Nokia and MeeGo The Full Story: Dating, Marriage, Divorce
By now everyone knows about Nokia, MeeGo, the Nokia N9, and Nokia's decision to go with Windows Phone dropping MeeGo. What a lot of people don't know is that Nokia has been working on MeeGo (in one form or another) since 2005 and the infighting that lead to MeeGo's demise at Nokia. A site called Taskumuro did a major write up on these events it's long and time-consuming. In an effort to help you the reader I decide to try to summarize this article for you.
Phase One Dating:
In 2005 Nokia started a new project in which they were working with Linux code for their operating system. This was known as simply OSSO (Open Source Software Operations) it would later (in 2007) be renamed Maemo. This was a small team of developers lead (without much funding) by Ari Jaaksi. Yet somehow they managed to make "tablet" like devices ages before the there was even a term for them.
In 2005 they released the Nokia N770
The follow up to the N770 the the N800 was released in 2007:
Late in the 4Qtr of 2007 Nokia released it's first Maemo device that was a phone the Nokia N810.
With the release of the N810 the rank in file at Nokia started to pay close attention to this side project and figured out it could be a threat to Symbian and this is when the infighting started at Nokia. Regardless of what on around them the Maemo team plowed on ahead undeterred on their mission and came out the other side with a brilliant phone called the N900.
The N900 used the Maemo 5 OS which is the forerunner to Maemo 6.(aka Harmattan/MeeGo) It's at this point in which it would have done the most good to for Nokia to switch over to Maemo as their main OS and ditch Symbian before the iPhone. (If this had been done Nokia history would have been changed for the better.)
Phase Two: Marriage
At Mobile World Congress in 2010 Nokia announced that they would be combining their Linux based operating systems to make MeeGo. It would be combination of Nokia's own Maemo 6 and Intel's Moblin that would form the MeeGo interface that only got to run one device the Nokia N9.
After several design styles for the new operating system Nokia finally settled on the MeeGo design you see today. This design was made by an outside subcontractor 80/20 design studio from New York. Than the hard work of making the first Nokia MeeGo phone had began. There was a great many phones that Nokia didn't release for one reason or another running this new OS my personal favorite was codenamed Columbus.
This phone was for all purposes the Nokia N8 running MeeGo and was slated to be released in the first half of 2010 but was hampered by delays in the development of the MeeGo UI.
There where other devices that never got released by Nokia including a tablet (codenamed Senna) in which Nokia went as far to get a patent for. It was not to run the same interface as the Nokia N9 but instead use Senna used a public version of MeeGo.
Phase Three: Divorce
As this is the most public part of this relationship I will not spend too long on it, for most of the facts you already know. With the hiring of Stephen Elop in 2010 Nokia decided to switch courses. Even before the now famous "Burning Platform Memo" he was working on project called ”Sea Eagle” which was to sort out and analyze alternatives to Nokia’s smartphone strategy. They use inside Nokians and even hired outside help for this project.
In a nutshell the lack of 4G on the N9 and the lack of eco-system doomed the N9 (and the MeeGo OS) at Nokia. They already had AT&T agreeing to sell the N9 with development for Verizon version of the N9 (codenamed RM-716) already in hand when Nokia pulled the plug on MeeGo and went Windows Phone. Well you know the rest... Nokia went with Windows Phone for all their smartphones, and Jolla was born by Ex-Nokians to continue the MeeGo linage.