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Intel Committed To MeeGo Despite Nokia Defection

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the keep-the-kid dept.

Intel 228

CWmike writes "Intel put on a brave face Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, insisting that there is continued strong support from it and many companies for MeeGo, the open source software platform that Nokia last week said it would abandon in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. 'Intel is disappointed at Nokia but life goes on,' said Intel's Renee James. 'Our decision and resolve on MeeGo is only stronger.' She pointed to a long list of companies participating in MeeGo development, including competitors AMD, TI and ST Ericsson; operators including Orange, Telefonica and Sprint; and software companies including Novell and Wind River. Intel expects to see MeeGo tablets shipping this year based on its Atom chip. Handsets will follow, James said. Despite its enthusiasm, however, Intel is sure to be negatively impacted by Nokia's decision."

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228 comments

MeeGo must die. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203550)

Cannot run with the big boys. You brought a knife to a gun fight, boys.

Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203564)

I'd like to try it.

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203620)

Yes. Download [meego.com]

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (3, Informative)

duranaki (776224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203740)

Yes? How about a conditional yes at least? Last I checked, only certain HW configurations were supported. My attempt to run Meego on a laptop a few years old resulted in utter failure. At the very least I think you need an Atom chip. For reference, from the Meego Netbook link:

In general, MeeGo v1.1 for Netbook will run on Intel Atom* based netbooks, and has been tested on the following platforms: Pinetrail Netbook: HP mini, Asus Eee PC* 1005PE Nettop: MSI AE1900-B Notebook: Acer Aspire* One 5740-6025

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204422)

So, you agree with me?

I don't need to fill in the details. I only need to point the OP to the right link.

Signed,
MeeGo user, happily running it on an AMD

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204524)

Why only atom?
Can it not be compiled for other architectures?
Seems pointless if not.

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204398)

If I remember correctly, it only works if you have the latest SSE instructions and an Intel GPU.

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204936)

no it works on the atom chipset and those are only sse2.

Re:Can MeeGo run on a PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35205048)

It's SSSE 3, and all recent Intel products support it, including Atom.

As an N900 Owner... (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203592)

Let me be the first to say:

Thank you Intel!!!!!

Re:As an N900 Owner... (3, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203876)

Going whole hog for W7 is a disaster for Nokia.

Now if they'd gone for it as a stop-gap until Meego is ready, with promises to Microsoft that if they really make a good job of it then Nokia will continue to promote and sell it, then they've got a fair amount of leverage with the Beast of Redmond. Plus a lifeline if either one of W7 or Meego don't cut it.

It wouldn't have cost Nokia so much to do that, providing that what they said about actually shipping a Meego phone isn't an outright lie - they'll have to bring Meega to some level of readiness to do that anyway.

But instead they seem to have bet the farm on Microsoft, and Microsoft surely knows it. Nokia are going to get shafted.

As well as that, they already seem to have alienated most of their own workforce, and a large chunk of their user community.

(Yes, the N900 is very good - if they'd ported the latest Ovi maps, paid Adobe for the latest hardware-accelerated flash (which was already demonstrated running on it by Adobe), and polished a few of the standard apps, it would be superb. Still, lets see what happens with Meego).

Re:As an N900 Owner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204664)

The CEO of Nokia is one of M$'s biggest individual stockholders, and has personally sunk the Nokia boat.

Re:As an N900 Owner... (1)

d6 (1944790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204962)

I bought an N900 because I wanted a bash shell in my pocket. I won't buy a Nokia running W7 anytime soon.

Re:As an N900 Owner... (4, Informative)

rgunjan (1109145) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204216)

@BJ_Covert_Action Appreciate the support from the Slashdot community! We are committed to MeeGo. We have a solid roadmap for meego on meego.com, and just released our SDK. We are also excited by the initial response from app developers. ~ Gunjan from Intel

Re:As an N900 Owner... (3, Insightful)

miknix (1047580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204364)

To be honest I've been impatiently waiting for a ARM-based netbook running Linux, during the last two or three years. Judging from previous /. commenters, I'm by far not the only one. With the latest happenings regarding the negative Nokia-Microsoft agreement and the continued beneficial commitment of Intel in supporting an open platform, I now realize that I'm mobilized to support Intel. I'm looking forward to acquire a Intel-based embedded Linux solution in the future and hopefully motivate myself in related opensource development.

Thanks Gunjan for your words.

Apps (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203618)

I have no doubt that Intel can complete MeeGo alone if need be, and even find a company or two to release handsets (MS did, after all). The question is: how do they convince application developers to target it? There are already two well-established players, iOS and Android, which have the critical mass. WP7 was late to the party, and consequently struggles hard for developer attention, but it at least has the advantage of being easiest to develop for. And still, only 8k apps so far there, with many big players notably missing. When MeeGo comes in, say, in a year (and I'm being optimistic here), why would mobile developers care to divert resources from existing well-entrenched platforms?

Re:Apps (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203688)

If it has behaviors that iOS, Android, and Windows 7 Mobile lack, but that consumers will want, it will sell.

If, on the other hand, it's the same old shit in a new, dumber wrapper, it will go the way of Microsoft Bob.

Re:Wrapper (1, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203968)

"Define dumb". Consumers seem to be enjoying the shiny restrictions on choice lately in mobile op systems.

Re:Wrapper (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204198)

There may be restrictions, but the smartness of them is the draw.

But when you take that model that iOS and Android make attractive, and you come out with Win 7 Mobile, you're throwing a big pile of dumb at the smart. The market seems to see it, too.

If MeeGo is Fisher-Price to Android's Gund, it's going to fail no matter who develops it.

Re:Apps (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203750)

MeeGo, unlike iOS or Android, is a desktop environment rather than a whole operating system. It's no different from Gnome or XFCE. Ie, you can run any regular Linux program on it, at most suffering from it not being well-integrated, just as if you ran a KDE program on Gnome.

And the last time I checked, your average Linux distribution has orders of magnitude more software than either iOS or Android.

Re:Apps (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203810)

It's no different from Gnome or XFCE. Ie, you can run any regular Linux program on it, at most suffering from it not being well-integrated, just as if you ran a KDE program on Gnome.

Yeah, right. Try running a typical desktop application on a 4" screen with no mouse (so no right-click etc). People have already tried that on Maemo - sure, you can run OpenOffice if you really want it, but it's borderline unusable in practice. Mobile devices need specialized UI.

Re:Apps (2)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204610)

Right click is emulated by holding the stylus/fingernail for a while. This works pretty well. Heck, I hardly ever click on links any other way in Fennec.

Re:Apps (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203834)

And not a single one of them is designed to be run on a mobile phone. Your argument is flawed.

Re:Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35205012)

You sure are obsessed with Linux, so much you would like to see it running on toasters and coffee machines. LOL. Why would you want a full blown operating system running on a handheld device. You want to run apache or mysql? Doesn't make sense. You sure don't know what you are taking about, the iOS is a beautiful trimmed down version of a UNIX based operating system.

Re:Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35205094)

Linux is NOT an operating system...

Re:Apps (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203774)

The app developers are already convinced.

MeGo is not just phones. It is in-car entertainment and navigation, set top boxes, smart white goods, home automation and so on. There will be plenty of apps written for those markets. Even if there will be no phones it will live on.

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203832)

Perhaps, but I'm interested in MeeGo on phones and tablets (i.e. stuff that I could potentially use). Not appliances where the actual OS does not matter to the end user.

Re:Apps (3, Insightful)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203804)

QT could be used to develop common codebases for Symbian, MeeGo, iPhone and Android (via NDK). Developers would be really interested in something like that, but for some reason Nokia doesn't care.

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203948)

QT could be used to develop common codebases for Symbian, MeeGo, iPhone and Android (via NDK).

I very much doubt that Android UI framework can be easily reconciled with the way Qt does things. Even then it would be quite an ugly thing, since Android UI is itself written in Java, and so you'd have a C++ framework wrapping Java classes via JNI (which isn't good for performance, either).

All in all, given how different Android and iOS apps look visually, I'm not sure a common framework is even possible outside of some specialized cases such as games (which are already covered). Perhaps some common subset could be devised, but how many useful features would be excluded from it?

Re:Apps (1)

slonik (108174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203840)

When MeeGo comes in, say, in a year (and I'm being optimistic here), why would mobile developers care to divert resources from existing well-entrenched platforms?

I guess because of a cross-platform nature of the Qt-based MeeGo development tools. You develop for MeeGo and without much fuss cross compile to MS/Apple/Linux Desktops. Hopefully, Intel will port Qt to Android, then you can compile for it too.

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203966)

Desktop and mobile UIs are inherently different - "just recompile" won't work, you actually have to design them separately, unless you want one or the other to be inconvenient.

Re:Apps (1)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203984)

I hope that you understand that the compiling step for a mobile application is so insignificant that no developer would care. The real differences between the mobile platforms makes "write once, run anywhere" impossible.

Screen size, aspect ratio, and resolution are just a few of the problems that cross-platform app developers have to take into account, and there's nothing that QT can do for that.

QT is a fine toolkit (I'm a big KDE enthusiast), but what are the real selling points? A comparatively small number of developers have experience with it, far less than the number of potential .Net developers for WP7. Cross-platform mobile apps are largely impossible.

Re:Apps (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203954)

With Nokia's departure. the focus changes. Intel isn't concerned about creating a market to compete with handset platforms modelled on app stores such as ios and android.
Rather, they're resting control away from Windows. The best way to do that? Woo free software programmers.There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Qt 'apps' for KDE just waiting to be given a touchscreen makeover.
So courting 'mobile developers' and their $2.99 apps for a 3.6" screen shouldn't hurt Intel's Atom tablets to the extent it would Nokia.

Re:Apps (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203964)

How did Apple do it?

After all, Microsoft had been producing smartphones for a long time before the iPhone. Surely they had the market sewn up before Apple came along?

How did Google do it?

After all, the iPhone was an runaway success for Apple. Surely they had the market sewn up before Google came along?

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204010)

How did Apple do it? After all, Microsoft had been producing smartphones for a long time before the iPhone. Surely they had the market sewn up before Apple came along?

No, Microsoft did not "have the market sewn". WinMo, in terms of UI design, was more or less desktop Windows scaled down. In most other respects the device worked the same, too - file management, software installation etc. Not to mention endemic out-of-memory conditions, app crashes and lock-ups. Apple fixed all that and brought in app store, and that's what earned them the well-deserved place on the top of the hill.

How did Google do it?

By courting all the other handset manufacturers and mobile operators that didn't have iPhone.

Re:Apps (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204156)

You're helping to make my point, that being that there are ways it can be done.

Take advantage of the weaknesses of the alternatives.

Provide something better.

Compete.

Re:Apps (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204202)

It's not about competition. It's more like providing phones to the world. It's just a good thing competition is successful with their platforms -- there is enough market for everyone.

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204214)

It's all too vague. There were many points on which iOS could compete with WinMo, which is why it was so easy. There are significantly fewer points on which Android could compete with iOS, which is why it's still struggling to overtake. Ultimately, the more contenders before you - all competing with each other and thus constantly improving - the higher the barrier to entry for new players.

And, so far, apart from "it's real Linux" (which is a major feature for geeks only), I don't see what sets MeeGo apart from existing solutions. Especially from Android.

Re:Apps (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204452)

And, so far, apart from "it's real Linux" (which is a major feature for geeks only), I don't see what sets MeeGo apart from existing solutions. Especially from Android.

If it runs native code, I can see one possible advantage over Android: battery life. A VM, no matter how well designed, inherently adds overhead, both in terms of wasting CPU cycles and in terms of requiring a bigger RAM footprint. Extra RAM parts and less CPU idling both translate into greater power consumption.

If using native, CPU-optimized code translates into being able to get a few percent better battery life or being able to reduce the size of the device by a few percent and get the same battery life, that's a win. And if it results in being able to use a slower CPU with less RAM, that results in a cost win as well.

Re:Apps (1)

bmcage (785177) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204820)

And, so far, apart from "it's real Linux" (which is a major feature for geeks only), I don't see what sets MeeGo apart from existing solutions. Especially from Android.

What sets it apart is that you can reuse existing libraries. Yes, the UI must be different, but I have to write only one core, and then some different graphical shells. If you ever programmed more than a simple app, then you know much complexity is outside of the UI code.

Eg, I have an OSS app. I would love to make a Meego version, and I can, but I don't have the time to reimplement everything in some form of java. Eg: http://gramps.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/gramps/trunk/src/guiQML/grampsqml.py?view=log [sourceforge.net]

Re:Apps (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205086)

What sets it apart is that you can reuse existing libraries. Yes, the UI must be different, but I have to write only one core, and then some different graphical shells. If you ever programmed more than a simple app, then you know much complexity is outside of the UI code.

That, you can actually do with Android NDK, though it depends on how much your dependencies expect from the environment. If I remember correctly, you get full ANSI C library support, and you can get the full libstdc++, too (though you'll have to distribute it with app). There's no complete POSIX support, but bits and pieces are there.

That said, it's a good point - from developer perspective. I doubt it would be enough, though - it likely wouldn't outweigh the small initial userbase (just look at webOS, which already offers the same).

Re:Apps (1)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204324)

How did Apple do it?

Let's see... Not necessarily in exact chronological order. A cachet for carry-around electronic devices (iPod). A system for selling people content in little chunks (iTunes). The decision to sell end-user devices, not components, and take responsibility for the end-user experience. A large development budget (reputed to be around $150M).

Intel (and Microsoft) both appear to want to repeat their success in the PC market as "component" companies. Not the right business model for the phone business (and I suspect not for the tablet business either).

FTFY (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204790)

How did Apple do it?

After all, Nokia had been producing smartphones for a long time before the iPhone. Surely they had the market sewn up before Apple came along?

FTFY.

Re:Apps (2)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204078)

Part of the beauty of the MeeGo platform is it wouldn't take that much developer attention. Since MeeGo is essentially a Linux desktop, most Linux "apps" that work on a normal desktop and can be compiled for Arm should run. A few UI tweaks should be in order to make them a little more touchscreen friendly, but MeeGo could have a large selection of "apps" quite quickly this way.

Re:Apps (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204162)

Since MeeGo is essentially a Linux desktop, most Linux "apps" that work on a normal desktop and can be compiled for Arm should run. A few UI tweaks should be in order to make them a little more touchscreen friendly, but MeeGo could have a large selection of "apps" quite quickly this way.

This is the same argument as why Windows 7 (desktop one) on tablets is a good idea. It doesn't work in practice. UI "tweaks" are not sufficient - you need a major UI redesign to get the app truly touch-friendly. Furthermore, there is the issue of battery life - the reason why e.g. iOS does so well in that department is due to its severely restricted multitasking. In contrast, if you want to look at a typical battery life of a mobile OS where spawning extra processes and threads and letting them run all the time in background is free for all, look no further than Windows Mobile.

Re:Apps (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204232)

You obviously haven't compiled and run any Debian apps on an N900 before... ;)

Re:Apps (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204312)

No, but I've seen comments from people who tried. It generally comes in two parts - the first one is "oh, this is cool". The second one, coming shortly thereafter, "oh, this is so inconvenient".

Re:WINDOWS MOBILE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204444)

look no further than Windows Mobile.

Are you kidding me? Windows mobile was a joke. Why do you think Apple stole so easily MIcrosoft's market share in the mobile market? Because windows mobile was really bad, people just used it because they didn't really have any alternatives.

Re:WINDOWS MOBILE? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204516)

That was precisely my point - WinMo was designed with the same mentality as a desktop OS, trivially scaled down to mobile devices. That's why it was bad.

Re:WINDOWS MOBILE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204760)

Sorry, got your point now. But parent was right, most of native Linux applications actually fit quite nicely in the n900 without modifications.

what has died is openness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203626)

Any chance to get a near Maemo-like level of openness in a platform is gone. Intel won't drive that, quite the opposite.

Even if MeeGo lives on, it's soul has died.

Re:what has died is openness (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203710)

I say the opposite. Intel doesn't sell operating systems for a living, it sells chips. It only does software to get people to need more chips. It would be entirely in Intel's interest to make this OS as open and free as possible, to get it into as many hands as possible, to create demand for chips that will run it well.

How many can the market support? (3, Interesting)

proxima (165692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203650)

So we've got several big contenders or those who want to be in the "smart phone" space (an increasingly meaningless term, as even my dumb Symbian phone can do a fair bit). Android and iOS are the biggest, then you've got Blackberry, Win Mobile 7, WebOS, MeeGo, and in the "dumber" category Symbian.

Three of these are Linux-based to one extent or another: Android, WebOS, and MeeGo. WIth the way apps get developed and sold, it's not clear to me that all three can survive on top of their more-closed counterparts (Blackerry and iOS, primarily). I've heard that various platforms are seeking compatibility with Android apps, but I doubt it'll be perfect.

Given that Nokia seems to be giving up on it, MeeGo seems like the obvious candidate to be the one dropped (its technical merits aside). There's plenty of fragmentation within Android alone now. Personally, I think the biggest potential loss is either the dropping or downplaying of Qt by Nokia. It'd be awesome to see Qt become a cross-mobile-platform toolkit to aid developers (on everything but iOS, of course). While I switched away from KDE during the 4.X debacle, it's clear that Qt was superior in many ways. Its commercial underpinnings seemed to really bolster its quality.

Yeah yeah, we heard this before (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203848)

Oh nozers! The people might have to choose! How can they possibly!

But the people have always been doing that. Really, do you also wonder just how many fast food joints people can handle? That another McD new burger is just going to fragment the market?

How many car makers are there? TV makers? Cloth makers? Drills makers? Lots! And nobody is confused.

But oh nozers, computers/mobile phones are different hence Apple might as well give up and stop selling OSX because nobody wants to have a choice... meanwhile Jobs is not laughing all the way to the bank, the bank comes to him.

The market can support a lot and does. The N900 was a pure linux phone surely of appeal only to geeks and was sold out. More then a million sold for a test phone.

Meego has a unique advantage, it is the only OPEN phone and this DOES matter. Have you ever opened an app store? Everything people want to charge money for. Totally incapable media players and they want money for it. Well Meego got Linux and therefor easy access to open, free and highly capable media players.

Imagine this "Our phone doesn't come with an app store or market. All the software is free." Could that possibly sell?

And if for nothing else, Meego is Intels attempt to get a share of the mobile market. No other mobile OS runs as far as I know on X86. Meego does run on Atom and Intel wants to sell them rather then see Arm control the entire mobile market with the constant risk that one day it might be put on the desktop.

There are far greater concerns here then "I am so confused by having to choose a phone" that exists in your mind.

Re:Yeah yeah, we heard this before (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204112)

No other mobile OS runs as far as I know on X86.

Yeah, not like Android [androidx86.org] or Symbian [arstechnica.com] runs on X86.

A man with more than 80 belongings becomes a slave to what he owns

Re:How many can the market support? (3, Interesting)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204182)

Cell-phone form factor can run full-blown GNU/Linux today. N900 was doing it in 2009. There are no more legitimate, hardware-related excuses for OS fragmentation: it exists solely because it pays to lock your customer into a proprietary platform. (This strategy pays off because a lot of otherwise smart people go stupid when they enter a store, and the reason for the latter is ads, but that's besides the point.) Don't be confused by Android being open-source: every Android-based phone on the market today is a proprietary platform. If official kernel security updates can brick your phone just because you dared to gain root, it's a proprietary platform. If your phone cannot work without proprietary drivers in the kernel, it's a proprietary platform.

If cell-phone makers wanted to express good will towards their customers, they would throw some cash at improving Linux graphics and sound and released a lean, feature-full, and completely free cell-phone OS. We already have Wayland and Pulse Audio. Sans a few kinks, Linux is ready to go as an entertainment platform. They could still lock it up and sell it to idiots, and the idiots would still buy the locked-up versions (it's 2011 and people still buy Windows and OS X to fill spreadsheets, case closed). This would be cheaper for everyone, there would be no fragmentation outside of gaming, and everyone would have the productivity apps like PDF reader, ODT editor, Web browser. All these apps are already written. They are free, stable, and they were running for years in GNU/Linux and *BSD.

I am disappointed in Nokia. I really, really like N900 but now I feel like I voted with my wallet and got bitch-slapped. I am seriously thinking about getting a tiny laptop with no Windows tax, a USB 3g (4g if later) adapter with open-source Linux drivers provided by manufacturer (yes, there are a bunch of them on the market), and ditching this whole cell-phone mess. And if you ever need to contact me, be it emergency, work, or leisure, write me a frigging email or join my XMPP server.

Re:How many can the market support? (1)

blacklint (985235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204758)

Do you really think that taking desktop apps and shoving the on a phone will make for a good user experience? What ODT editor - are you going to shove OpenOffice onto a 4 inch touchscreen and expect it to be usable? While a lot of the technical components are there in free software, that's not the hard part. The hard part is the user and interface design, and that's what the proprietary systems you are railing against get far closer to correct.

And for "sans a few kinks", you've heard "the last 10% is 90% of the work"? That's an understatement.

Re:How many can the market support? (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205106)

Do you really think that taking desktop apps and shoving the on a phone will make for a good user experience?

Yes. When I run LibreOffice on my phone, 800x480 screen, I find it quite usable. Which means that UI—in this case, the default LO UI designed for a big screen and a mouse—is not a problem. Hiding the menu and leaving a single toolbar will produce an office suite that is a pleasure to use on a small screen, as long as you have a real keyboard. I know why Word would be suboptimal: the ribbon would take half of the screen while keeping 75% of its buttons hidden. But it's hard for me to take your baseless criticism seriously while actually using LO on a phone. And if your phone does not have a real keyboard or does not respond to a stylus, I am sorry, you've been had.

"the last 10% is 90% of the work"

Not in this case. The audio works, it's just glitchy in certain configurations, nothing a hardware testing department cannot solve. X may be monstrous in principle and a resource hog, but it manages to work on phones made in 2009, and Wayland already has a demo implementation and support from Canonical and Intel, among others. It really is a few kinks, and they only really matter if you want to play Angry Birds. And again, I don't give a shit about games. They are ruled by the same principles as fashion. The bulk of them will forever remain proprietary, with deep trench lines dividing the market. That granted, I refuse to accept a rod up my ass (even if it belongs to Steve Jobs, that sexy devil) when all I want is a very compact computer with wireless Internet.

How many API? (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204200)

Several operating systems, plus a few additional API which seek to be cross platform. At a minimum, Adobe Flash, Oracle/Sun JavaFX [javafx.com] , and presumably Microsoft Silverlight have aspirations of that sort, adding 3 additional API to the mix.

Not sure why anyone would expect different (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203670)

Is there anyone out there that really expected Intel to publicly say "Well, we lost Nokia--so we've decided to fold up MeeGo"?

Re:Not sure why anyone would expect different (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203738)

I did. I expected them to walk away from it and leave it to the open-source community. But then, Nokia isn't all that big a deal any more. It's not small, but it's no longer the pac-man portion of the pie chart in handheld sales. So not having Nokia simply isn't as big a difference to Intel's plans as perhaps we were thinking.

Re:Not sure why anyone would expect different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204208)

Loosing Nokia hurts as they're still a big manufacturer (despite their declining market share) that has a lot of brand loyalty. There were also quite friendly towards open source development and had sunk in a lot of money to work on Qt. Even so, Intel can't walk away because they were going to use MeeGo as a way to start selling their x86 alternative to ARM chips for phones. Intel probably isn't interested in throwing away all of the investments they've made to compete against ARM. They're looking at the phone and tablet space and selling a new market that's growing at a rapid pace and they're also seeing that none of those devices are using their chips. They want a piece of that market for sure. If they have to dump a billion dollars into developing MeeGo and getting manufacturers to start using their chips, they'll do it.

Even if the tablet revolution isn't the future of computing, Intel would rather prefer to hedge their bets so that either way they're still selling CPUs. Failing to keep up with the changing times is what's landed companies like Nokia and Microsoft in trouble. Intel doesn't want to face a future where they're not the dominant player. MeeGo is their ticket to getting Intel chips into phones and tablets. Not having Nokia probably sets them back several months. Maybe they saw the writing on the wall sooner and made contingency plans, but if this came as a surprise to them it's a pretty big deal.

Re:Not sure why anyone would expect different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204750)

Also, Intel has been developing this for four years now, and the Intel developers are very much committed to the project. The only thing worse than Nokia dropping out of this deal is the position Intel was in four years ago trying to get into this game. Now they have lots of good code and an idea of what to do with it.

MeeGo win (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203718)

Welp...Nokia's loss. If I were to seriously consider another phone other than my iPhone, it would be something running MeeGo. Real Linux ftw.

Re:MeeGo win (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203748)

Great now you just need to convince 99% of the population that real Linux is a selling point.

Re:MeeGo win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203854)

How about: your data won't be captive to an "ecosystem".

Re:MeeGo win (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204374)

your data won't be captive to an "ecosystem".

That phrase barely makes sense to programmers here. It will make no sense at all to non-geeks.
To most people out there, an "ecosystem" is something like they have seen on Discovery. It is sunny,hot, green and has a lot of insects. WTF has that got to do with a phone?
I know the difference, but I work/play/dream in IT...

You could try "your stuff won't be held by a large corporation". That might get some reaction, but mostly from people who have android already. The rest don't even care about that. They just want something shinyer than what their friends have.

Re:MeeGo win (1)

randallman (605329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203946)

Not 99%. You don't need to dominate the market to make a profit. That's Microsoft's way of thinking. You need just enough for a market niche. I for one bought an N800 and N900 and will buy the next device that grants the same level of freedom and functionality.

Re:MeeGo win (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204030)

It would be interesting to know how successful N900 was financially. It truly was a niche phone for geeks, but whether that niche is worth targeting for a commercial manufacturer is, IMO, unclear.

Re:MeeGo win (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204870)

Then get into Android. It's the only viable option at this point that gets close to your goals. The world isn't perfect so waiting for perfect is just wasting precious years off your life, and missing opportunities.

Re:MeeGo win (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203962)

Oddly enough, I am having more and more folks ask me if I can teach them how to use Linux as an OS desktop these days. Folks seem to be pretty pissed off at Apple and MS. Just a trend I noticed.

Defection? Nobody told me. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203770)

I'm a Nokia employee working at MeeGo now, after last Friday's announcement almost like before. No, I'm not being fired, and none of the important projects have even been cancelled yet (some obviously untenable gunk is being descoped; good riddance). You'd have to wait a bit longer to see the "defection", I suspect.

Re:Defection? Nobody told me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204670)

I think you misspelled defecate.

When did Nokia ABANDON MeeGo? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203910)

Did I miss something that flies completely in the face of stated facts? When did Nokia 'ABANDON' MeeGo?
Can't we get an article written by someone who's not a complete moron? Thanks!

Re:When did Nokia ABANDON MeeGo? (0)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204230)

Well, Nokia abandoned MeeGo yesterday, when they WHOLESALE ADOPTED MICROSOFT WINDOWS PHONE 7 AS THEIR SINGLE OS STRATEGY, PHASING OUT EVEN SYMBIAN WHICH CURRENTLY GENERATES MOST OF THEIR REVENUE. Can we please get some Slashdot users how are not complete morons?

Nokia has lost its shit. (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203922)

The board member who said Nokia using Android was like a finish boy pissing in his pants proved that they have no concept of what is going on in the business considering MeeGo is hard to distinguish from Android from a board level view. Then they find religion, realize they are producing last generation crap, and then proceed to stick their head completely up their own ass by adopting a Windows platform. Following the pee in the pants logic somehow it is better to have Balmer piss in your mouth for a licensing fee, wtf?

Nokia makes great hardware, I love my e70, e71, & e61. The n97 is a crapfest of biblical proportions, no one at Nokia used it ever before it shipped. It takes me 6 taps to call a person back if I use the touch screen. 6 fucking taps. In addition it doesn't automatically call back the number that called you. They have an alphanumeric keypad for SMS (on a qwerty phone) but don't for the dialer; want to call 1-800-Nokiablablabla? Too fucking bad, like it would help anyway they have one fucking service center for the entire US. Btw the hardware division has carte blanch over software... needs 22.6 MB for a app? Too bad you are only getting what hardware thinks you need. See n97 again.

Drink the Android coolaid you stupid prats, next stop is I short your god damn stock.

Wintelkia (1)

slonik (108174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203942)

Can three turkeys make and eagle?
I will not be surprised that in few months from now a triumvirate of Microsoft, Intel and Nokia emerge as a consortium to push Nokia made mobile devices with Intel mobile chips running MS software. Entirely possible...

Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (3, Interesting)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203970)

[the original article wonders why intel hasn't broken into the mobile space, successfully]

Intel's flagship CPU design consumes far too much power, and that really is the end of the matter. I really don't understand why people don't understand this.

The entire x86 architecture is optimised for speed and low latency, whereas ARM processors are optimised for low power, trading that low power for higher latency.

The interesting thing is that the latency trade-offs made in ARM (and MIPS) processor designs becomes... very much less relevant as the CPU geometries go down. 28nm means that ARM CPUs can easily run at 2.5ghz, and MIPS CPUs at somewhere around 2ghz. Combine these CPUs with modern 1066 DDR3 RAM i find it difficult to see how Intel and AMD, with their highly speed-optimised - and bloated - CISC architectures can beat the price-performance and performance-per-watt metrics in the all-important "good enough for most people" bracket.

Sure Intel and AMD's offerings will always be "fastest", but do you really need a Six or Eight Core 4ghz CPU costing $1000 to do a few emails, when a $7 750mhz Dual-Core MIPS will do the exact same job?

So right now, we're witnessing a series of "ship-jumping" moves - the blind leading the blind - in desperate bids to stay afloat, where the sensible companies are sticking with Free Software OSes, based around the Linux Kernel, because it's Free Software and the Linux Kernel that can run on absolutely any platform, and Windows simply can't.

Microsoft cut off the DEC Alpha, PowerPC and MIPS platforms, over 15 years ago in order for Windows NT to compete internally with Windows 95; now they're paying the price and they're going to take down with them anyone else who clings to their coat-tails.

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204372)

Dear Grandpa,

Neither Intel nor AMD have made CISC CPUs in the last 15 years.

Signed,
The Present

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204662)

Really? They reduced the instruction set?

No, they didn't. They messed with the internals. It's not the same thing.

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204830)

They didn't adopt a reduced instruction set, but they engineered their chips beyond the polarized RISC/CISC world of the 1990s and earlier.

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204630)

Sure Intel and AMD's offerings will always be "fastest", but do you really need a Six or Eight Core 4ghz CPU costing $1000 to do a few emails, when a $7 750mhz Dual-Core MIPS will do the exact same job?

Occasionally I visit a tech website that insists on using flash advertisements. With only 1 browser window, I regularly see 100+% of a core2duo core being used by flash. As long as web designers think a 40x400 banner image of a person standing next to a company logo needs to be a flash animation, people will continue to need six or eight core 4ghz CPUs just to get by. Sure, I know how to install AdBlock or Click2Flash or go into the Chrome Task Manager and get rid of the flash, but my mom (who buys those one-page Word or Excel cheat-sheets) still has a work pc that a) she needs to be able to use and b) she can't install stuff on. Thus, a multicore ridiculous-ghz machine...

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204712)

The entire x86 architecture is optimised for speed and low latency

x86 isn't optimized for anything, it's a huge behemoth dragging around an ancient design to do things that it isn't designed to do. Modern x86 chips require lots of silicon real estate to be able to hack the x86 ISA around a CPU design that is even remotely competitive in the speed department, and that makes them very power hungry (and not as fast as they could be). x86 CPUs aren't particularly good at things like context switching latency either. The only reason why they're the fastest CPUs on the market is because the market demands it, not because they're the right architecture for the job (and CISC is a joke, x86 CPUs just convert CISC to RISC internally anyway).

OTOH, it is true that ARM is mostly optimized for low power and not speed (though recent ARM CPUs are doing a decent job at squeezing decent performance out of the architecture), but if you want an ISA that is properly optimized for performance (while, incidentally, still scaling down to reasonably low power versions), look at PowerPC. It's a shame that the market has decided that there's no place for it in the desktop area, otherwise we'd be able to see some pretty nice PPC CPUs.

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (1)

omb (759389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204784)

That is part of the story, but it isn't all, to have multi-device-homed code you need to get all the BIG/LITTLE 16/32/64 ILP bugs out of your code, and that takes a long time, but both WNT and Linux are very modular with respect to architecture and tool chain, so that is not a lot of work.

SMP, Power Management, Work Queues and managing applications so the dont/cant kill the battery is hard, isolating the network and telephony is also easy.

As usual M$ will not be held back by basics but by sloth, lack of insight and perenially bad management.

Too little, too late, feature incomplete ... EPIC FAIL! But I suspect the astroturfers, pumpers and Useful Idiots to be out in force.

Re:Intel CPUs not in the mobile space because... (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205104)

Your comments about "just checking e-mail" is a bit of a canard when discussing CPU power, it no longer means what you imply it to mean. For me "just checking my e-mail" means downloading several megabytes of data from an IMAP server, sorting it into appropriate folders, and then updating some form of in-memory list of messages that my Smart Mailbox rules sort further to display some items on screen. When I select one of those messages a whole window on an accelerated surface is created, sometimes an HTML DOM is parsed paginated and displayed, and the content of the e-mail finally shows up on my screen. All this happens fairly quickly on my hyper-threaded quad-core 2.8GHz CPU with plenty of overhead available for other tasks I'm doing at the same time as "checking my e-mail". My CPU would be doing even more work if I was logged into GMail where my browser is JIT compiling JavaScript and fooling around with an expressive and large HTML DOM on top of communicating back and forth with the server.

It's not the checking e-mail isn't a relatively basic conceptual task it's that the process has expanded to cover a lot of functions that didn't really exist fifteen years ago (a time when e-mail was a new thing to most people). My e-mail client probably does more database style operations than most websites did fifteen years ago. Even the relatively lightweight e-mail client on my iPhone does more work checking my e-mail than what would have been a fully featured e-mail client in 1996. While a low power CPU might be fine if all I did at any given time was check an read e-mail I'd be alright but browsing the modern web, listening to music, and doing other stuff while simultaneously checking e-mail requires a bit more power; especially if I don't want any of those things to stutter or run into other problems.

MeeGo? More like MeeKrob (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204102)

I'd eat a whole wet bucket of shit before I eat another plate of Mee Krob.

not just a bad decision... it's an implosion. (4, Insightful)

xeno (2667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204280)

The news is sad. I was stunned at what an amazingly powerful-yet-friendly platform Maemo is, and had high hopes for new Nokia N900-like devices running MeeGo in 2011-12. Instead, it looks like Nokia will be shoveling out devices running some zune-based drm-laden insecure crapware from Redmond. They're not getting my money to be sure, but the big picture is sad.

Let's see the sequence:
- Nokia picks up some executive deadweight cast off from Microsoft.
- He steers Nokia to buying shiny-but-slow crap from his former employer.
- He also dumps Nokia's Linux-based collaboration projects. (Maybe Elop's just a mole, and this was his main task?)
- Nokia commits to releasing the massively-processor-heavy WinMo7 OS on cheaper hardware for developing markets. (**HTC snickers and says "Good luck with that, sucker!!! **)
- Nokia investors recoil. The stock price drops... and keeps dropping.
- Customers shrug.
- Nokia employees assume this is a tacit admission that the company is going bankrupt.
- The employees' Union asks about severance packages.
- Nokia runs more ads for Symbian*3 on the N9... as if the higher-end N900 and its OS never existed.
- Nokia can't easily retreat, having crossed/burned/blown up it's Linux/Maemo/MeeGo/Android-related bridges.

Summary: Burned bridges, impossible commitments, angry employees, a doofus CEO, declining revenues, bewildered customers, a weak economy, and it just got in bed with a company that eats its partners after mating.

This isn't just a bad decision, it's an implosion.

-x

It's worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204508)

MS is also trying to buy market share here. (Which they also tried in the game controller market)
Their mobile OS tanked on launch, so this is how they plan to pick it up.

Alas, Nokia shone in the low end of the market - which is going to get eaten by the features from high end phones trickling down and that end of the phone market is unlikely to stand the bloat and margins MS's OS will demand.
So Nokia is still trying to move into the high end of the market where they were unsuccessful - now with the added deadweight of an "already losing" OS.

Best guess, Nokia dead in 3, MS burns billions trying to buy share, maybe they'll be as successful as in the games market - where AFAIK they still burn money every year - but I suspect we'll see the same pattern of the good developers heading for the horizon every time MS buys more "share" - followed by the acquired company rapidly shrinking and MS "share" barely keeping up.

Incredible (in the "lacks credibility" sense) (2)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204648)

Wow... you planning on starting a garden, or do you really just love tossing manure around?

Zune is one of many parts of WP7, but "zune-based" is completely inaccurate.

WP7 can play streaming music, which for legal reasons MS can only provide DRMed (though you can also download DRM-free MP3s, and play them / copy them between PCs). I suppose you think any system that has any form of DRM at all is "drm-laden" though... I hope you never buy commercial DVDs.

Anything you can point to that justifies calling the man a "deadweight" executive? A good exec can do a lot for a company. If nothing else, he's frank and articulate, and doesn't try to conceal problems.

Of all the accusations you could level at WP7, you chose "slow" for some reason. That pretty much cripples your credibility. Why not complain about how it launched without HTML5 support, or some actually valid complaint? Running on identical hardware, WP7 performs better than Android (http://wmpoweruser.com/windows-phone-7-vs-android-gingerbread-on-the-htc-hd2/).

The N900 had some good things going on its software for a Linux handheld (bear in mind that the vast majority of the world has no interest in Linux, and neither Android nor WebOS make a big deal out of their choice of kernel in advertising). Its hardware was out of date two years ago, though. Slowish processor, low RAM, and for $DEITY's sake a resistive touchscreen... it was obsolete at release (late 2009).

You forgot two bullets (1)

hardaker (32597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204808)

Um, you forgot two lines:

- Nokia can't easily retreat, having crossed/burned/blown up it's Linux/Maemo/MeeGo/Android-related bridges.
- ?????
- Profit!!!

Excellent (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204338)

Now I just hope I can find a phone I can run it on. I'm not sure I like how Android works all that much.

great topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35204542)

really informative keep up the great blog

Network Effects and Brand Loyalty ? (1)

oldCoder (172195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204688)

Consumers buying desktops have brand loyalty to Windows because they know how to operate it. But they don't like it.
Those same consumers buying phones aren't going to jump in because the phone runs some version of Windows. So it's just a cost.

What MS might do well, though, is integrate the phone with their game platform, Xbox. But that's a marketing gamble. The biggest selling apps for smartphones are music/entertainment, and games. There's no platform loyalty there, and only a little game loyalty. No lock-in for developers or consumers. It will never be the cash cow that Office and Windows have been. Likewise with maps and directions based on GPS.

There's a high-price market for a PDA+phone that helps the busy people schedule, manage contacts, and shop, but outside that market, it's all very cost sensitive.

The way ears and fingers are constructed, there isn't much of a market for a phone with a full keyboard, splitting the market. And voice input is still not capable of bridging the gap.

I think in the long run, hardware costs will dominate, software features will converge thru imitation, and it's the wristwatch business all over again.

meego is just to late (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35204956)

meego is just linux with a nice ui. and ubuntu is entering the tablet market and it will pretty mutch crush meego no matter who is backing it. not to metion android aruldy dommanting it will be very hard for another os to enter the fry.
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