I saw @zehjotkah tweet early this morning about Hildon UI on a Lenovo. A quick search revealled indeed that this Maemo 5 UI was on the MeeGo Lenovo ST10-3t (by smokkku)
There’s also another video of Hildon desktop on a joggler device (by fukywak)
Looking back to 2009, there was NOTHING really wrong with Maemo 5 (at least on UI front). There were some tweaks needed, but it was beautiful yet extremely practical. The platform itself had so much potential. We joke about it on twitter that all Nokia really needed to do was to create a slim N900 and that would have been an awesome device. Slowly but surely it was receiving updates to fix any bugs and improve on features.
But it never received the support it needed from Nokia. It was left behind as ‘the experimental’. No direct Ovi Store, No turn by turn voice, lack of the Qt apps coming to Symbian^3 though Qt was meant to be the all encompassing, cross platform solution. The community at talk.maemo.org is pretty much what made Maemo 5 what it is WITHOUT Nokia’s direct input. There’s not really a strong pro-Nokia vibe there, especially after essentially ditching MeeGo for Windows Phone (though the whole leaving Maemo for MeeGo was also pretty tough to swallow initially). Yesterday we heard that the MeeGo handset will be released this year. Called N950. But unlike the destined successor of the N900, it is not to be STEP 5 of 5 into mainstream but yet another experimental development handset.
I don’t want to go into whether it was right or wrong for Nokia again. But I would like to direct you to a blogpost tweeted by @msjen last night. It’s called
“The Beauty of the Nokia-Microsoft Deal”
It’s somewhat appropriate to discuss this here. Christian writes:
- Microsoft has made the very first move into a bold context UI – away from the current task centric UI.
Timing the paradigm shift: “We do not know if it pays of, but one thing is certain it will be the catalyst to the next paradigm if it is not it.”
- Microkia in industry transformation – change in how users are drawn into the services
- Nokia fell behind in UX due to customization
- Customization in S40/S60 – not their killer assets.
“customisation consumes lots of effort, but is too shallow to make a difference. Customisation to work has to be much deeper than what was done for Symbian and Series 40.”
- Apple does not customize – customers are the users. They don’t bend down for operators. But their apps are apparently the “ball and chain of the context ui)
- Android customization could lead to fragmentation – though they do have good strategy in controlling this with strategy of core experience and core apps
- But that is not the beginning of the future, it is a better past.
- Secret to Microkia success is to AVOID customization. Remember that it was said that Nokia could customize WP but later I think someone said they wouldn’t (or at least not the the extent they’re allowed to.) For one it could delay updates. Look at how Androids get uniform releases in updates…what…they don’t? Oh yeah.
- Focus should be on smart services that start with UX-hardware and goes deep into hardware: smart camera, smart maps, smart hardware.
- Nok-MS deal would also give Peter Skillman (webOS designer) and Marko Ahtisaari (who hinted at Nokia’s inclination to WP at Le Web when he pretty much failed to deny WP on Nokia as it was different and unlike Android, they could add value to it)
- BTW, just a side step. Remember how through MeeGo there would be that New Paradigm in UX? That they would only ship the device once it’s amazing?
- S40 is getting much more backing from Nokia. Significance?
Series 40 platform is a fantastic asset that is completely controlled by Nokia from top to bottom, and can become an interesting transformation in low end
- Nokia has the ability to change the future of Windows Phone and create the next big thing. Their 3rd pillar of their strategy to create the “next disruption” where Nokia does not follow to catch up but sets the trend. Hmm…nice…optimistic view. Forgive me for being sceptical though.