Remember MeeGo? It's coming back this year in two new phones

Led by numerous ex-Nokia officials, Finnish startup Jolla aims to create its own mobile hardware and MeeGo-based OS.

Anyone who has been paying any attention to the MeeGo mobile operating system over the past year or so can surely be excused if they're suffering this week from a severe case of deja vu.

To wit: Back in April 2011, I wrote a post entitled, "Reports of MeeGo's Death Were Greatly Exaggerated," and that very same headline would be just as apt on this one.

Why? Because--despite the fact that Linux-based MeeGo was more or less replaced by Tizen in the intervening time--it looks like it's now back again, this time under the wings of Finnish startup Jolla.

'It Deserves to Be Continued'

"Nokia created something wonderful--the world's best smartphone product," explains the LinkedIn page for Jolla, which doesn't yet have an official website. "It deserves to be continued, and we will do that together with all the bright and gifted people contributing to the MeeGo success story."

Launched by numerous directors and key professionals from Nokia's MeeGo N9 group along with members of the MeeGo community, Jolla plans to design, develop, and sell new MeeGo-based smartphones.

Two new phones, in fact, will launch this year, TechCrunch reports--one destined for the mass market and one aimed at more technical users.

Jolla will create its own hardware, according to its Twitter page, and its MeeGo-based Jolla OS will be based on Mer Core and Qt, but will feature a brand-new user interface.

The new OS will run on both X86 and ARM. Compatibility with Tizen HTML5 based apps "is a possibility, but too early to know for sure yet," a Twitter post noted.

Work began on the new technology in late 2011, according to a press release republished on FierceWireless.

The App Component

Of course, it's still very early times, so it's difficult to even begin speculating about the new platform's ability to attract developers of the apps that have become such an important part of any mobile ecosystem.

Then, too, there are all the other open questions involving carriers, competition, and the details of the technology itself.

Still, I think this is pretty exciting. Open source MeeGo has always had so much going for it; if this can result in a truly innovative new mobile platform, it's going to be really interesting to watch.

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Katherine Noyes

PC World (US online)
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