MeeGo, a Linux project combining Intel and Nokia software, released an early version of the mobile phone OS to developers on Wednesday.
MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin software with Nokia’s Maemo into an open source OS designed for netbooks or mobile phones. The project released an early version for netbooks in May and said at the time that it would come out with an early release for mobile phones in June.
“This milestone marks the completion of the merger of Moblin and Maemo as major architecture decisions and technical selections have been determined,” wrote Valtteri Halla and Imad Sousou of the MeeGo Technical Steering Group in a blog post about the release.
Wednesday’s release includes MeeGo APIs (application programming interfaces), a reference user interface and applications including a status bar, lock screen, application launcher, onscreen keyboard, phone dialer, short message service client, browser, contacts application and photo viewer.
It also includes the MeeGo Core OS with middleware components as well as support for Intel Atom-based handsets and Nokia N900 devices.
The blog post includes links to screenshots of the software and a video of a phone running various applications.
Project developers hope to release the first final version of MeeGo around October, after which phones will hit the market.
Nokia recently said that the Nokia N8 would be the last of the N-series phones to use Symbian. Going forward, N-series phones will be powered by MeeGo. While Nokia is committing resources to open sourcing Symbian and has been the biggest Symbian user, it has said that it would start using MeeGo to power its high-end phones.
When the first MeeGo phones hit the market, they’ll face stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices. While Nokia is still the number one phone maker in the world, it has slipped behind Apple among smartphone makers. MeeGo represents a fresh attempt by Nokia to regain some smartphone market share, although the first phones will appear more than three years after the iPhone hit the market.