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MeeGo Engineer Calls Out Nokia CEO

David Gilbert by

Stephen Elop Nokia MeeGo

Nokia launched what will be its only MeeGo device yesterday, the N9 and on the same day, a senior software engineer at Nokia has called out CEO Stephen Elop on his decision to dump the platform.

In his personal blog, entitled "My disagreement with Elop on MeeGo", Felipe Contreras, outlines how some time ago he received an email from Elop which was addressed to him alone. In the email, Elop said the main reason why he was dumping MeeGo was “the small amount of MeeGo devices [available] in the years immediately ahead.” Contreras, who works on the hardware adoption of MeeGo, believes this is simply not true. Contreras goes on to say that no one he knows believes what Elop says, adding: “Let’s keep in mind that Elop is not an expert in this area, we are.” Contreras point is that Nokia could have shipped a dozen MeeGo devices based on the OMAP 3 platform, which the N9 uses, having to tweak the software very little, if at all. Contreras said that if Nokia wanted to use three different hardware platforms then it would require some work from the hardware adoption team but that would then allow Nokia to produce a lot more handsets.

Nokia N9 Meego

Talking about the decision to adopt Windows Phone as the main software partner, Contreras points out that WP only supports one hardware platform, Qualcomm's Snapdragon, and only certain chips on that platform. In a previous post Contreras talked about how easy it was to port MeeGo to different device and showed examples of people doing it. Having responded to Elop’s email, Contreras received a reply from the CEO which simply said: “I am simply going to choose to respectfully disagree on multiple fronts” – without actually mentioning what those reasons were. The decision to dump MeeGo without ever having given it a chance to prove what it could do is certainly a strange one from Nokia’s point of view. Surely two viable operating systems would be better than one and it leads us to question whether Nokia were forced to stick solely to WP as part of the Microsoft deal.

Nokia has of course also dumped Symbian, announcing today its has finalised the hand over of Symbian development and support (and 2,800 jobs) to Accenture. There is no doubt a lot of frustration around Espoo at the moment among software engineers and Contreras is only one of those annoyed at the radical changes at Nokia in recent months.

Source: Felipe Contreras blog

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Karl Marx

June 23, 2011, 12:34 am

There is no doubt that Elop is nothing but a Trojan horse flying the flag of his real employer in every decision made. The sad part is that is he may not get removed. Nokia with MeeGo and the N9 have demonstrated that Elop has forced the company in totally the wrong direction.


June 23, 2011, 1:51 am

Surely releasing dozens of nearly-identical devices with the same platform and OS but pifflingly small differences in software or hardware capabilities was what got them into their current mess in the first place? I think at the time Nokia was trying to launch the N96 they had five handsets on sale (or on the way) which were N95 derivatives.


June 23, 2011, 2:17 am

Too little, too late - they needed to get this out 6 months ago or more. I loved my N900 with Maemo, but got tired of waiting for Meego.


June 23, 2011, 3:51 am

All those conspiracy theories surrounding Elop don't look so far-fetched any more. So Microsoft basically forced Nokia to abandon Symbian & MeeGo as part of the deal for getting W7 phone and its money generating ecosystem. Looking at this N9 and the stunning MeeGo OS implementation, i'd say that that was a BAD decision Nokia! W7 phone is a load of junk, you blinked first and you'll be paying the price for a very long time to come.

Me, I'll be buying a N9.


June 23, 2011, 7:19 pm

Breaking News: MeeGo Engineer Claims MeeGo Ready for Prime Time.

What next, a former Nokia employee claiming that Symbian^4 would have been greatly superior to any other mobile OS out there?


June 23, 2011, 7:47 pm

@Dave Gilbert: Isn't the N9's impending release evidence enough of Nokia's strategy of supporting multiple operating systems? The continued development of Meego clearly appears to be an insurance policy against the Microsoft partnership going sour.
Felipe Contreras may be able to point out the many hardware platforms Meego supports but than that's just as many third party applications that support it - hence the reason for it's demotion.
That said I'm looking forward to software developer Myriad's plans to port Android apps with minimal tweaking to Meego with it's Alien Dalvik virtual machine.
@ElectricSheep: Have you even played with a Windows 7 phone?

David Gilbert

June 23, 2011, 7:54 pm

It is a sign that Nokia was planning on developing multiple operating systems. Up to last February it had Symbian and MeeGo on the go. Now it has neither and its software division is redundant with all the development being done by Microsoft. No matter how successful the N9 is, and there are reports that Nokia will only produce a small number of handsets anyway, it has said it will be its only MeeGo handset. There will be no continued development of MeeGo by Nokia and the platform will survive if other manufacturers want to put it in their handsets, tablets, laptops etc.
As regards Alien Dalvik, that is just another reason why Nokia's decision to abandon MeeGo is so sad. It could immediately have a wealth of apps available with little tweaking.
The N9 is a very attractive looking handset and from what I've seen of the OS, MeeGo looks like as good an OS as the current Windows Phone offering. Oh well!


June 23, 2011, 10:53 pm

Played? I've suffered! I had an HD7 - that'll learn me to go for 'The Shiny'! I can't stand W7, horrible GUI and restrictive OS. I won't go into detail here other than to say that I am an historical Nokia fan and love Symbian 3. Before that I had a Jesus Phone, then several Androids...and now i'm breathing easy again with an N8. This N9 has me weak at the knees ;) (metaphorically speaking)

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