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Please Welcome MeeGo

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I don't usually post twice a day, but today was opening day in Barcelona of the Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile show of the year, and the announcements were popping thick and fast.  One of those announcements unveiled a new mobile platform called MeeGo - a new open source contender in the race to power the broad array of devices that are rapidly proliferating in the mobile marketplace.  And, I'm happy to say, MeeGo will be hosted by The Linux Foundation. 

We've been working for some time on this,  and we're very pleased that the project has now gone public. The LF press release can be found here, and the Intel version of the joint Intel-Nokia release is here.  As usual, both are also pasted in below for archival  purposes.  I think you'd also find LF Executive Director Jim Zemlin's blog entry worth a read, and I'll quote from it below.

MeeGo represents the merger of Intel's Moblin open source platform (already hosted by LF) and Nokia's Maemo project, and represents a bold move by both companies to re-stake a claim in a marketspace that grows in value and  complexity by the day.  The value and dynamism of that marketplace was underscored by the fact that Microsoft made an announcement as well - a relaunch of its own mobile platform, now called Windows Phone 7.  And apparently its new code, and not just a rehash of the old, overly encumbered legacy code that has helped limit that success of Microsoft's previous mobile OS releases.

The targeted scope of mobile platforms is of particular interest these days, as each proponent tries to figure out how narrowly or broadly to optimize its offering.  In the case of MeeGo, the scope is broad, as summarized in the LF release:

MeeGo, announced today in a joint release by Intel and Nokia, will be deployed across many computing device types - including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems, and brings together the leaders in computing and mobile communications as the project’s backers. MeeGo is designed for cross-device, cross-architecture computing and is built from the ground up for a new class of powerful computing devices.

Jim Zemlin puts the scope decision in context as follows:

Many client Linux efforts to date have focused exclusively on desktop or smartphone segments. The time is now for a platform that is exclusively built to be used across a wide variety of devices, and that takes full advantage of the superior computing power of each device category – longer battery life, better screens, location services, touch, 4G broadband, new vehicle technology and stronger processors.

MeeGo is not an OS designed for a legacy purpose that is being crammed or expanded into a new device form. In other words, this isn’t a square peg in a round hole — MeeGo is a next generation mobile operating system designed for the next generation of mobile devices.

Naturally, Intel and Nokia are hoping that not only device manufacturers, but developers will find MeeGo to be an inviting platform, given the increasing importance of apps in driving device (and therefore OS) choice, and therefore the increasing competition for developer attention and time.  The joint press release makes the developer pitch as follows:

MeeGo offers the Qt application development environment, and builds on the capabilities of the Moblin core operating system and reference user experiences. Using Qt, developers can write once to create applications for a variety of devices and platforms, and market them through Nokia's Ovi Store and Intel AppUpSM Center.

As you might guess, if you've noticed the growing number of projects that the Linux Foundation has taken on over the last few years, we have to pick and choose what we have the resources and mission to tackle.  So why does the MeeGo project make the grade?  Jim's blog entry summarizes that best:

MeeGo isn’t just an important project at the Linux Foundation, it is also helpful for Linux as a platform. It combines mobile development resources that were recently split in the Maemo and Moblin projects into one well-supported, well-designed project that addresses cross-platform, cross-device and cross-architecture development. Android, ChromeOS, the Palm Pre, Bada, and dozens of traditional Linux desktop efforts use many of the components in MeeGo. They all benefit from the increased engineering efforts on those components. This is the power of the open source development model....

Everyone who works at the Linux Foundation asks themselves three simple questions every day: Is the work we are doing moving the needle of Linux adoption in a significant way? Does the work we do require broad industry collaboration? Is the Linux Foundation equipped to do this work? In the case of MeeGo, the answer to all three questions is yes.

If you're an industry watcher, you'll note that this announcement marks another step closer together by two industry giants that have not always been so.  The joint press release touches on this point as follows:

This announcement strengthens the Nokia and Intel relationship, and builds on the companies' broad strategic collaboration announced in June 2009. Intel and Nokia now invite participation in MeeGo from existing Maemo and Moblin global communities and across the communications and computing industries.

And that's no surprise, because collaborations, alliances and partnerships are becoming ever more vital to succeeding in the competitive information and communications technology marketplace. 

It should also be no suprise, then, that open source and open standards are also playing a key role in reducing risk for vendors and customers alike.  After all, for vendors, the more allies you have, the stronger you are, and the fewer vendors are left to be your enemies.  For customers, that means more choices among the products and services of more participating vendors, and less vulnerability to abandonment.

If that all sounds good to you, perhaps you'd like to join in the fun.  The details are here.

And if you haven't been following the adventures of Frank Adversego, check out the latest installment of this mystery eNovel here.

 

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Linux Foundation to Host MeeGo Project

 

Linux Foundation to Host MeeGo Project

New open source software platform backed by Intel and Nokia will power the next generation of computing devices

SAN FRANCISCO, February 15, 2010 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced it will host the MeeGo project, the open source software platform for the next generation of computing devices. MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin™ and Nokia’s Maemo projects into one Linux-based platform.

MeeGo, announced today in a joint release by Intel and Nokia, will be deployed across many computing device types - including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems, and brings together the leaders in computing and mobile communications as the project’s backers. MeeGo is designed for cross-device, cross-architecture computing and is built from the ground up for a new class of powerful computing devices.

MeeGo will be hosted by the Linux Foundation as a fully open source project, encouraging community contributions in line with the best practices of the open source development model. The Linux Foundation expects MeeGo to be adopted widely by device manufacturers, network operators, software vendors and developers across multiple device types and for many organizations and developers to participate in the project.

“With MeeGo, you have the world’s leader in computing – Intel – uniting with the world’s leader in communications – Nokia – in a true open source project hosted at the Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “MeeGo has been built from the ground up for rich, mobile devices and will deliver choice to consumers without lock-in. For developers, they will have the power of the Qt platform across a multitude of devices and architectures giving them an incredible opportunity to innovate and reach users.”

The Linux Foundation’s MeeGo project welcomes contributors and encourages developers and others to get involved at the site or find out more about joining the Linux Foundation at http://www.linuxfoundation.org/meego. Moblin and Maemo contributors are encouraged to participate at MeeGo.com.

MeeGo is working with existing upstream projects such as the Linux kernel, ofono, connman, X.org, D-BUS, tracker, GStreamer, Pulseaudio and others. The companies and projects associated with MeeGo will continue to support those upstream projects. As an open source software platform, MeeGo will help to reduce market fragmentation and complexity, while helping to accelerate industry innovation and time-to-market for a wealth of new Internet-based applications, services and user experiences. Along with MeeGo, the Linux Foundation is working with companies and projects across the mobile/embedded industry to unite and optimize best practices for Linux-based development that will speed time to market and lower costs for companies using Linux-based mobile operating systems. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org/embedded.

MeeGo and other Linux embedded issues will be discussed at the upcoming Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in San Francisco. More information on the meeting can be found at http://events.linuxfoundation.org.

 

Intel and Nokia Merge Software Platforms for Future Computing Devices


MeeGo* enables an open ecosystem for rapid development of exciting new user experiences

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Global leaders Intel Corporation and Nokia merge Moblin and Maemo to create MeeGo*, a Linux-based software platform that will support multiple hardware architectures across the broadest range of device segments, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.
  • MeeGo offers the Qt application development environment, and builds on the capabilities of the Moblin core operating system and reference user experiences. Using Qt, developers can write once to create applications for a variety of devices and platforms, and market them through Nokia's Ovi Store and Intel AppUpSM Center.
  • MeeGo will be hosted by the Linux Foundation and governed using the best practices of the open source development model. The first release of MeeGo is expected in the second quarter of 2010 with devices launching later in the year.
  • Nokia and Intel expect MeeGo to be adopted widely by global device manufacturers, network operators, semiconductor companies, software vendors and developers.
 

ESPOO, FINLAND, and SANTA CLARA, CALIF., Feb. 15, 2010 � In a significant development in the convergence of communications and computing, Intel Corporation and Nokia are merging their popular Moblin and Maemo software platforms. This will create a unified Linux-based platform that will run on multiple hardware platforms across a wide range of computing devices, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Called MeeGo, the open software platform will accelerate industry innovation and time-to-market for a wealth of new Internet-based applications and services and exciting user experiences. MeeGo-based devices from Nokia and other manufacturers are expected to be launched later this year.

This announcement strengthens the Nokia and Intel relationship, and builds on the companies' broad strategic collaboration announced in June 2009. Intel and Nokia now invite participation in MeeGo from existing Maemo and Moblin global communities and across the communications and computing industries.

"Our vision for seamlessly communicating between computing devices from the home, auto, office or your pocket is taking a big step forward today with the introduction of MeeGo," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "This is a foundational step in our evolving relationship with Nokia. The merging of these two important assets into an open source platform is critical toward providing a terrific experience across a variety of devices and gaining cross- industry support."

"MeeGo will drive an even wider range of Internet computing and communication experiences for consumers, on new types of mobile devices," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO, Nokia. "Through open innovation, MeeGo will create an ecosystem that is second to none, drawing in players from different industries. It will support a range of business models across the value chain, building on the experience and expertise of Nokia, Intel and all those who will join us. Simply put, MeeGo heralds a new era of mobile computing."

MeeGo blends the best of Maemo with the best of Moblin to create an open platform for multiple processor architectures. MeeGo builds on the capabilities of the Moblin core OS and its support for a wide range of device types and reference user experiences, combined with the momentum of Maemo in the mobile industry and the broadly adopted Qt application and UI framework for software developers.

MeeGo also unites the robust worldwide Maemo and Moblin applications ecosystems and open source communities. For developers, MeeGo extends the range of target device segments for their applications. Using Qt for application development means that they can write applications once and easily deploy them on MeeGo and across other platforms, for example, on Symbian.

The Ovi Store will be the channel to market for apps and content for all Nokia devices, including MeeGo and Symbian-based, with Forum Nokia providing developer support across all Nokia device platforms. The Intel AppUpSM Center will be the path to market for Intel-based MeeGo devices from other device manufacturers, with the Intel® Atom™ Developer Program providing support for applications targeting devices in a variety of categories.

The MeeGo software platform, running on high-performance devices, will deliver a range of Internet, computing and communication experiences, with visually rich graphics, multitasking and multimedia capabilities and the best application performance. Since MeeGo runs on multiple device types, people can keep their favorite applications when they change devices, so they are not locked into one kind of device or those from any individual manufacturer.

MeeGo Hosted by the Linux Foundation
The MeeGo software platform will be hosted by the Linux Foundation as a fully open source project, encouraging community participation in line with the best practices of the open source development model. Intel and Nokia invite the respective members of
Maemo.org and Moblin.org to join the combined community at MeeGo.com, as well as encouraging wider participation from the communications, computing and related industries. Developers can begin writing applications for MeeGo in Qt immediately. The first release of MeeGo is targeted for the second quarter of this year.

Media materials, including a Webcast replay, can be found at www.intel.com/pressroom/intel-nokia and www.nokia.com/press.

 

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