Intel teams with China's Tencent on MeeGo mobile OS

The deal could bring a range of Tencent applications to the MeeGo operating system

Intel will team up with Chinese Internet company Tencent on development using the next generation of the MeeGo mobile operating system, Intel said Tuesday.

The deal could bring MeeGo a range of applications from Tencent, which is best known for China's hit QQ instant messaging program and for raking in revenue from value-added services like Internet games. It comes as Intel continues promoting its Atom microprocessors for smaller devices like netbooks and handheld PCs, the same segment served by MeeGo.

Intel and Tencent Technology agreed on investments in MeeGo including the launch of a joint innovation center, Intel said in a statement.

MeeGo, which was created by merging Intel's Moblin OS with Nokia's Maemo OS, is a mobile version of Linux aimed at a range of devices, from smartphones to tablet computers and netbooks. The first release of MeeGo is due in May, and Intel says devices using it are expected in the second half of this year.

Tencent will use MeeGo to extend products and services for emerging device segments, according to the Intel statement.

Tencent pulls revenue from online services including games in which users play for free but can spend real-world cash to get virtual items. Those items could be clothes to dress up an online character or tools to better perform an in-game task like raising a pet.

MeeGo apps will be available in Intel's AppUp download store for devices using its Atom CPUs.

Intel two weeks ago opened up key components of MeeGo to developers, giving them a first look at the OS.

MeeGo's design was on show at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing on Tuesday. The interface, displayed on devices including an Acer netbook, looks similar to Moblin, with an icon bar at the top that is used to call up screens with applications, multimedia or other content.

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Owen Fletcher

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