MeeGo, the Linux-based open source operating system that Nokia at one point championed for its smartphone line is officially dead, to be replaced by yet another OS. The official MeeGo web site has posted up a message from MeeGo's Imad Sousou announcing that it will be transitioning over to an all new operating system project hosted by the Linux Foundation, titled Tizen.
MeeGo was first announced in early 2010 with support from both Nokia and Intel, who basically decided to merge two other OS projects to create MeeGo. Nokia was expected to use MeeGo as one of its operating systems for smartphones, but in February 2011 it announced that it was putting its full support to making smartphones based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS. Nokia just released the N9 smartphone this week: it is the first, and most likely will be the last, of its smartphones that will use the MeeGo OS.
So why abandon MeeGo for Tizen? The MeeGo web site message from Sousou stated, "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."
Tizen's web site is already up and running and will be designed to be inside a number of devices including "smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks, and in-vehicle infotainment devices." While it will be open source Tizen will receive engineering support from Intel and Samsung. Look for the first Tizen OS version, along with its SDK, to be released sometime in the first quarter of 2012.