I love what I’ve seen of MeeGo; But….

| June 22, 2011 | 125 Replies

I’d rather not bring this up right after some of us have seen what could easily be one of the most gorgeous and simultaneously functional user interfaces ever seen, but I’m not sure I’ll be getting a MeeGo device or more specifically, this device. Read on to hear why.

Unlike Maemo which was the unruly child literally put up for adoption by its parents soon after it grew the ability to talk, the MeeGo we see today is a fully-fledged consumer facing solution which is more like the well-spoken prodigy of a child than anything else. And yet, I can’t help wondering whether it’ll suffer a similar fate, relegated to nothing but a memory through machinations not quite understood by the rest of us.

I had very low expectations of the MeeGo UI even after those preview videos we drooled over last year; in part due to my disappointment in Symbian^3. Usability-wise Symbian^3 was a significant step up from the Symbian-touch of yesteryear and at the same time for all the waiting involved it was disappointingly frustrating, clunky and behind the times UI-wise. Nokia eventually decided to EOL Symbian in the foreseeable future, deprecate MeeGo to a “future disruptions”/skunk-works/concept devices strategy and Windows Phone as their main platform. After seeing the way MeeGo ran on hardware that is for all intents and purposes well over a  year old the only words that my mouth could form were “wow!”.

The attention (and praise) that MeeGo and the N9 is getting not just here but in the mainstream media (NyTimes mainstream!), the consumer technology space including noted critics of Nokia (Engadget) is warranted and more importantly, surprising. In what was literally one of the most chill product announcements ever, Marko Ahtisaari ran us through the most basic of basics surrounding the device, told us a bit about the hardware design and engineering and left, no long unimportant spiel, no fluff, just cut to the chase -said his piece and left.

After having sat through the entirety of the keynote prior to that fighting off the boredom that was plaguing me (and likely everyone else on the internet), the 15 minute presentation on the N9 left me nigh-speechless, it was just THAT good. Shoot, the last time I can say I was this blown away by a Nokia was the N95 way back in 2007. The hardware and UI combination literally floored me and I can honestly say that I’ve not seen anything this impressive, ever! BUT…why should I buy it? Sure the device literally comes with almost every imaginable cloud service and feature fully baked in, sure there’s a decent mapping solution, sure there is the Qt-based application ecosystem to consider and sure the open-source community will give it all the time and energy they can muster but the overriding question remains; does it have a future?

Do Nokia intend to divert manpower and resources to this specific device and platform in the coming years? Does the surrounding ecosystem in terms of applications have enough viability to warrant developer investment in Qt and specifically MeeGo? Will the heavy hitters actually make applications for this platform without significant effort being undertaken by Nokia themselves? Will there be an end-to-end solution for music, videos, cloud-storage, data streaming and other similar applications? Hate on Microsoft, Google and Apple ecosystems all you want for being closed and restricting, but the majority of consumers want, nay, need these things in ways I’m not sure MeeGo will provide.

I want to see good products succeed, regardless of the companies responsible. I want choice, ease of use and low-cost in my  mobile device options (which are becoming an increasingly intrinsic part of our daily lives). I think MeeGo, as compared to stand-alone mobile operating systems is both a breath of fresh air and a great product, but like our dear friend Stephen Elop says, “We are moving from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems.”  Will MeeGo have a competitive ecosystem? I truly hope it does.



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Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

So you've read something I've written. yay!! As you already know, my name is Andre and I'm currently a student based in Atlanta. Much like Jay, I pretty much blog here in my free time. Follow me on twitter @andre1989 or contact me directly at Andre(at)mynokiablog(dot)com. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.