Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Meego was a NoGo

To hear it from the Open Sourcers, Nokia's abandonment of Meego for Windows Phone 7 (hear-after referred to as WP7) was tantamount to the same level of betrayal that the Open Sourcers felt over the Microsoft/Novell patent cross-licensing agreement of late 2006. The only problem with that assessment is that Meego, and Meego's predecessor Maemo, were an absolute failure in its role as portable device OS for Nokia. Those cries of anguish you hear over Meemo's fate are the cries of sore losers.

My first-hand experience with Maemo was with the Nokia 770. It was a bitter disappointment. I spent nearly $400 in 2006 for a device who's operating system wasn't fit for general public use. My general assessment hasn't changed since then, and if anything, it has only grown worse with time. My negative experience with Nokia was so bad that I've not purchased any Nokia phone since, and swore I'd never buy one again.

Meego, like Maemo before it, wasn't going to help Nokia in the fiercely competitive smartphone market. It wasn't ready, and at the glacial rate of development it was undergoing it never would be. WP7, on the other hand, was ready to provide the professional-level phone OS and supporting ecosystem that Nokia so desperately needed.

The choice was obvious; continue with Meego and wither to complete irrelevancy in the smartphone market, or go with WP7 and have a fighting chance of competing in the smartphone arena. And maybe even regaining relevance in the American smartphone market, leading to the high level of sales that have eluded them up to this point in time.

Although it's a good four years later than it should have been, I'm glad Steven Elop swept the house clean of the group that foisted Maemo on an unsuspecting buying public, and was attempting to do the same again with Meego. The group should have been fired en-mass in 2007, after the Nokia 770 had been released and the world was pointing out what a gold-plated piece of s!!t it really was.

Based on what little I've experienced directly with the HTC HD7, WP7 has the merit to deservedly grow into a powerful third alternative to both Apple's iOS and Google's Android. We need more than a duopoly between Apple and Google in the evolving smartphone market. I may very well purchase another device just to have something to program with. Or perhaps someone will create a WP7 ROM for my still-new MyTouch 4G. I'm not that impressed with Android 2.2, and the bloom is definitely off the Apple rose.

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