Android phones have been hogging all the limelight over the past few months, often at the expense of companies like Nokia which have decided to tread their own path. Though Nokia has been categorical in saying that it does not want anything to do with Google’s Android onslaught, analysts have ruled that all this posturing will have to finally give way and the Finnish giant, too, will have to take the plunge.
But Nokia is digging in its heels for a long battle and it has a weapon that can stand it in good stead, a weapon called the MeeGo. Announced this February, MeeGo is the result of a cutting-edge collaboration between Nokia and Intel. It combines the best of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin project, to offer an entirely fresh open source operating system that has the flexibility to adapt to a variety of devices, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment devices.
“MeeGo is an open software platform which will be hosted by the Linux Foundation and use the best practices of open source development… MeeGo offers Nokia an opportunity to take mobile technology beyond the smartphone, and into a new world of connected devices. We believe it will power the computers of the future; and they will not be tied to a desk or even a lap – they will fit ‘in your pocket’,” says Jasmeet Gandhi, Head Services, Nokia India.
So what’s new in the MeeGo? Gandhi explains: “Combining the best of both Maemo and Moblin, and their developer communities, the new ecosystem will deliver a range of experiences for users, including internet-based computing, communications, multitasking and multimedia. MeeGo increases consumer choice as it will run on multiple device types. Users will be able to easily move their favourite applications from one device to another and use the same applications on a range of devices. It completely integrates mobile elements such as GPS and Bluetooth, offering developers a rich environment to create new possibilities.” Nokia phone with MeeGo are expected to hit the market later this year.
Nokia is also banking on the initiatives it has taken with developers across the world to counter the challenge posed by Android, Samsung’s new Bada OS and iPhone. “During the ten years of Forum Nokia’s existence, we have been working very closely with Indian developers and offering world class support in terms of generating awareness among relevant target audiences. Our objective is to make it effortless for our partners to create and market highly appealing, relevant applications, which consumers globally will find indispensable,” says Gandhi. In fact, there are over 1,80,000 Indian developers on the Forum today, the largest concentration from any country.
And, despite MeeGo, Nokia is not going to let go of its old warhorse, the Symbian. “It is the world’s leading smartphone operating system and the platform of choice for Nokia smartphones. We will launch our new products like the N8 and others to follow on Symbian^3, which will preserve the best and most familiar parts of Symbian, making it effortless for the largest population of smartphone users to upgrade,” reveals Gandhi.