Nokia boosted as car giants select MeeGo

For a company where good news is in short supply, the announcement that BMW, General Motors and Renault have selected the MeeGo operating system will come as welcome relief for Nokia.

The MeeGo OS, which is a joint initiative by Nokia and Intel, has been chosen by the Genivi Alliance (which includes car manufacturers, Intel, ARM and other technology developers) to create an open-source platform for in-car infotainment systems.

The Alliance said that MeeGo will form the basis of the forthcoming Genivi Apollo release, with the aim of supporting a range of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) functions such as navigation, entertainment, location-based services and connectivity to broadband networks. The Apollo release will be built on MeeGo's Linux-based OS, middleware and APIs.

According to Graham Smethurst, president of Genivi, the Alliance selected MeeGo as the basis for its open-source platform because of its technical innovation and its ability to provide the cross-architecture support that was required by the Alliance. "Working with MeeGo we expect to establish a solution that effectively merges IVI needs with those of the other MeeGo target device categories," he said.

This win for MeeGo will be seen as a step for both Nokia and Intel to take the Linux OS into areas where neither company has made real inroads. Their intent would appear to focus on providing a platform where content and apps can be delivered to many devices. This would include from PCs to cell phones to TVs, and now IVI where in-car display systems are becoming increasingly prominent.

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