Less than a week after Mozilla rechristened its Linux-based mobile operating system, a group of former Nokia executives has announced development of a new smartphone based on Meego, the Linux-based OS that Nokia abandoned in favor of Windows. Nokia only produced one Meego smartphone, the N9, a phone perhaps most notable for its screen-only user interface – there are no buttons on the face of the device.
Last week, Meego lead developer Sotiris Makyrgiannis announced that he is leaving Nokia, clouding the future of the Meego operating system. The clouds lifted just a few days later when Finland’s Jolla Ltd., run by another group of ex-Nokia executives, said that it will design, develop and sell new MeeGo-based smartphones. Jolla says its first smartphone will be unveiled later this year.
“Nokia created something wonderful – the world’s best smartphone product. It deserves to be continued, and we will do that together with all the bright and gifted people contributing to the MeeGo success story,” Jolla CEO Jussi Hurmola said in a press release. Jolla says it has been working on the product since the end of 2011 and that it will include a brand new user interface.
Wireless service providers have been vocal advocates of efforts to promote a third mobile operating system that will compete effectively with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. In recent months, Windows has been seen as the strongest contender due to its entrenched user base in the PC world. But Linux-based efforts continue to bubble up from the software development community. In addition to Meego and the Firefox OS, an operating system called Tizen is in development within the Linux Foundation.