updated 10:25 pm EDT, Thu September 1, 2011
Intel may freeze MeeGo in favor of Android, WP7
Intel may be putting a halt to work on MeeGo after getting little to no takeup from partners, industry rumors maintained late Thursday. With Nokia backing away outside of phones like the N9 and very few using MeeGo for tablets, Intel was reportedly looking to at least temporarily shut down work on its in-house OS for 2012. Instead, it would put its fledgling smartphone work into Android and, according to Digitimes, possibly Windows Phone.
Windows Phone currently only runs on ARM processors and might call into question at least that part of the rumor. Microsoft has chassis guidelines around what WP7 partners are allowed to use and so far demands not just ARM but a Qualcomm Snapdragon. It would have to be ported to Intel to work, although the frequently intimate alliance between Microsoft and Intel might raise the possibility.
Intel hadn't commented on the assertions as of Thursday night.
Regardless of which platforms Intel would support in this view, an exit from Intel itself would all but finish off MeeGo. Nokia, half of the OS partnership, said in moving primarily to Windows Phone that it planned virtually no MeeGo support after the N9. Intel pledged to carry on at the time but, if it dropped its own work, could let MeeGo lag irrevocably behind other platforms.
Intel and Nokia had developed MeeGo as an attempt to get a modern, mobile-optimized OS that could scale on everything from phones through to netbooks and tablets. Repeated delays, cancelled hardware projects, and Intel's problems getting a truly mobile chipset completed have let Android and iOS virtually take over the markets for phones and tablets. The chip designer has had very little success in software over its history and has had trouble getting adoption both for work on Linux-based devices as well as its AppUp Center store for computers.