What Matters in MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan (and side WP rant)

| June 28, 2011 | 65 Replies

aadsf tipped us an article that’s reaching a lot of the Maemo/MeeGo supporters.  It’s to flors blog. He’s the face of, employee of Nokia Maemo as marketing manager.

He discusses some things we’ve talked about previously here that has been met with some uproar. MeeGo – the label has caused quite a discussion. Folks have pointed out why Nokia has been so shy as to call the software under the N9 MeeGo? Perhaps it’s because it’s essentially NOT sufficiently MeeGo to carry MeeGo branding (i.e. by accomplishing all compliance requirements)? As noted by the article, the name is not as important as the software running underneath.

There are FOUR things that is said to really matter. They are very versatile and flexible, contributing to each others developments or directing towards different paths, offering several possibilities for future products. These are:

1) Linux Kernel

2) Qt

3) Webkit

4) Swipe UX

“The rest of technologies involved in MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan are also crucial in terms of functionality and success of a product, but they are more the sort of interchangeable glue

1) Linux Kernel – will continue to live and evolve at Nokia

2) Qt – As noted in another video, the N9 is the flagship Qt device, it is the Qt Champion product. Reiteration of the points that Nokia has 100M Qt Symbian devices and that Qt will play an important role in ‘the next billion’

4) Swipe UX:

  • “Stephen Elop has said that it will live forward and evolve in future Nokia products.”
  • “This is what really matters about MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan when it comes to discuss about future products, platforms and ecosystems.”

The end of MeeGo?

  • look back at the four essential pieces above and keep in mind that Nokia is investing in all of them. Even if working on them is really fun, you may guess that Nokia is not paying the teams for the fun of it.
  • It is sensible to expect more to come in a form or another.
  • in reality the concern about “the future of MeeGo at Nokia” is tied to the future of Qt:
  • There is a direct correlation between the success of the Qt project and the satisfaction of the future N9 users

What do I get from this? Nokia is still focusing on new disruptions, on evolving swipe UX, with Linux and Qt still having strong future at Nokia. Elop may or may not have said no more MeeGo phone (if translatioin from those news sources were correct) but that doesn’t rule out possibilitiy of either other MeeGo devices or another linux OS, e.g. return to Maemo?

I like this ending message:

“no matter what your prediction is, the reality in 12 months will be different and unexpected today”

qgil replies at the comment section:

Qt team is busy with Qt5 already and they are actually not directly affected by the fate of the MeeGo team at Nokia or the N9 sales.

In the comments, Andrew Flegg points out that what he cares about is the underlying open OS that he can tinker with, not having much excitement for the possibility of Qt and Swipe UX on a more limited S40. Others have written in to share their concern.

This may not necessarily be the needs/desires of your general mass consumer that Nokia may be targeting.

Sastry Nittala summarises the possible concerns people have in adoption of a non-Nokia OS: Loosing that control to direct ones future, becoming a generic OEM, not being an industry leader and disregarding the community.

Random Rant (I wanted to make this a separate post, but it fits a little here)

I believe for a long while, Nokia has only been making choices to get themselves out of a worse situation, rather than lead the industry and let other people react. I think moving onto a non-Nokia controlled OS is the last thing Nokia ever wanted to do, but with each poorly executed strategy they left themselves constantly with fewer and fewer options, leaving us to where we are now. Nokia is here because of Nokia, left with little room to maneuver.  Symbian is at Accenture, the full force of Nokia is no longer appears to be behind MeeGo and we’re trying to get excitement for an OS that has seen little success with sales, the only hope being the timely arrival of Mango-charged Microsoft rescuing Nokia-Windows-Phone.

But it’s all looking horrible right now?

We won’t see the fruits of the new strategy, or even glimmers of it until Nokia World 2011 when hopefully N9 will be available and Sea-Ray (and buddies) will be announced. Then it’s possibly not until Q2 2012 that we’d see (hopefully, as a NOKIA fan) that Nokia gets back on their feet. I’m not exactly sure what a reversal in strategy right now at this stage and the firing of Elop will achieve for those who keep asking for it, I’m open to discussion.

As I see it, following such route would call for Nokia’s immediate and certain demise. When his work is done, and it hasn’t got the outcome expected, well then do so. For the moment what we’re seeing are things expected (and were already warned to expect) from a transition.

Think about calling a team of builders to renovate your house, they tell what work this will involve, but you still firing them when they start pulling out your floor.

It’s a necessary part of the work outlined for them, but the destruction looks frightening and the outcome uncertain at that stage. Once the job is done, or if there’s sufficient part of it that looks like it’s a fail, then get rid, possibly sue. Hopefully there’ll still be a house to repair. An optimist, I’m sure it won’t have to come to that.

Important thing to note.

We HAVEN’T seen what Nokia’s got cooking with Windows Phone Mango. They have several of these devices already working, preparing for announcement and release. DESPITE no one having used these Nokia handsets, how can anyone call them a fail?

WP Mango reviews are very positive (from several non-WP based tech blogs and that’s with less than 1/5 of the features expected), N9 hardware reviews are very positive (which at least one WP will share), Nokia’s distribution scale is immense, Nokia’s branding is fortunately still strong with majority of markets.

As a Nokia fan, I’m excited for BOTH MeeGo and Windows Phone and want both to be successful. Symbian Belle handsets too. I want N9 to reach as far and wide as it can manage, and I also want to see Windows Phone succeed too as that’s where much of Nokia’s focus resources are going (you know to keep them afloat long enough whilst they prepare for the future disruptions that would render all this stuff with WP irrelevant – from another article).  It seems, based on reactions to the hardware and the software of both devices, there’s a strong chance Nokia can pull off a good recovery.




Category: Nokia

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]