It was announced last month that Nokia and Intel were going on a joint venture to create an open-source Linux based mobile platform. This effort, dubbed “MeeGo”, would be a combination of Intel’s Moblin OS, shipped on various netbooks, and Nokia’s Maemo platform, at the heart of the N900 Phone. It is to be used on all sorts of products with both ARM and x86 architectures. By the end of this month, the companies hope to be able to release the source code to the public.
MeeGo is arguably the first truly open developed mobile OS. Intel and Nokia are asking the Linux Foundation to watch over the development process, in order to dispel worries of corporatism and encourage 3rd-party involvement. The first step will be to reconcile the differences between Moblin and Maemo. Fortunately, they both have the same technical core, but ideological differences on direction and methodology will need to be addressed before MeeGo has a shot of becoming a coherent platform.
Nokia plans on supporting N900 users to MeeGo, at least initially. This will allow a bounty of Linux enthusiasts to jump into the development cycle at the early stage. MeeGo will also stay in line with the fundamental Linux kernel build cycle, meaning it will eventually stand in stark contrast to Google’s Android platform. Android uses a heavily modified Linux kernel, and is showing signs of diverging from the development tree entirely.
There are other major differences between Android and MeeGo. Google, while making Android’s source code public, had a tightly closed development cycle, dumping onto developers massive amount of code with every release. Intel and Nokia seem to be taking the more traditional route of Linux development; like Canonical’s methodology with Ubuntu, they will try to get 3rd party involvement from Linux and MeeGo users to help direct efforts. Google now has real competition for the open source community’s blessing.
Via Ars Technica