Reports of MeeGo's Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

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Like most operating platforms, MeeGo has had its critics almost from the beginning. Ever since Nokia announced its effective abandonment of the Linux-based mobile operating system earlier this year, however, many observers have been quick to sound MeeGo's death knell.

That, it turns out, may have been premature. A number of recent developments now suggest that the operating system is alive and well--robust enough, even, to draw the interest of several new partners.

Is MeeGo dead? Not if you put any stock in the opinion of companies like Intel, LG Electronics and China Mobile.

'Coming Out This Year'

Intel and Nokia, of course, were the original partners on the MeeGo project, which set out to merge Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo efforts into a single common one. MeeGo-based tablets are already available, but smartphones haven't yet arrived. Nokia's own first and last offering is due to debut later this year.

Now, Nokia's departure is "opening opportunities for the others to come in," Valtteri Halla, a member of the MeeGo technical steering group, said at a developer conference on Friday, according to Reuters. "Discussions are taking place. You'll see things coming out this year, pretty soon."

Intel itself, for instance, just last week announced that it is working with Tencent, one of China's largest Internet firms, to create a joint innovation center that will develop products and services based on MeeGo and Intel's Atom processors.

LG on Board

Just a few days later, reports emerged that none other than LG Electronics has plans for the operating system as well. In fact, LG recently joined participants including ZTE and China Mobile in a working group to develop a handset version of the software, according to Reuters.

LG is actually working with MeeGo in numerous areas, according to the report, and has already made plans to mass-produce car infotainment systems based on the operating system. Low-end smartphones are also reportedly among its plans.

A MeeGo TV working group was announced last month by the Linux Foundation, which hosts the MeeGo project and offers developer training courses on the platform as well.

A Three-Way Tablet

Then, too, there's the emergence of exciting devices like Evolve III's newly unveiled Maestro C tablet, which offers a choice of no fewer than three operating systems: Windows 7, Android and MeeGo.

All in all, it's way too soon to proclaim MeeGo out of the running. It has stiff competition, to be sure. On the other hand, given recent concerns about the less-than-entirely open nature of Google's Android--not to mention the difficulty handset makers can have differentiating their Android-based offerings--MeeGo may just offer a winning combination for vendors and users alike.

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