Intel to merge MeeGo with LiMo. Samsung is on board

Remember LiMo? Think. No, it’s not a lemonade brand. It’s also not something to do with limousines.

LiMo (undoubtedly a name made up of the association of the words Linux and Mobile) is a Linux-based mobile operating system. Back in the day, some said it was an excellent alternative to Android. Yeah.

But now it’s 2011 and the last time we heard anything about LiMo was last year when Vodafone decided to cancel an entire own-brand line of smartphones that were powered by this platform. So it obviously hasn’t been very successful.

And, let’s face it, neither has MeeGo, the stupidly named Intel-Nokia joint venture that was going to revolutionize this or that in the mobile world. We all (hopefully) know how that happened, with Nokia releasing a grand total of one device, the N9, which isn’t even technically running MeeGo, but a customized build based more on Nokia’s own Harmattan code than MeeGo.

So here we have two failed mobile operating systems. That are apparently going to get merged. According to, Intel isn’t ready to give up on mobile software just yet. So it has appealed to the backers of LiMo, and proposed a merge with MeeGo. What would be the result? Well, a mobile OS that will once again revolutionize everything, of course.

Most notable among LiMo backers are Samsung, Panasonic, and NEC. So maybe we’ll see a MeeMo or LiGo (don’t laugh – you could have just as easily laughed when hearing “MeeGo” before the name was official) smartphone from Samsung then, right?

That may be. After all, Samsung was the maker of those LiMo phones for Vodafone. Then again, consider that Samsung has, over the years, created and sold Windows Mobile phones, Symbian phones, and today it sells phones running three different smartphone OS platforms (Android, Windows Phone, and Bada). So one or two MeeMo/LiGo devices from Samsung would hardly signal a shift in its strategy (which, by the way, seems to be “use all available mobile OSes”).

On the other hand, Samsung could just merge Bada with MeeGo and LiMo. It’s in need of an open kernel for the Bada stack, which it will open source next year anyway. So a three-way blend between these failed or failing OS attempts may be interesting. Or not. Unless the focus will be on lower-end devices (where iOS, Windows Phone, and even Android still suffer to some extent even today), it’s unlikely that this will gather any developer and/or consumer following before 2013, or even then.

Yes, Android has grown from zero to hero pretty fast, but is the market really ready for four different ecosystems? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?

As for Intel, it’s looking more and more desperate in its mobile efforts with every day that goes by. Twice each year we hear how a smartphone with an Intel processor is just around the corner. We’ve yet to see one such shipping product.

And then there’s the software side, which the tech giant seems to cling on to exactly because its mobile chips are lacking compared to ARM designs. Yet combining a few failed products has seldom been the key to success. Time will tell, though.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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