Intel is still keeping its eye on the [MeeGo] prize

It seems as though Intel just can't get any lovin' these days. The company's efforts to field an x86-based processor in the smartphone sector have yet to take off, Microsoft will be giving Intel some stiff competition courtesy of an ARM-compatible version of Windows, and a bug in the Series 6 chipsets for its Sandy Bridge processors will cost the company $1 billion.

Now Intel has to [practically] go it alone as Nokia abandons Symbian and shifts its primary focus from MeeGo development to get cozy with Microsoft. The company is sure to feel a bit jilted by the move, but Renee James, an Intel SVP, is trying to stay positive according to PC World.

"Intel is disappointed at Nokia but life goes on," said James. "Our decision and resolve on MeeGo is only stronger."

There are many, many people involved writing programs for MeeGo, even outside of handsets. MeeGo is more of a vibrant community project that is going to go forward."

"Intel remains committed to MeeGo and welcome[s] Nokia's continued contribution to MeeGo open source,” added Intel spokeswoman Suzy Ramirez. “Since day one, our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems, a strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing,"

Nokia isn’t entirely abandoning the MeeGo platform, but the company’s smartphones based on MeeGo will be small in number compared to smartphones running Windows Phone 7 – the company only plans one MeeGo device for 2011. Intel still points to AMD, Texas Instruments, and ST Ericsson as backers of the MeeGo platform. Citing AMD as a major partner is probably a bit disingenuous as the semiconductor company recently showed its CEO the door for a lack of vision when it comes to developing processors/chipsets for mobile platforms.

On the software side of things, Apple and Google have already carved out a large portion of the consumer market with smartphone/tablet operating systems (iOS and Android respectively). Likewise, HP’s webOS is making a comeback in the smartphone/tablet space, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is getting a boost thanks to Nokia, and RIM is looking to turn heads with its QNX operating system for its PlayBook tablet.

When it comes to Intel's push into the mobile sector, there's also the competition on the hardware side from ARM to consider. While Intel has been doggy paddling in the shallow end of the pool, an “ARMs” race has been brewing between companies like Samsung, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm who are ushering in 1GHz+ single-, dual-, and [future] quad-core processors for smartphones and tablets.

Although Atom in its current form is in no position to take on the latest ARM processors on a performance-per-watt basis, Intel is banking on its Medfield processors to allow it to gain some traction in the mobile sector. Medfield is built using Intel's 32nm process technology and Intel is hoping to get the chips into "netbooks and laptops, cars, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs".

So is there still room for MeeGo in the mobile OS segment and on the hardware side with Medfield for Intel to make some progress in smartphones and tablets? 

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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