The mobile technology world is buzzing today about the merger of Moblin and Maemo, the two Linux-based mobile initiatives that have been backed by Intel and Nokia respectively. Together, they have formed MeeGo, which is being hosted by the Linux Foundation.
We reached out to industry experts for their reactions to today’s news. The theme that surfaces among industry pundits most is the one of mobile OS unification and the hope for a platform that can support a broad range of devices by using common technologies and developer tools.
“I think that the merger makes a lot of sense. Moblin and Maemo seem to share a common philosophy in their approach to the creation of a mobile environment on top of a standard and open Linux environment; it makes sense that they should pool their efforts and work on a common platform. I have high hopes that MeeGo will lead to a future where mobile devices are highly functional and usable, but where they also offer the full power and freedom of Linux to their users.”
“This kind of consolidation is good, particularly for these two operating systems, which have displayed some innovation and success in certain devices and emerging markets -- such as netbooks for Moblin and tablets for Maemo -- but which have also struggled individually to break out of their respective developer communities and market niches. Putting them together strengthens both in those respective niches, but it also broadens their appeal to developers and device makers. Centralizing governance and code integration can certainly be key to open source efforts such as these, so that may also help MeeGo broaden its mind and market share. The effort will need all the support and strength it can muster since it will be competing with Android, Chrome, iPhone and iPad and a number of other big efforts in mobile and converged devices.”
- - Jay Lyman, analyst, open source, The 451 Group
“Personally, I think this makes a lot of sense. Shepherding a Linux distribution is hard work. It takes a lot of effort to build and maintain a vibrant developer community, and it takes a certain attitude to really drive an open source project. It’s never been clear to me that Intel or Nokia really got it when it came to the Linux mindset. By moving their Linux efforts under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, MeeGo should have a much better chance of survival, and should be a real contender against Android for future devices."
- - Scott Merrill, blogger and reporter in blog post at MobileCrunch
“The consolidation and merger of the two platforms just makes sense. Maemo and Moblin shared many components in common, as well as a common philosophy and approach. Bringing together their parallel histories and separate code bases acknowledges the need for platform unity and also the value of the mutual investment by Maemo and Moblin communities to date.
I also like the MeeGo project because it offers device manufacturers and apps developers a native Linux platform whose substance comes from diverse, real and multiple communities. MeeGo takes the best of embedded and desktop Linux and delivers an organic mobile device and applications platform that provides utility and carries the Linux banner into the next decade.”
- - Bill Weinberg, senior executive and Mobile Practice Leader at Olliance Group.
“Many client Linux efforts to date have focused exclusively on desktop or smartphone segments. The time is now for a platform that is exclusively built to be used across a wide variety of devices, and that takes full advantage of the superior computing power of each device category – longer battery life, better screens, location services, touch, 4G broadband, new vehicle technology and stronger processors.
MeeGo is not an OS designed for a legacy purpose that is being crammed or expanded into a new device form. In other words, this isn’t a square peg in a round hole — MeeGo is a next generation mobile operating system designed for the next generation of mobile devices.”
- - Jim Zemlin, the executive director at the Linux Foundation, in his blog post today.