Imad Sousou, Director of Intel Open Source Technology Center, described what's next for MeeGo in a blog post yesterday on the MeeGo site. Sousou says that the Linux Foundation and its partner companies will focus on a new Linux-based operating system for mobile devices called Tizen. He then answered the obvious question, “Why not just evolve MeeGo?” His answer:
We believe the future belongs to HTML5-based applications, outside of a relatively small percentage of apps, and we are firmly convinced that our investment needs to shift toward HTML5. Shifting to HTML5 doesn't just mean slapping a web runtime on an existing Linux, even one aimed at mobile, as MeeGo has been.
Still, I don't get it. MeeGo seemed so promising when it was first announced, but despite the great branding, never seemed to take off or gain traction. Would it make more business sense to reenergize the MeeGo project by taking it in a new, forward-thinking, HTML5-focused direction? Obviously that's not what the Linux Foundation, Intel, and their partners decided. Instead, it looks like they are killing MeeGo as they unenthusiastically announce the new Tizen project, which should see its first release and SDK in Q1 of 2012.
Hopefully Tizen will gain some of the energy MeeGo once had. But by the look of their announcement and website, they are off to a less than enthusiastic start.