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Intel defends MeeGo after Nokia defection

'Disappointment', not despair

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Nokia may have run off with Microsoft, but Intel remains married to MeeGo.

"While we are disappointed with Nokia's decision," Intel spokeswoman Suzy Ramirez tells The Reg, "Intel remains committed to MeeGo and welcomes Nokia's continued contribution to MeeGo open source."

That disappointing decision, of course, was announced earlier today: Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its "primary smartphone platform."

Disappointing, indeed. Almost exactly one year ago today, Intel and Nokia fused their respective Moblin and Maemo Linux-based mobile operating systems into the MeeGo mashup. Version 1.0 was birthed three months later.

Ramirez, as might be expected, put the best possible face on Intel's disappointment, reminding us that: "Since day one, our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems, a strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing."

Mobile-device vendors, however, have not exactly trampled one another in a mad rush to embrace MeeGo. That is, unless you classify your familiy car as a "mobile device" – last July, Meego was chosen as the go-to OS for in-vehicle infotainment systems by the GENIVI automotive-industry alliance, an international group founded by GM, ARM, Intel, BMW, and others.

That type of adoption is a MeeGo strength, says Ramirez – and, we surmise, one reason why Intel's stated response is disappointment, not despair. "MeeGo is not just a phone OS," Ramirez tells us, "it supports multiple devices. And we're seeing momentum across multiple segments – automotive systems, netbooks, tablets, set-top boxes and our Intel silicon will be in a phone that ships this year."

But don't read the last part of that statement to imply that MeeGo would be in that Intel-siliconized phone this year. When we asked Ramirez for clarification, she replied that she was not specifying what OS would be in that phone. Nor would she say what company would be manufacturing the phone.

She also noted that she had been up since three o'clock Friday morning – presumably dealing with fallout from the Nokia announcement – so we'll cut her some slack for her convoluted prose.

After today's announcement that Nokia was embracing Windows Phone, we doubt that the manufacturer of the phone to which Ramirez is referring will be a Finnish one – especially considering the fact that Nokia's main MeeGo man, Alberto Torres, has "stepped down from the management team ... to pursue other interests outside the company," according to a company statement on Friday.

But who knows? Stranger things have happened – such as Nokia getting in bed with a company that it had been battling for 15 years. ®

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