A few days ago we reported that MeeGo's Head of Development, Sotiris Makrygiannis had announced that they would be parting ways with Nokia. This in all likelihood was due to the fact that in the recent past, Nokia has been focusing their resources on the Windows Phone platform and developing their handsets under the Lumia banner which consists of the Microsoft developed operating system. If you thought that this spelled the end of MeeGo, then you can guess again as a group of former Nokia employees along with enthusiasts of the MeeGo OS have recently announced that they have started a new company, Jolla, with the primary goal of bringing a MeeGo-powered smartphone to the market.
A new hope
Jolla is Finnish for rescue sail boat or dinghy, and is a reference to what they aim to bring to the table when they launch the MeeGo-based smartphone. This new startup is being led by Chief Operating Officer Marc Dillon and in a statement he says, “Jolla Ltd. is a Finland based smartphone company which continues the great work that Nokia started with MeeGo. The Jolla team is formed by directors and core professionals from Nokia's MeeGo N9 organization, together with some of the best minds working on MeeGo in the communities.” He went on to add, “Nokia created something wonderful - the world's best smartphone product. It deserves to be continued, and we will do that together with all the bright and gifted people contributing to the MeeGo success story.”
The statement with, “Together with international investors and partners, Jolla Ltd. will design, develop and sell new MeeGo based smartphones. The Jolla team consists of a substantial number of MeeGo's core engineers and directors, and is aggressively hiring the top MeeGo talent to contribute to the next generation smartphone production.”
The open source community was very excited when MeeGo was first announced in February 2010 by Intel and Nokia in a joint press conference. According to Intel, MeeGo was developed because Microsoft did not offer comprehensive Windows 7 support for the Atom processor. The MeeGo core operating system is a Linux distribution based on Intel’s Fedora-based Moblin and Nokia’s Debian-based Maemo. Though adored by a niche audience, MeeGo never saw much mainstream success, especially here in India where Nokia didn’t launch the N900.
The last phone to come out of Nokia's factories to run on MeeGo was the N9. After the release of the Windows Phone line-up, Nokia has backed off from efforts to revitalize MeeGo, focussing most of its resources instead on its new partnership with Microsoft.
Earlier this year when Stephen Elop was talking about why he chose Windows Phone 7 over Android, he did not say much about MeeGo. Intel might not be too surprised as they did feel that Nokia was the wrong partner. While speaking at a financial analysts' meet, Paul Otellini, CEO, Intel, said that going along with Nokia might have been the wrong step to take. Ever since Nokia dropped out of the MeeGo phone partnership, Intel has taken the design to other companies.
This is definitely some great news for MeeGo fans and we hope that this OS can have a substantial impact with their upcoming devices.