Tag Archives: moblin

MeeGo NoGo: things look bad for the Intel/Nokia Linux project

A sad post yesterday from MeeGo contributor Andrew Wafaa suggests that MeeGo on netbooks may no longer happen:

Basically by all accounts MeeGo is stopping all work on the Netbook UX. Yup, all our hard work is now almost for nothing 🙁

This is remarkable. The original Moblin project, sponsored by Intel, was all about bringing an excellent user experience to Linux on netbooks. The first netbooks ran Linux, but met resistance from a general public familiar with Windows; yet Linux is more suitable for netbooks than Windows in its present form.

Moblin is different. It’s a friendly way to get the most out of your netbook. It doesn’t work like most other computers because it’s optimized for enjoying media, interacting with your social networks and the internet.

wrote Moblin Community Manager Paul Cooper back in 2009, when netbooks were hot.

The problem: tech trends sometimes outpace corporate planning. Moblin was a good idea in 2008, but nothing was delivered; and by the time it looked like it might be ready, the market seemed to want tablets – or Apple iPads – rather than netbooks; and whatever problem Moblin was addressing was already solved by Google Android.


Two years later, in February 2010, Moblin merged with Nokia’s Maemo, creating a new project called MeeGo. The new focus would be tablets and smartphones:

The power and capability of handhelds has reached astounding levels – netbooks have been a runaway success – and connected TVs, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment, and media phones are fast growing new markets for devices with unheard of performance. Our goal is to develop the best software to go with these devices.

said Intel’s Imad Sousou.

So where are the MeeGo smartphones? Well, maybe we will see one at Mobile World Congress next week. But Nokia is in disarray. According to a leaked memo from new CEO Stephen Elop:

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.

We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.

Perhaps Nokia will progress MeeGo smartphones with renewed vigour; but what looks more likely is that Nokia will embrace a rival platform, maybe Google Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

That might well be alongside MeeGo, rather than replacing it, but Nokia needs to focus its energy and I would guess that MeeGo will lose out.

It may be the beginning of the end for a promising project that has progressed too slowly.

Update: Reuters is reporting that “two industry sources close to the company” say Nokia has ended development of its first MeeGo smartphone

Intel AppUp is Up, but underwhelming.

Intel has launched AppUp, its application store for Windows and Moblin/MeeGo Linux.


Isn’t Moblin obsolete, and now merged into MeeGo? That is the plan, but AppUp still talks about Moblin:



The Intel AppUp developer program will support MeeGo. The current Moblin SDK for the Intel AppUpSM developer program is MeeGo ready and is upward compatible for Moblin and MeeGo.

The web site is pretty confusing, even though it is supposedly out of beta. Click Frequently Asked Questions, and you get a document dated December 2009, though “Last Modified” in August. It does seem to be out of date though, referring throughout to the Beta and stating that only Windows is supported by the AppUp client.


I downloaded the client and had a look. The client is a simple affair, with apps in various categories, though the current selection of apps is uninspiring. Prices currently range from free to £28.19 for Easy Flyer Creator (Desktop Publishing), the most expensive I could find. All the “Featured apps” are games, though the other categories are populated to some extent.


If you want to develop for AppUp you need the SDK, which provides the tools and libraries to link your app to the AppUp client. The SDK is native code, and the natural developer platform for AppUp is the cross-platform Qt, but the main requirement is that you can link to the SDK; there is also an approval process.

Adobe has done the work to support AIR applications, which use the Flash runtime, in AppUp. Adobe has also come up with an interesting project to address the coming proliferation of app stores. The Melrose project, now in beta, targets multiple app stores:

Melrose provides a repository that distributes applications to multiple application stores so that publishers can reach millions of users.

Intel AppUp Center and the Adobe AIR Marketplace are the first two storefronts available in Melrose. Melrose also provides analytics that let publishers measure success of their applications.

It is a shame that Melrose does not yet include Android Market.

Who knows, AppUp may have a bright future, but Intel could have done better with the launch. There is a poor selection of apps, confusing Moblin/MeeGo branding, and out of date information on the site. Of these, the biggest problem is the lack of apps themselves. The main target is netbooks, and Intel will need a greatly improved selection before AppUp comes close to enhancing netbooks in the way that Apple’s App Store enhances iPhone, iPad and iTouch, which is the obvious model.

How many app stores will there be? Alongside Apple, there is AppUp, Nokia’s Ovi, Android Market, as well as older app stores like handango. Microsoft is rumoured to have big plans for an App Store for Windows 8, and of course Windows Phone 7 will have its own store – and these are just the ones which come to mind immediately.

Not all these app stores will succeed, and Intel should have made more effort with this launch.

What is happening with Silverlight on Intel Moblin/Meego?

Last September, Microsoft and Intel announced a port of Silverlight to Moblin Linux. I posted on the subject here, including a quote from Microsoft’s Brian Goldfarb:

Microsoft and Intel announced today that the two companies have agreed to work together to bring support for Silverlight 3 to Intel’s Atom-based Mobile Internet Devices (MID). These Atom-based devices run on Windows and Moblin, an open source, Linux-based operating system targeted at Atom-based devices. In order to help bring Silverlight content to these devices, Microsoft has provided Intel with Silverlight source code and test suites, and Intel will provide Microsoft with an optimized version of Silverlight for Moblin devices that Microsoft can then redistribute to OEMs.

Since then, Moblin has merged with Novell’s Maemo to form MeeGo (though this is still work in progress), and we’ve heard very, very little about Silverlight on either platform. The only snippet of news I have is that it was mentioned at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing and reported by Char Zvolanek, who said that it came up in the Meego Q&A after regular sessions ended, and Silverlight will be supported in Meego  version 1.1 in October:

In May, the 1.0 version will be released, and with 1.1 coming out in October, there will be support for Silverlight, Java, and Air. Developers can write native or runtime apps that can be Java-based, Web-based, Silverlight-based, or Air-based.

Today, another clue, but not a good one for Silverlight. Intel is holding an application lab on May 26th in San Jose, for developing for the Intel AppUp store, either on Windows or Moblin. On the agenda: C/C++ and Adobe AIR, and the upcoming Adobe AIR SDK for Moblin. No Silverlight.

If anyone is going along, and can discover any news about Silverlight on Moblin, I’d be interested to know.