MeeGo was to be the bright future of Nokia. And then just as fast as it was revealed, it was gone. It’s replacement: Microsoft’s very new (at the time) Windows Phone. For the Finnish giant, the decision to drop the in-house MeeGo OS (and continue moving away from Symbian) for the American made Windows Phone was one that wasn’t well received in Nokia’s homeland.
So when we heard the other day that a team of ex-Nokia employees were going to re-start MeeGo development via a new start-up company, “Jolla”, we initially jumped for joy. Even better, the team of “Jolla” was said to be headed by CMO Marc Dillon (former 11-year Nokia veteran and principal engineer of MeeGo when employed by Nokia) whom will take MeeGo’s current code base and vastly improve/optimize it. **It’s worth pointing out that Jolla is in no way shape or form funded or supported by Nokia. As such, the N9 will not get any support from Jolla — they are only working on new devices moving forward. Also, the Jolla team won’t have access to the Nokia specific parts of MeeGO like SwipeUI. It will honestly need a ton of work from the get-go.
But then we realized one very sad (but true) fact: MeeGo is still dead.
As awesome as it would have been to see MeeGo competing alongside Android and iOS, the fact of the matter is, once an OS is “sun-setted” (aka: “open sourced”) and given back to the community, any chances of it developing much behind a very niche project are slim.
Palm’s fantastic webOS was even more advanced (and better looking we might add) than MeeGo ever was. And even it couldn’t gain any traction with HP’s massive, money-lined pockets. And as we all know now, it too has been killed and re-born (read: “open sourced”).
So how’s that working out for webOS? Oh, yeah. It isn’t. WebOS is just as irrelevant now as it was the day HP announced plans to kill it off. After Apotheker was (rightfully) outed, the whole open source “project” that HP set off on to get the community active in handling all of webOS for HP hasn’t gone anywhere. And it never will. It sucks. But it’s the truth. Any pipe dream one might have for a MeeGo resurgence is nothing more than the remnants of an alcohol-fuled evening which saw you waking up with no shirt, one shoe missing and no idea where you left your keys. Yeah. We might get a tablet here, a phone there. But any type of meaningful, globally noteworthy re-immergance is all but impossible at this point.
In the modern age of smartphones, getting open sourced isn’t a life line and it isn’t a promise of new life. It’s a death sentence that is inescapable. If anything, MeeGo will be like the back alley dog begging for scraps. Unfortunately, in the current mobile market, there just aren’t any to go around.