smartphones of E-series.

Can Samsung pull off Custom OS on realtime kernel, Android, Windows Mobile/Phone and Bada and Symbian too I'm sure Nokia which sells twice as many phones (450 million or so) can have a successful strategy based on S40, S60/Symbian^3 and MeeGo. Symbian will and have already started to move down in cheaper devices and it makes a lot of sense there. I'm expecting Symbian to take over the role of S40 and the various S60 variants. That should be a couple of hundred million phones. I'm sure high-end phones will still have it. Especially the business line. Also a lot of consumer phones. It's fine for what they use their phones to, you have streaming music with Spotify and Pandora and multitasking there already. Browsing and Email is no problem. It actually turns Symbian into a wider platform. Ditching their proprietary platform.

Not sure what they do over there in Japan regarding Symbian phones but I think Sharp, Fujitsu, S-E Japan, Mitsubishi etc still releases Symbian phones (Symbian^3 on the way) and NTT DoCoMo is still involved with Symbian Foundation. Does still releases up to date Symbian phones too. Might remind people too that Symbian now also support Qt toolkit, same framework as MeeGo uses. Porting should be easy between devices. Which gives them a very unified environment for their devices and should service them well. They also have the WRT Web Runtime in Symbian and MeeGo. A very simple software platform to work with. At least if you compare with Samsungs offerings. So apps that is not Symbian C++ / native Symbian specific should run on both platforms with minimal development. Java should run on both too.

By themaster08 on 6/27/2010 1:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
Symbian will and have already started to move down in cheaper devices and it makes a lot of sense there. I'm expecting Symbian to take over the role of S40 and the various S60 variants. That should be a couple of hundred million phones. I'm sure high-end phones will still have it. Especially the business line.
Precisely. It's a simple and cost effective solution.

S40 will still be used in low-end devices, allowing them to get the job done without the price tag.

S60 will be used in mid-range devices, also allowing them to be cost effective since the OS has already been developed and can run on mediocre hardware. However with the OS being mature they will enjoy the current library of software plus future development. Now that S60 has had a facelift it makes the OS the perfect choice for capable smartphones without the ludicrous pricetag.

MeeGo will be used in high-end devices, allowing them to be more advanced than ever, with the use of the best hardware in a market where cost is less of an issue.

Yet again, Nokia is catering to everybody, not just a certain market segment. That's something Nokia have always done, and always done well. That's why they are, and always will be the market leader in mobile technology.

Those dates look suspicious
By bug77 on 6/26/2010 5:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Who can go from pre-alpha to release within 4 months? The alternative of a company admitting they're releasing beta software seems equally unlikely.

RE: Those dates look suspicious
By Penti on 6/26/2010 7:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Most of the software is already used in production out in the wild. So it's very likely. Telephone stack is from Maemo. Qt framework is mature and has been used for years and is also on the shipping N8 phone (Symbian^3). The multimedia-frameworks are from Maemo (Maemo are a collection of Open Source and some Nokia products and proprietary components and has been developed since 2005). And on and on and so on. It's not a completely new product. Moblin has been in development for a few years too, and the OpenSUSE build infrastructure and on the Fedora distribution they build it on is very good and mature. It's the UI's (which is three different ones depending on target) that needs to be finished and those tasks aren't really harder then the custom Sense UI from HTC or other derivatives. And that is of course based on Nokias and Intels experience. MeeGo for netbooks has already been released, the OS is ready, the telephony parts are from Maemo, the UI is new. It already has commercial support and are built on working in the field software. Should be a flexible platform either way and firmware updates will of course improve it more, APIs is pretty much fixed and done though. UIs can always be tweaked. It's MeeGo 1.1 that's released in October. Architecture is as shown - The middleware is already done.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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