As expected, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Intel released the pre-alpha handset version of its new, high-end MeeGo operating system, making the handset baseline code available for the developer community.
Nokia said the code is being actively developed as MeeGo 1.1, which is scheduled for release in October. In a blog post, the company said the MeeGo UI team has been working on the handset reference user experience and preparing the MeeGo UI design principles and interaction guidelines.
This version of MeeGo includes APIs--including Qt and the MeeGo touch frameworks--as well as the Firefox-based browser and some basic UI elements. The new operating system is still obviously a work in progress, but will stand as Nokia's challenge to the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and a host of handset makers using Google's Android platform.
Announced in February, MeeGo represents a Linux-based combination of Nokia's Maemo platform and Intel's Moblin platform, and Nokia plans to use the software as the basis for its high-end Nseries smartphones (Symbian will remain the company's platform for mid-range smartphones). Nokia in May released the "MeeGo Netbook user experience," which provides the basic framework for netbooks to run the platform. Nokia and its MeeGo partners also plan to release iterations of the platform for in-vehicle devices, connected TVs and "media phones."
Several wireless carriers--as well as computing vendors including Acer and Asus and chipset companies such as ST-Ericsson--have voiced support for MeeGo.
Nokia confirmed last week its forthcoming N8 device will be the last Nseries smartphone to run the Symbian OS; subsequent Nseries devices will feature MeeGo. Nokia plans to ship a MeeGo-based device in the second half of this year.
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