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MWC 2010: Intel & Nokia Merge OS-Meego; Symbian^3 Devices In Q3

Intel & Nokia Merge OSs To Create MeeGo; Developers Not Impressed

Born of the union of 2 Linux based platforms – Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo – is the MeeGo, an open source operating system. Thankfully, they didn’t try to marry the names: Mablin or Moemo! MeeGo is expected to be ready by Q2, 2010 and we will actually see it in devices later this year.

The good thing here is that developers having to conform to one operating system less. Devices running MeeGo will be able to access both Nokia’s Ovi Store and Intel’s AppUp Centre. Application developers are being given the Qt development environment to create apps which they can market on either storefront.

MeeGo will run on all sorts of devices – not just mobiles and computers. What the two companies are talking about is it being the OS for netbooks, tablet PCs, and even next generation TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Watch a video of the announcement here.

The firms have pledged support for developers at their forums – Forum Nokia and the Intel Atom Developer Program. But developers do not seem to be very happy with MeeGo: comments on its website include one that says “This must be a joke, right?” and another which demands to know, “where is the example to show Meego power or benefits? what is new in Meego and what is the advantage over other platforms?”

Symbian^3 To Be On Devices In Q3

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The Symbian Foundation launched Symbian^3  an entirely open source platform. As of February 4, 2010, Symbian Foundation converted the platform to an open source license. It doesnt look like much from the screenshots, but to be fair it is not completed yet.  S^3 is expected to be “feature complete” by the end of Q1. The company claims some major upgrades have been made to the OS and they do sound good:

  • HDMI support (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) which enables users to plug their phone into a TV and watch a high-definition movie at 1080p quality without a Blu-ray player.
  • Music store integration embedded within the radio enables users to identify a song and learn more about it. The addition of a “buy now” button, which links with the user’s chosen music store, makes purchasing easy.
  • More efficient memory management and the ability to run even more applications simultaneously
  • A new 2D and 3D graphics architecture delivers a faster and more responsive user interface. Combined with industry-standard OpenGL ES, the new architecture also claims to be better for high performance gaming.
  • The networking architecture is 4G ready and supports more network-dependent applications and Internet services like VoIP and media content streaming.
  • One-click connectivity for all applications greatly simplifies the process of connecting to the Internet, without interrupting the user.
  • New global settings allow the user to configure platform-wide behaviour, for example ensuring the device automatically switches from cellular to WLAN when a free WLAN network is available.
  • Usability enhancements such as a direct single tap and gestures such as “pinch-to-zoom” have been enabled.
  • The Homescreen supports multiple pages of widgets and a simple flick gesture to move between them.

Lee M. Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation, said, “Now that it is fully open source, the door is open to individual contributors, device creators and third-party developer companies, as well as other organizations, to create more compelling products and services than ever before. We are now looking to build on this momentum and remain on course to complete S^4 later this year.” The developer experience has been greatly improved, the company claims.


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