Maemo + MeeGo: The Real Story

Following on from my last post, I stumbled across some really interesting and eye opening stuff via mynokiablog or for the full story.

In my last post, I questioned why Nokia are where they are right now and since reading this article, it has opened my eyes a little more to what has been going on behind the scenes at Nokia over the past years.

The question of where did it begin to go wrong was clearly one of Nokia being caught off guard:

Nokia continued to develop both Symbian and Maemo for touch screen enabled smartphones side by side, since Symbian was still selling well, and no one guessed how quickly iOS and Android based phones would revolutionize the smartphone market

Additionally, while Maemo showed us so much promise (and latterly MeeGo), it seems there may have been internal politics between the Symbian and Linux teams competing with one another rather than working together which caused internal conflict:

First signs of Nokia’s internal competition between two platforms were seen with the N810 device. It was released in late 2007 and entered the market without phone functionality. It would have been Nokia’s first Maemo phone, but the decision to leave out the phone functionality was said to have been completely political.

Nokia N810: No phone capability due to internal competition with Symbian

And then of course there was the final nail in the Linux coffin – Windows Phone – came as complete closure on any good that had come of these projects (although it can’t be doubted the latest Lumia 820/920 models show a lot of promise over a year later):

According to Nokia’s new strategy announced on February 11th 2011, the company agreed on a strategic partnership with Microsoft to create a global mobile ecosystem.

Elop signing Microsoft agreement with Balmer

Anyhow, mid way through writing the previous post, I found this article which began to unravel in detail all my questions that I had on the whys, hows, wheres, whats and wows….

As already mentioned, the article (and the earlier quotes) comes via mynokiablog and the original article is found here: 

For anyone who – like me – is interested or intrigued by the Maemo/MeeGo story, this article goes into great detail about what went on behind the scenes and the internal struggles/politics that the teams had to deal with.

This article is also highly recommended for anyone wanting to get up to speed with the Jolla story, because it provides the background history of how Jolla came to be formed.

Enjoy (over a very long <<insert drink of choice>>)! :-)

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  1. This isn’t “the real story”, I don’t get way it’s being portrayed as that throughout the entire blogosphere, there’s shitloads of inaccuracies…
    The author supposedly had some “anonymous” devs that STILL work for Nokia, & who are only based in Finland, give some input, that’s far from conclusive/balanced.
    If we had a story put together by several of the most well-known members of the maemo/meego/qt community, & their names were published alongside that article, THAT would be close to definitive.

    • nonsense. You somehow seem to think the community knows more about nokia’s internals than nokians? IMO the community itself is responsible for propagating hype and inaccuracies.

      • The community = MANY nokians buddy, some whom I associate with & know myself.
        This article’s motivated by a individual’s wish to confirm the current path as the gold standard, in that context it doesn’t matter if many little elements are off, the narrative he’s painting is more important.
        He interviewed several nokians, all of them based in Finland, which means most of them were never closely involved in harmattan (or meltemi for that matter), & most of them STILL work for Nokia.
        I’ll be waiting for the full narrative from those well-known to the maemo/Qt/meego community over the years, who will be in a safer place to to tell the full, & unbiased/unedited edition of what occurred.
        That’s still a few years away, if ever….

        • The author’s even conceded that this article is his own narrative/story, and not a precise chronological acct of what occurred.

  2. To hear a balanced story, I think we need to hear from both Nokians primarily who were working at Nokia during this time and also the community but to say that one side has the complete story is not very objective of course. The guys who were internal Nokia folk would naturally know a great deal of what happened within Nokia. But I’m sure James is right that there were many crossover Nokians who are/were also actively involved in the community. Also, I think just to clarify, when you talk about the ‘author’, readers here need to know that you are talking about the author in the article from the link I provided and not myself just if anyone is unsure.

    • I’ve said those involved at the time (who are likely to be known by many -& active- in the community) need to be outlining it all, I’ve never said “the community” knows more than those involved.
      Harmattan & Meltemi were very globally distributed projects, they were everywhere BUT Finland for the most part…

  3. Pingback: The Continuum Theory « Latest Jolla Mobile News

    • What are you talking about have you ever used MeeGo?! Skype is integrated in both the N9 running MeeGo and the N900 running maemo so you don’t even need an app because its built in!! In terms of apps, I concede, but who needs the ‘iFart’ (out of my cakehole) app you just downloaded ?

      • Don’t worry about him, let him crawl back under his bridge, sounds utterly clueless about the whole platform anyway, he didn’t articulate anything which showed his in-depth knowledge about it, just the typical throwaway lines that demonstrate low IQ.