By Cara Garretson
Intel and Nokia announced Monday that they plan to create a new mobile software platform by combining features of their existing open-source offerings.
Named MeeGo, the new mobile OS will be based on Linux and draws components from Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo mobile software platforms, according to officials with the two companies. MeeGo will include portions of Moblin's core OS and user experience, and Nokia's Qt application development environment.
MeeGo, slated for release during the second quarter of this year, will run on a range of devices including "pocketable" mobile PCs, netbooks, tablets, smart phones, televisions, and in-vehicle infotainment systems. The companies said devices running MeeGo -- including at least one from Nokia -- will launch later in the year.
"Our vision for seamlessly communicating between computing devices from the home, auto, office or your pocket is taking a big step forward today with the introduction of MeeGo," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, in a statement. "This is a foundational step in our evolving relationship with Nokia. The merging of these two important assets into an open source platform is critical toward providing a terrific experience across a variety of devices and gaining cross- industry support."
MeeGo will run on devices that use Intel/Atom and ARM architectures. Since it's an open-source project, not a product, "the community can choose the architecture direction and port the project to additional architectures," says the MeeGo Web site.
The new mobile platform will support all relevant Internet standards and will feature an easy-to-use, flexible interface for users, with a focus on graphically oriented applications, say the companies.
The inclusion of Nokia's Qt development environment will allow developers to write a mobile application once and deploy them on MeeGo as well as on other mobile platforms, such as those that run the Symbian OS, officials said. Since MeeGo programs will run on different device types, users can take their MeeGo applications with them when they change from one hardware manufacturer to another or to a different device type.
The MeeGo SDK will offer a set of consistent, cross-platform APIs, allowing for most MeeGo development to be done on a Linux, Windows, or Mac computer, says the Web site.
Developer support will be provided by Forum Nokia, and MeeGo applications will be sold through Nokia's Ovi Store for Nokia devices. Intel will sell MeeGo applications for Intel-based devices through the Intel AppUp Center and will support developers of MeeGo programs through its Atom Developer Program, according to the companies.
The Linux Foundation will host MeeGo as an open-source project, and will encourage best practices in open-source development, say company officials. Intel and Nokia are encouraging developers in their Moblin and Maemo development communities to join the new community found at MeeGo.com -- although MeeGo officials warn that the Web site is still evolving, and some pages are under construction.
The companies plan to begin releasing MeeGo source code to developers within the next few weeks.
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