Mixing it up
The joint Intel/Nokia press conference didn't yield a Nokia phone with Moorestown inside - although we must assume that's still in the pipeline - but it did reveal what the alliance the announced last year is all about - an operating system called MeeGo.
Nokia and Intel have both been, supposedly independently, developing operating systems based on Linux: Maemo and Moblin respectively. They will be combined into MeeGo and, as the two have a lot in common, the immediate effect of combining them won't be too profound. But it does bring together two very large groups of developers as well as a new open source community, and could well yield an OS to take on Apple, Google and - yes - Microsoft.
MeeGo will be truly open source - as Nokia's Symbian already is, and will be compatible with Symbian - it will be hosted by the Linux Foundation. Nokia is positioning Meego as a straight replacement for Maemo. The first release is expected in Q2 of this year, with the first devices appearing this year.
The two companies stressed that they weren't trying to make a PC OS, but MeeGo will, of course, be x86 compatible in order to support phones using Intel chips. The mobile commerce platforms remain separate, with Nokia MeeGo phones using Ovi, and those running on Intel architecture - with the exception of Nokia ones - using its new AppUp platform.
MeeGo now goes into the mix with iPhone OS, Android, Windows Phone 7 series as well as ‘platforms' like Samsung's Bada and Qualcomm's Brew. With what we've seen today, it had better be good.