Intel CEO Paul Otellini remains publicly upbeat about MeeGo's prospects, even after co-developer Nokia's recent deal to use Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 on its devices.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini put a brave face on prospects for
his company's MeeGo smartphone operating system, whose long-term fate seems
uncertain in the wake of Nokia embracing Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 as its
primary mobile software. Intel and Nokia had developed MeeGo hand-in-hand.
"I don't see that Nokia changing its strategy changes the
industry strategy," Otellini
at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "The
operators still look for an open, operator-friendly operating system."
That report also had Otellini saying he "understood" why
Nokia and Microsoft would enter into an agreement. Despite signing onto Windows
Phone 7 as its main platform, Nokia plans to release a mobile device running
MeeGo sometime this year
. For its part, Intel apparently has MeeGo-loaded
tablets in the works, along with smartphones, but the exact launch date for
those devices remains uniformly unclear.
Other companies and carriers continue to participate with
Intel in MeeGo's development, including Advanced Micro Devices, Texas
Instruments, ST-Ericsson, Novell, Sprint and Telefonica.
MeeGo made its original debut at Mobile World Congress in
2010, but Intel waited nine months before bringing AppUp, the
platform's application store, out of beta. The interface divides
touch-activated vertical columns loaded with the user's videos, music,
and the like.
In the meantime, the agreement between Microsoft and Nokia
promises to radically alter the mobile landscape in coming years, although
analysts seem in general agreement that the two companies need to move quickly
in putting Windows Phone 7 devices on the market.
"With the Microosft deal unlikely to yield any products for
nearly one year, Nokia will have no choice except to remain awkwardly reliant
on the Symbian and MeeGo platforms in 2011," William
Kidd, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, wrote in a Feb. 14 research note.
"This will have further negative impact on Nokia's already-eroding position in
Concept images of Nokia-built Windows Phone 7 devices are
drifting around Websites such as Winrumors
The devices' sleek bodies seem tailored as a response to high-end smartphones
such as the iPhone and Motorola Droid franchise. Whether those designs
correspond with a final product remains a question that may not be answered
until 2012, however.
Nokia's agreement with Microsoft could help the latter
penetrate the international markets where the former maintains a strong
presence. That being said, Nokia's placement as dead-last among top mobile
OEMs, according to the latest data from research firm comScore, suggests the
deal may have less impact on the U.S. market.
With or without Nokia's support, MeeGo faces substantial
competition from the likes of Google Android, Apple's iOS, Windows Phone 7, and
Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise and PlayBook tablet.