Intel made loud overtures in support of MeeGo at Mobile World Congress, getting Toshiba, Fujitsu, Asus and Acer to stand behind the OS, despite Nokia's defection.
standing behind MeeGo, the mobile operating system on which it had been
collaborating with Nokia for a year, despite Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's Feb. 11 announcement
that the phone maker has
shifted its primary focus from MeeGo to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.
disappointed at Nokia but life goes on," Renee James, senior vice president and
general manger of Intel's software and services group, said during a Feb. 14
press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to ComputerWorld
Intel, James said, a number of companies and operators are still excited about
the MeeGo platform and are participating in its development-including Intel
rival Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments, ST-Ericsson and Novell, and
carriers Wind River, Orange, Telefonica and Sprint.
expects to see MeeGo-running tablets begin shipping this year, followed by
At the show,
Intel showed off MeeGo's user interface on a tablet. The UI is unique, Intel
explains in a video demo of the OS
, in that "it puts the
person using the device, and their content, at the center of the user
experience, making that experience truly personal."
is broken up into columns-titled "Friends," "Music," "Photos," etc.-that a user
can pan across or scroll down individually. The arrangement of the information
within each column also varies, depending on the type of content-photos vs.
videos, say-in a way that's optimally efficient for the user to interact
At the press
event, ComputerWorld reported, James said that Intel has hopes of slipping into
third place behind Apple and Android, which admittedly already has quite a
during the press event, an executive from Orange emphasized the carrier's support
for MeeGo, explaining, according to the report, that it first got behind MeeGo
because "this industry needed a truly open ecosystem providing a level field
for all players. That need is still there."
The remark is
perhaps a knock against Android, which despite being open source is still
rather exclusively developed by Google.
industrywide enthusiasm, the launch of MeeGo has been a slow one. After
introducing the platform at the 2010 Mobile World Congress event, it took Intel
nine months to offer a non-beta version of its application store for the OS,
It was introduced in September 2010, and Intel
combined it with its Atom Developer Program, saying the two were complementary.
AppUp can be accessed via the Websites of U.S. retailer Best Buy, U.K. retailer
Dixons, and Croma, in India. Intel also announced at the time that the application
store would start shipping on every Asus netbook as of October, and later on
netbooks from Samsung.
A number of
the applications-there were 800, as of the store's September launch-are free,
and the paid applications come with a 24-hour try-and-buy offer.
not focusing on MeeGo, still plans to ship a MeeGo phone in 2011, and in a Feb.
14 press statement, Intel insisted that "attendees at this year's Mobile World
Congress will see MeeGo-based products and technologies that are now available
and others that will soon make their way into the marketplace."
will be a MeeGo-based Fujitsu notebook, headed for the Asia-Pacific region, an
Asus MeeGo-based netbook scheduled to ship during the second quarter, and
several Acer devices set to launch during the third quarter.
Generation Store, Alive, will include Intel AppUp center and will soon be
available on MeeGo-based mobile devices to enable a mobile lifestyle," Acer CEO
Gianfranco Lanci said in the statement. "MeeGo's open software stack will
present our consumers with another choice of a user-friendly, easy-to-use
statement, Toshiba Chief Marketing Officer Hidehito Murato also added his
support for MeeGo, saying that its "open, flexible" environment was creating
rich, future opportunities. Fujitsu Vice President Lim Tech Sin similarly
backed the platform, saying that Fujitsu's MeeGo-running netbook "transcends
boundaries" and "serves as a the new standard for tomorrow's computing experience."