The Linux Foundation has officially put MeeGo on the back burner and is working towards a new open source OS called Tizen, which will have a greater emphasis on HTML5 support.
MeeGo, itself a merger of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects, was launched last year as a joint venture between the two companies under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. The goal was an open source, multi-use OS based around Linux and optimized for running on smaller processors, chiefly Intel’s Atom.
However, Nokia’s move to Microsoft’s sphere of influence meant that the company dropped the OS after producing a single ‘contractual obligation’ phone and developers have been dumping work on the OS in droves. Now the plan is to absorb all the work on MeeGo into a new OS, named Tizen, which will be co-developed by Intel and Samsung and which will focus more on future internet standards.
“We believe the future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5. Shifting to HTML5 doesn't just mean slapping a web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo has been,” says Intel’s Imad Sousou, a MeeGo spokesman. “Emphasizing HTML5 means that APIs not visible to HTML5 programmers need not be as rigid, and can evolve with platform technology and can vary by market segment."
The plan is to have a new OS and a software development kit ready for use in the first quarter of 2012, and the OS is envisaged being used in mobile phones, tablets, automotive computing, and embedded systems, just as MeeGo was originally intended to do 18 months ago. And presumably with some success this time.
“I want to personally thank everyone who has participated in MeeGo over the past year and a half, and I encourage you to join us at Tizen.org. We hope to use what we learned from the MeeGo project to make Tizen successful,” wrote MeeGo community manager Dawn Foster in her blog statement. ®