back to article Nokia touted Meego to rivals, but nobody wanted to know

Nokia touted its former "platform of the future" Meego to industry rivals, but was rebuffed, chief executive Stephen Elop said. "We discussed Meego with HTC, RIM, Samsung, LG, and Motorola. One manufacturer was fairly interested in Meego and the others have their own plans, and they were not particularly interested in Meego. …


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  1. petur
    Dead Vulture

    A bit harsh on maemo/meego

    I still think it is the only true open alternative to the java crap and windows bloat. Not considering the Apple lock-in.

    And maemo and meego are not the same thing, like the article implies. Meego is the merger of maemo and moblin.

    Anyway, I like maemo a lot on my n900, and if Nokia considers one meego product like they said they would, I might even consider buying it.

  2. James 51

    Maego on N900

    There s a community effort to get meego to work on the N900. Last time I checked there was a developer edition for the brave/fool-hardy to try at their own risk.

    1. Neil Hoskins
      Thumb Down

      Don't do it

      I did. It's crap. It can make phone calls and the photo viewer is almost finished. That's it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Says the disinterested reporter

    Who would trust anything Elop says when his agenda is so obvious?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The future of MeeGo

    MeeGo will have more of a future outside Nokia than with Nokia's involvement, mostly because when Elop says that Nokia discussed collaboration with various other companies, what he probably means is that Nokia tried to strongarm them into accepting all kinds of other conditions - perversely, just like the Microsoft/Nokia deal, presumably with stuff like "you can't ship Android if you sign up to this" - because that's the kind of anticompetitive boardroom backslapping mentality that Elop and pals have.

    1. Neil 7


      MeeGo (as run by the Linux Foundation consortium) will be much better off once Nokia are no longer involved.

      They scared off and ultimately screwed up Symbian/Symbian Foundation by being the big-i-am, and the vendors they allegedly offered MeeGo to were almost certainly aware of this history and unwilling to go through it again.

      I wouldn't be surprised if there is a lot more interest in MeeGo from some of these competitors once Nokia are no longer on the scene and muddying the waters. They know it's going to happen, it's just a matter of when.

      The sooner it happens the better - Nokia are now just stinking up the joint and causing more harm to MeeGo than good through their continued toxic association.

  5. Neil Hoskins

    "...Maemo (as Meego was then known)..."

    Not really. They're very different entities, as you then go on to say. Maemo was a terrific OS and UI, and just about ready for the mass market. Meego is an embryonic PoS that's not even worthy of being called an "alpha".

    There are two things I'll never forgive Nokia for. One is chucking Maemo in the bin, and the other is their failure to develop a decent UI for Symbian until it was too late.

  6. OkKTY8KK5U

    I'm not sure it's a dream, exactly

    As far as I can determine, Nokia has actually been Dilbert's company for years. Nokia appears to have a great deal of true brilliance on board, and it was run into the ground by boneheaded management. Which has made me very sad, as an N810 and N900 user, also for years. I don't anticipate ever finding a real replacement for my N900 now...

    1. GregC

      "I don't anticipate ever finding a real replacement for my N900 now..."

      This. There isn't a phone on the market that I have seen that could completely replace my N900. The closest I've seen is the Desire Z, and it's missing at least one feature that I use a lot in the FM transmitter.

      1. Raz


        I had an N900. Great hardware, but I had to let it go because it could not do a basic thing: connect to an Exchange 2003 server. So I could not use it for email. I tried other email clients, but they were designed for Linux, not Maemo, and were not easy to use.

        So I had to let it go and I ended up with what you say, a Desire Z (in the shape of a T-Mobile G2), and I am very happy with it. As much as I dislike Google, at least I get my emails...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You aren't the only one.

      I'm tempted to stock up on spare n900s.

  7. Herer

    I will long lament

    .. N's decision to rip up what they were doing and just go to m$. I maintain the fact elop is a m$ stooge and does not have the Finnish company values at heart. Hard to innovate in the suffocating world of wp7.

    1. Quxy


      Regardless of whether Elop is a MS stooge or not, innovation is explicitly NOT part of his roadmap for the company. His charter is increasing market share and revenue, and he'll gut R&D if that's what it takes. It's hard to guess where Nokia will be in four years, but we can be pretty sure that the technical innovation that was once the hallmark of the company is now gone forever.

      1. Doug 3

        who's market share is Elop trying to increase?

        "His charter is increasing market share and revenue..." I think you got the first part correct and that's it _and_ that market share increase he's aiming at is Microsoft Windows Phone OS market share. As for Nokia surviving this play to help Microsoft, the prognosis isn't looking good.

  8. Anomalous Cowlard


    ... going with Maemo/Meego would have been following Apple's lead here: take an established platform and whip up a UI layer on top of it like Apple did with BSD. Failing that, gang up with Google for a similar outcome where the option of going your own way would have existed if for no other end but to keep the partnership equal. But no, instead, insist on being locked-in on a the newest incarnation of an unproven platform with a solid track record of fail.

    1. dogged

      enlighten me

      What "track record of fail", exactly?

      I mean, if WMx is the "platform" that WP7 is the "latest incarnation" of, then it's hardly "unproven", is it?

      If it's not where is this "fail" you refer to? Seventeen Samsung handsets that had been too fucked about with to update properly? Is that what you're referring to?

      Or are you just being Yet Another Anything But Microsoft Troll™?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: enlighten me

        "What "track record of fail", exactly? I mean, if WMx is the "platform" that WP7 is the "latest incarnation" of, then it's hardly "unproven", is it?"

        Maybe not, but it is "fail". Actually, it's unproven because they've reworked the Windows Mobile stuff to try and make it hip, throwing stuff overboard and forcing people to use various technologies that they'd probably rather not touch. (Pity the Nokia/Accenture people now having this thrown onto their laps.) However, if they've retained some of the archaic and generally shitty aspects of the Windows embedded operating systems, the "proven" stuff only adds to the liability.

        Consider yourself enlightened.

  9. ttuk
    Thumb Down

    kind of wish it had took off

    If some of the bugs could have been ironed out, moblin was far and away a very sleek and fast distro for netbooks.. It ran like lightning on my aspire one, and booted in about 5 seconds.. just a shame it was a bit buggy and installing mp3 codecs and so on was a real pain in the neck..

  10. Sonny Jim
    Thumb Up

    RIP N900

    For all it's failings (and lets face it, most smartphones are more unreliable than the old Nokia bricks), I <3 my N900.

    It's slow, expensive, bulky, the battery life sucks, there's issues with the charging connector breaking, it's not multitouch, the screen cover scratches easily, trying to build a playlist in the media player can only be described as a sadomasochistic event, the battery indicator no longer works, there's no HD output, the headphone output is deliberately limited so it's not line level, the Ovi app store is a joke, the GPS takes ages to lock on, there's no developer support, you can't send or receive picture messages (yes, believe it or not, out of the box MMS isn't supported)....

    erm, I could go on, but I won't. The reason I <3 it is because:

    Aircrack-ng + Kismet + Nmap + Hostap + waiting for a bus/plane to turn up = WIN

    TV-Out + Bluetoothed PS3 controller + PSX/SNES/Megadrive/MAME = WIN

    SMSCon (find my phone when someone nicks it = WIN (Yes, it does work, see the forum for sucessful 'finds').

    and finally:


    I'd dearly love to find a replacement but I think I'll be holding on to it for a while longer, at least until the battery dies again.....

    1. petur

      RE: RIP N900 (Sonny Jim)

      Sorry that I do not agree with you:

      - It's slow: no it isn't, and certainly not if overclocked :)

      - expensive: just because you could only buy it separate, and not in a plan? Compared to others, the price is OK. And now it has gotten even cheap!

      - bulky: maybe, yes...

      - battery life sucks: mine works at least as long as the android phones of some co-workers, meaning 2 days average use or 1 day heavy use. And you can always get a better battery!

      - charging connector breaking: that was a problem of a specific production batch, and is repaired under warranty

      - it's not multitouch: so f*cking what? The interface doesn't need it, and neither do I. And I love that look on the faces of 'capacitive' users when I pick the stylus and make them a drawing :)

      - screen cover scratches easily: Brando sells affordable and very durable screen protectors. Bought mine before the phone arrived.

      - playlist: install Rockbox or any other media player :)

      - battery indicator no longer works: do not generalise ytour specific problems. Works fine for everybody else

      - no HD output: who needs that?

      - headphone output: signal is good enough for whatever I attach to it.

      - Ovi app store: what's OVI store? Oh, did you see all those repositories full of apps?

      - GPS takes ages to lock on: only when no internet connection is available, otherwise it locks within 5 seconds.

      - no developer support: What's that whole development environment they offer then?

      - can't send or receive picture messages: MMS was DOA. You can share images using many services (e-mail, picasa, flicr,....). MMS is expensive crap, never should have been invented.


      1. Sonny Jim

        RE: RIP N900 (Sonny Jim)

        Fanbois much? I think you missed the point where I said I really do *like* the phone, I was just pointing out it's failings:

        > battery life sucks: mine works at least as long as the android phones of some co-workers

        Yes, but how many 'tweaks' have you done to get it to the same performance level, like bigger batteries, turning off wifi and the various software tweaks. And I'm not 'generalising my specific problem":

        The point I was trying to make about the Ovi store and developer support is the fact if you look at the Android and iPhone stores, just look how many quality apps from known companies you can PAY for if you want to, not apt-get'ing some alpha software from a repo. Nokia did it's best to be completely unhelpful to it's developers, Smoku produced some great software for the N900 and this is what they have to say about Ovi:

        >GPS takes ages to lock on: only when no internet connection is available

        So, if I'm in a middle of a field and want to use my GPS (and don't want to spend bucks on 3G data), what happens then? Oh yeah, that's right, I just walk to where there is an internet connection. Because whenever I use GPS I'm nearly always near an internet connection. Other devices use the GPS information sent by the Cell towers, why can't the N900 do this instead?

        >Headphone output

        If you look into it, you'll find that whenever the N900 has anything plugged into it's headphone output, it deliberately limits the volume (to save damaging your ears). The problem with this is that it's not 0.7Vpp (ie standard line level), meaning you have to overdrive the input stage of the amplifier it's plugged into, causing distortion. But of course, you knew this already, because you have no problems, therefore none exist.

        >MMS is expensive crap

        Unfortunately it's the method that 90% of people use to send images between phones and for a $400 phone you'd expect it to support something out the box that most phones could do 10 years ago.

        And it is slow, try not reflashing it every 2 months and you'll see what I mean. Once the various databases start to get filled (conversations, call log, autocomplete etc) it starts to crawl along.

        But iit's ok, because none of these problems effect you, therefore they don't exist,. right?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Nokia still in a dream world.

    They think Windows phone is the future... lol...

  12. Doug 3

    I call this a marketing event

    Nokia had Maemo longer than they were teamed to do Meego and even had Maemo on one of their phone lines. What kind of reality is Elop selling to think Nokia was out trying to sell vendors on Meego without even having it on their own phones?

    It sounds more like Elop is making stuff up to create a new history so to curb the ongoing discussions of his tight ties with Microsoft.

  13. Wanda Lust

    It's gone, let it go

    1) If Nokia was as adept at touting Meego to potential partners as they were trying to sell the N-series tablets & their only Maemo phone (!adept) then it's absolutely no surprise they failed.

    2) Chairman Jorma Ollila's "strategy" appeared to be: let's throw as much crap as we can at the consumer, it'll all stick. Wrong! Focus & execute well is always a good strategy, can't do that with multiple competing resources.

    3) Nokia's N-sereis Internet Tablet products based on Maemo (as Meego was then known) were the basis of a good platform but an operating system does not excite a consumer. Like "ttuk" found out, 'installing mp3 codecs and so on was a real pain in the neck'. Rather awkward that those sort of things are the basis of something useful.

    Let's just move on, I think winPho 7 is quite nice.

  14. Steve Evans

    Of course nobody wanted it

    After seeing what Nokia did to symbian once they had control of it, of course no right minded mobile company would want to waste time on it.

    Once more a nice idea taken by Nokia and systematically smothered.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elop's appointment?

    Soooo tempting to call it a "disappointment" instead. But anyway.

    I don't know just what they were touting but recalling the analysis of the symbian offering, er, well, if I'd known that I'd stayed well away from both, were I executive of a rival phone maker. Yes, hindsight, but it's all I have to go on so it'll have to do.

    I never could get all-abuzz about nokia's linux venture. I mean, sure, an open OS is a good thing to have, and I sorely miss this with my e52. But putting that Out There isn't enough in the face of several other big names doing the same. You have to have that something special that makes people pick your thing over the rest. That or you spin off the thing like nokia botched so monumentally with symbian. So it's no real surprise that nobody wants to run the risk of déjà vu all over again. That'll haunt nokia for a while to come.

    Right now apple's iOS is hot, hot stuff but not available. google's android is also pretty hot with the crowd that cares for phones by os, and it is available. Then why bother with someone else's also-ran? If you're going to go that way it's just as easy to do it yourself. I'd guess that's where bada is coming from. And windows mobile^Wphone? Meh in a can. A pretty expensive can.

    Is that going to help nokia shed the stain of a series of fsckups? I don't know, but I don't see much brilliance in what they're trying to do. I don't see any je ne sais quoi that would make people run to them. Instead they keep on repelling people, like by en passant redefining "open", handily pissing off a lot of people even more than they already have.

    Reality check then. Nokia, still failing? Check.

  16. OkKTY8KK5U

    Yes. This.


    As GregC observed above, the Desire Z seems to be the closest thing to a viable replacement... but I actually frickin' own my N900, and somehow, I don't get the impression that even a rooted Android phone is yours in the same way that a Maemo device is.

    Maybe I'm wrong about that - I really really really really want to be. And certainly, the N900 and Maemo are rather lacking in many ways. But nonetheless, in the meantime, I, too, am going to nurse as much life out of this thing as I can.

    1. Steve Evans

      @Yes. This.

      I bought the N97 (stop laughing at the back), and I must confess to looking at the N900 a few months later when it came out with lust, but I was trapped in the N97 contract, so the N900 wasn't an option on contract, but I thought of buying myself one.

      Luckily (in hindsight) the pitiful support provided by Nokia for the N97 convinced me that there was no way Nokia deserved any more of my money, so I stuck out with the N97 for over a year before reaching the end of my tether and buying a Desire Z (I'm still in the N97 contract).

      I can't compare it to the N900, but I can compare it to the N97. They keyboard is okay, but I preferred the N97's, so I expect the N900's keyboard was also superior. The camera is also not up to the 5mp camera in the N97. It's okay, but nothing special. Then again the N95/N97's Carl Zeiss camera was rather exceptional, so not quite measuring up to that isn't too much of a surprise, and the Desire doesn't have a lens cover that scratches the very thing it is supposed to protect!

      Software wise, well I don't need to tell you how much there is available for Android. Lots! Custom firmware, yup, plenty of that. Forums and grass root hackers, yup, plenty. It's as much yours as you want it to be.

      Having said all that, I haven't even rooted mine. It works fine. Way better than the N97 which invariably required a wipe and reinstall every month!

      Development environment, simple. Unlike Symbian the instructions and documentation are clear, the package links are all together on one page, they all download, and they all work first time on Windows, Linux and OSX. Plus completely free. I tried a few times with Symbian and Qt, but the Nokia website was so disjointed with instructions a version behind and multiple packages on multiple pages, I never got either to work! You know you should give up when even the simplest built in example apps throw up cryptic missing package messages.

      Anything I miss? Well oddly enough (given how people slate resistive touch screen) I miss the accuracy of being able to use a fingernail to tap a link. Now I have to zoom in and use the side of my finger instead when there are many links close together (or use the little trackpad joystick thing). Only other thing I can think of is the headphone remote only has pause, forward and backwards. The Nokia one also had volume up and down.

  17. David Hicks

    So what's next on the linux phone front?

    I had an Openmoko freerunner which was dreadful in terms of both hardware and software, largely due to bad management of the project. Really, you're going to have one of your so called star developers spend the next six months redesigning the on-screen keyboard for the seventh time? You don't think maybe getting phone calls stable first would be a good thing? LOL...

    Now I have an N900, which is fantastic because it's a Nokia linux phone, and we all know that (until recently) Nokia stood for quality. Even when they lost their way in terms of being cutting edge, you knew with a nokia that it would damn well work or they weren't going to sell it. But Maemo was merged into Meego, and then that was shelved. This seems mostly to have been because of management territoriality causing profits to disappear and competition to be ignored.

    So... what next?

    Who's going to make my next full-linux phone? Or am I going to have to build it myself out of gumstix and gaffer-tape?

  18. Penti


    Nokia's potential of releasing this with Symbian for lower power devices (they share the same software layer and SDK) wasn't enough when they had a chance to release it for a couple of hundred million devices? Elop is just retarded. No other platform then Symbian/MeeGo was wide enough for Nokia to survive as a company. All other platform are quite bluntly for different companies, not even tiny Motorola could survive on the Windows Phone market share. The software framework was already there, it actually was Symbian driving it on. Losing that means losing the drive to develop the Qt/QtMobility toolkit. It definitively was more enterprise and consumer ready then WP7 is gonna be for quite some time. Since October we still haven't got much of a Exchange support, IPSec VPN, on-device encryption, sockets in .NET CF, Silverlight or Flash in the browser, native code, multitasking for third party apps or stuff like just god damn Spotify client. Even when they fix that, Nokia might be able to sell 20 million smarts phones a year on WP7 and that's just funny they sold about 110 million Symbiandevices last year.

    A company that sold 460 million devices a year and made profit will probably sell something like 150 - 200 million phones in a couple of years and will have had to sell their manufacturing capacity to their competitors, given Microsoft and their WP7 phone competitors navigation software and data for nothing and have to get rid of more then half of it's 60 000 employees. Their will be nothing left like in any typical American downsizing, the odd thing is that it happens on a profitable company and kills all development of mobile operating systems in Europe.

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