Intel drops MeeGo, backs new OS project

Looks like MeeGo is about to join webOS in the graveyard of mobile operating systems that didn't quite make it. Intel announced this morning that it's embracing Tizen, a "new Linux-based open source software platform for multiple device categories," and plans to help its MeeGo partners transition to it.

What makes Tizen worth dropping MeeGo like a hot potato? Intel Open Source Technology Center Director Imad Sousou elaborates:

This new project is first and foremost open source, and based on Linux. So it begs the question: why not just evolve MeeGo? We believe the future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5. Shifting to HTML5 doesn't just mean slapping a web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo has been. Emphasizing HTML5 means that APIs not visible to HTML5 programmers need not be as rigid, and can evolve with platform technology and can vary by market segment.

According to the official Tizen website, the first Tizen release and developer toolkit is planned for the first quarter of next year. Tizen will emphasize HTML5 and "other web standards," and it will purportedly support everything from netbooks and tablets to phones and TVs. Just like MeeGo, the project is backed by Intel and a major handset vendor—this time Samsung. The Linux Foundation is also hosting the project.

More details will come to light "in the coming weeks."

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