Today we are witnessing the death of another operating system that raised hopes of bringing a refreshing change to the handheld industry. After the sad handling of webOS at HP, we not have MeeGo undergone another transition. Industry insiders and observers already knew this was coming, Intel couldn’t manage to pull off MeeGo without a good hardware partner and in the last few months the momentum just drifted away. While the wordings used are carefully crafted to highlight that a new open source operating system ‘Tizen’ is making its way into the industry, we can safely assume that MeeGo is dead.
Headed by a technical steering team from Intel and Samsung along with the LiMO foundation, Tizen is a HTML5 centric operating system. In all probability Tizen, won’t work on the Qt platform that Symbian and MeeGo offered for app development. Intel however is said to be extending its AppUP store to support Tizen, but would developers take the trouble to port / redevelop their apps? Several questions about Tizen are currently unanswered, but the OS is a take on the future with the vision of HTML5 apps taking over the world prevailing. The OS is said to be targeted at phones, tablets, in-vehicle devices, smart TVs and other gadgets.
Just as the only MeeGo device we know (the Nokia N9) goes on sale in limited numbers, it becomes a collectors item right out of the box. This brings us to Nokia and MeeGo.
Nokia & MeeGo
The Nokia man behind MeeGo operating system Ari Jaaksi moved to WebOS, he spoke little about the reasons back then. But after Nokia’s move to go with Windows Phone 7, he spoke and revealed that ‘Nokia never wanted MeeGo to succeed’. Until the arrival of Stephen Elop, Nokia was all about Symbian, their concern was more to save Symbian than to explore a new operating system and that killed MeeGo. Yes MeeGo didn’t die, it was killed. Elop IMO did the right thing by abandoning MeeGo, Nokia has slept for a long time over it, for now, Samsung has another leg added to its ever growing list of smartphone OSes.
Tizen is expected to get its first built and a SDK out in Q1 2012. Devices should follow later in 2012, but is there space for another mobile OS? The top three spots are clearly headed to Android, iOS and Windows Phone, for Tizen to make a sizable impact, one would need someone more committed than Intel or Samsung, we sadly don’t see that happening.