Considering Nokia’s actions last week, forgoing MeeGo in favour of the shinier WP7, you might just start to feel sorry for Intel. If that you forget that it posted a profit of $3.39 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010.
The move by Nokia last Friday certainly seemed to knock the wind out of MeeGo’s sails but Intel has been at Mobile World Congress doing its best to promote the beleagured OS. While we have not seen a phone with MeeGo running on it, and probably won’t at this stage, we have seen a tablet with the MeeGo OS running and we have also had an announcement by Intel that it will be shipping its very own Medfield 32nm mobile processors this year, with sampling having begun already. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the handsets powered by Medfield will run MeeGo, it surely is a step in the right direction.
Intel is obviously hurting following Nokia's defection to WP7 but feels there is still “momentum” behind MeeGo. “Intel announced new MeeGo and AppUp software development tools and other programs to help developers port, write new applications, and tune and publish to the Intel AppUp center more quickly,” a statement read. While there was no sign of a MeeGo handset in Barcelona, we did get another look at MeeGo running on a tablet – an Atom-based ExoPC to be exact. And while the video below shows the interface looking very sharp and smooth, reports suggest the actual working model in Barcelona was far from smooth. The other problem facing MeeGo at this stage is that there are very few apps available for it and with no products slated to go into production any time soon what developer is going to put resources into making them However don't just take those reports as gospel, becasue if you've got a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t, ExoPC or WeTab, you can download the ISO for yourself here and try it out.
So where does this leave MeeGo? The sad fact is, in all likelihood, MeeGo is going to all but disappear as a smartphone OS. Medfield processors shipping this year means little for the platform as Intel is more likely want to see its chips going into Android phones for better market share. As regards MeeGo on tablets, the UI has not progressed much since it was seen for the first time last summer and unless there is some serious finance put behind it, it could also disappear without a trace.