Nokia's MeeGo head departs; confidence starts to flag

With Nokia recently admitting that its new MeeGo OS is far from ready, the resignation of Ari Jaaksi, head of the company's MeeGo software platform, is being seen as a significant setback.

The company, which announced the Linux-based MeeGo in Barcelona this year, was expected to reveal further details at the recent Nokia World, but nothing was forthcoming. A MeeGo conference is scheduled for next month in Ireland where hard facts will need to be presented if the OS development programme is to retain credibility.

Commenting on Jaaksi's departure, Gartner analyst, Carolina Milanesi, said that Nokia needed to improve its approach to MeeGo. "The OS has grown up from Maemo and there is much more at stake now. They need someone who understands mobile and PC, who might be closer to Intel and a much better public person."

Jaaksi was a key member of Nokia's efforts to rejuvenate the company's smartphone OS future, having been fundamental to the development of Nokia's Maemo software which was combined with Intel's Moblin to form MeeGo.

Nokia said that Jaaksi, who is the third high-profile exec to jump ship, was leaving the company to 'pursue new opportunities elsewhere.'

One note of optimism with regard to MeeGo has come from a Russian-based handset reviewer that has uncharacteristically rated the forthcoming MeeGo-based N9 as 'near perfect'.

According to Eldar Murtazin, his normal scathing reviews of Nokia handsets have seen a dramatic turnaround with the N9--albeit that the device is not scheduled for release until early next year.

Murtazin claims that the N9 hardware is near perfect, but is less positive about the OS--which is presumed to be MeeGo--accepting that the OS is far from being a finished product.

For more on this story:
-read Reuters & Rethink Wireless

Related stories:
Nokia boosted as car giants select MeeGo
'We'll launch multiple MeeGo device by end of year,' states Orange
Nokia's new MeeGo guru takes whack at Apple, Motorola
Mobile OS designs are flawed, says Nokia's exec