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Wireless: Article

Intel & Nokia to Create a Universal Mobile OS

They’re calling it MeeGo and the Linux Foundation will be hosting the project

Wireless Technology Magazine on Ulitzer

Intel, the semiconductor giant, and Nokia, the mighty handset maker, have united to create a universal widget operating system good for phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, vehicle entertainment systems, Internet-connected TVs and other still-unimagined devices out of their existing Linux platforms - an open source combination of Intel's netbook-oriented Moblin and Nokia's smartphone-fancying Maemo.

They're calling the thing MeeGo and the Linux Foundation will be hosting the project under Intel's Imad Sousou and Nokia's Valtteri Halla.

The widgetry, due out next quarter, will support both Intel's Atom processor and rival ARM chips - though Nokia doesn't support Atom - and go up against Google's x86- and ARM-supporting Chrome OS and everybody else in the game.

It's anticipated that MeeGo could eventually support other architectures besides Atom and ARM. Apps of course would have to be recompiled to hop from one platform to another.

The idea is to build MeeGo on the Moblin core software platform and so-called reference user experiences, adding the Qt UI toolkit from Maemo.

Using the Qt application development environment and the UI framework, apps will be deployed to both MeeGo and other platforms such as Nokia's other, dominant OS, Symbian.

The apps, expected in Q3, will be marketed through Nokia's Ovi Store, which is reportedly getting a million downloads a day, and Intel's new AppUp Center. Nokia means to add billing support and more languages to the Ovi Store.

The pair announced their intentions at the Mobile World Congress in Spain Monday.

There's a web site set up at http://meego.com/ where it explains that licensing is a work in progress. They mean to be as flexible as possible and discourage use of GPL v3 on any components of the kernel and middleware and permissive BSD-style licenses on MeeGo's various use-based personalities or "user experience subsystem software."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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