Nokia and Intel launch new mobile operating system

The first devices based on MeeGo will arrive in the second half of 2010

Nokia and Intel will merge two of their mobile operating systems into Meego, a Linux-based, open operating system for everything from advanced smartphones to netbooks, connected TVs and tablet computers, the companies said at a joint press conference on Monday.

The new operating system will combine the best features from each operating system, including the Moblin core and the UI (user interface) toolkit from Maemo. Intel developed Moblin, and Nokia developed Maemo. The first version of MeeGo will ship during the second quarter.

The first devices based on the operating system are expected to arrive during the second half of 2010, according to Renée James, senior vice president and general manager at Intel's Software and Services Group.

The operating system will support both Intel's Atom and ARM architectures. The MeeGo source code, along with the build system and developer tools will be released in the coming weeks, according to a FAQ on the MeeGo website.

The MeeGo code will be hosted by the Linux Foundation, and anyone who wants to develop an application for MeeGo will use the Qt framework. The use of Qt will let users develop an application once and then run it on multiple platforms, according to Kai Öistämö, executive vice president for devices at Nokia.

So far, Nokia is the only company that has said it will ship phones with MeeGo. However, more hardware partners and operators will announce support and product plans for MeeGo in the coming weeks, James said.

The arrival of MeeGo will not change Nokia's plans for Symbian. That operating system will still be used on cheaper smartphones, according to Öistämö.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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