The MeeGo platform is to be officially abandoned, as Intel and the Linux Foundation are moving onto a new mobile platform venture called Tizen.
Intel, the Linux Foundation and the LiMo Foundation announced the Tizen
project on Tuesday. The new operating system will succeed two separate
platforms: MeeGo, which has only been released on one handset, the Nokia
N9; and LiMo, which has made its way onto around 60 mid-market
handsets, almost all in Japan.
Tizen will see its first release, along with a software development
kit, in the first quarter of 2012, with devices based on the platform
due in the middle of the year. The plan is to see the new platform
used on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle
Tizen will combine the best of MeeGo and LiMo while adding a
standards-based HTML 5
web-development environment that allows the creation of
device-independent apps, the Linux and LiMo Foundations said in a joint statement. It will come with a "state-of-the-art"
reference user interface that manufacturers and operators can
customise as they wish, they said.
"The Linux Foundation is pleased to host the Tizen platform," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Foundation, said in the statement. "Open-source platforms
such as Tizen are good for Linux, as they further its adoption across
device categories. We look forward to collaborating with the LiMo
Foundation and its members on this project."
Open-source platforms such as Tizen are good for Linux, as they further its adoption across device categories.– Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation
The N9 has only seen very limited release, and people in key markets
such as the US and western Europe did not get a chance to play with
a device that impressed
reviewers despite its one-off nature. Nokia told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that it would "provide support for the Nokia N9 until at least 2015, including software updates, care and services support", but declined to say whether the smartphone would upgraded to run Tizen.
Imad Sousou, the director of Intel's Open Source Technology Center, said in post
on the MeeGo blog that Intel had decided not to "evolve"
MeeGo because it believed the future "belongs to HTML 5-based
applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps".
"We are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward
HTML 5," Sousou wrote on Tuesday. "Shifting to HTML 5 doesn't just mean slapping a
web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo
has been. Emphasising HTML 5 means that APIs not visible to HTML 5
programmers need not be as rigid, and can evolve with platform
technology and can vary by market segment."
Sousou conceded that this judgement was one "on which reasonable
people could disagree", but he encouraged those who had been involved
with MeeGo to jump on board with Tizen.
Intel's work on Tizen will not be as project-leading as that on MeeGo, a company spokesman indicated on Wednesday, saying it will be "just one" of its many contributions to various platforms.
"Intel continues to focus on its strategy of providing choice when it comes to operating systems, and we work closely with partners such as Microsoft and Google on Windows and Android respectively, as well as a number of open-source projects," the spokesman said.
The other platform to be superseded by Tizen, LiMo,
has had mixed success. It is used on dozens of NEC and
Panasonic handsets distributed by the Japanese operator NTT
DoCoMo. Outside east Asia, however, only Vodafone dipped its toe into the
LiMo water, and not
for very long. The operator scrapped its Samsung-made, LiMo-based
360 handset range in July 2010, less than a year after launching
In the Tizen statement, LiMo Foundation executive director Morgan
Gillis said the new platform is "a well-timed step change which
unites major mobile Linux proponents within a renewed ecosystem".
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