Nokia, Intel team on Linux with MeeGo

BARCELONA, Spain--Nokia and computing giant Intel announced a new Linux-based software platform that will combine Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo efforts into one initiative--dubbed MeeGo--that will be open to other manufacturers. The goal, the companies said, is to "accelerate industry innovation and time-to-market for a wealth of new Internet-based applications and services and exciting user experiences." Nokia promised to offer MeeGo-based devices "later this year."

Nokia Intel MeeGoThe announcement, made at Nokia's incredibly crowded off-site venue and held in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress trade show here, signals Intel and Nokia's efforts to foster the development of interoperable, Linux-based devices. Specifically, the companies said MeeGo, on the Qt application development environment, will allow developers to write one application, sell it through either Nokia's Ovi Store or Intel AppUp Center, and be confident it will run on any MeeGo device.

"Our vision for seamlessly communicating between computing devices from the home, auto, office or your pocket is taking a big step forward today with the introduction of MeeGo," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "This is a foundational step in our evolving relationship with Nokia. The merging of these two important assets into an open source platform is critical toward providing a terrific experience across a variety of devices and gaining cross-industry support."

The two companies forged a partnership last June for a new class of mobile computing devices. At the time, Noki and Intel did not disclose what kind of wireless products they would develop together. However, when the deal was announced, the companies said they planned on collaborating on open-source mobile Linux software projects. The two tech titans said they wanted to define "a new mobile platform beyond today's smartphones, notebooks and netbooks" for hardware, software and mobile Internet services.

Intel and Nokia said their MeeGo effort will be "hosted" and governed by the Linux Foundation under an open source development model.

Nokia previously has said it will use Maemo as the platform for its high-end wireless devices. The company today said that commitment extends to MeeGo; Nokia explained that MeeGo will essentially replace Maemo in its product lineup. Nokia's N900 runs version 5 of Maemo. During its press conference, a Nokia executive said MeeGo will not affect Nokia's support for Symbian, which the company has said it will use for its mid-range devices and smartphones.

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