ANALYSIS

Intel appears to have all but given up on MeeGo. Though the company has not officially announced it’s ending development for the Linux-based tablet and PC platform, sources inside the company and the MeeGo project have confirmed that Intel has no plans to continue funding MeeGo events and classes.

The move is another big blow to the MeeGo project, following the Nokia announcement earlier this year that the phone manufacturer would support the Windows Phone platform on its devices. This week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini took the stage at his company’s developer conference and did not mention MeeGo at all. Last year, his keynote included a great deal about MeeGo and outlined Intel’s plans for the platform.

This year, the tablet news from Intel was about Android. Google teamed up with Intel to announce optimizations for Android on Intel chip sets. Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, said, “Combining Android with Intel’s low-power smartphone road map opens up more opportunity for innovation and choice. This collaboration will drive the Android ecosystem forward.”

Otellini was bullish on Android in his keynote speech. “By optimizing the Android platform for Intel architecture, we bring a powerful new capability to market that will accelerate more industry adoption and choice, and bring exciting new products to market that harness the combined potential of Intel technology and the Android platform. Together, we are accelerating Intel architecture and bringing new levels of innovation to a maturing Android platform.”

Long road to failure
Those statements mark quite a change from 2009, when Intel and Nokia began pouring over US$100 million into events, hardware giveaways and global developer meet-ups for the MeeGo platform. One such event in Europe saw Intel and Nokia renting out a stadium and a brewery for attendee parties, with free MeeGo devices all around.

Though Nokia bowed out on MeeGo, it will bring one MeeGo device to market in October: the N9. The device has been receiving excellent reviews, even before its release, but even if it succeeds, Nokia has no plans to introduce follow-up devices, say sources close to the company.

For its part, Intel public relations issued a terse, one-sentence statement to SD Times, saying, “We’re committed to MeeGo and continue to work with the community to develop and help meet the needs of customers and end users with open source.” But Intel’s actions at its Developer Forum spoke louder than the words in the brief statement.