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back to article MeeGo or MS? Nokia ponders tablet OS

Nokia's agreement to base future smartphones on Windows Phone 7 doesn't extend to tablets. So says an unnamed mole cited by Reuters. He or she claims the Finnish phone giant hasn't ruled out using MeeGo, the mobile-centric version of Linux the company had been promoting with Intel, in any tablet it offers in a bid to compete …

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Personally, I think Nokia missed the boat.

OK, so I'm not "target audience", or whatever, but as far as I am concerned if they had released the N800 with a GSM/GPRS chip they'd have had a winner a long time ago.

Why on earth did it take 2 years to add proper radio functionality to the phone? A few of us at work (IT department) played with the N800 and lots of us liked it (though I wanted a qwerty keyboard) -- but what really stopped us being interested was having to buy a phone to tether it to and the uncertainty about whether the network would know and charge us for this. Had Nokia just released a GPRS tablet in 2007 I'm convinced they'd now have an iPad rival in full swing.

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N950

As far as I know, the N950 is going to be a Nokia Tablet with Meego on it. They are also releasing a developer version of Meego for the N900 so that's two Nokia tablets with Meego on.

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Anonymous Coward

tablets

N900 is hardly a tablet, and if N950 is the device I think it is, it's not a tablet either.

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Linux

N950 tablet/phone

I understand the n950 to be the n900's replacement. I think here we're talking something bigger or El Reg missed some nuance in its reporting.

MeeGo, if you want battery life, on ARM9 Tegra 250, Shirley?

http://www.meegoexperts.com/2011/03/meego-birmingham-uk-meetup/

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Won't happen.

The N950 is a replacement for the N900 assuming they release it, and if you read the maemo forums it is widely believed it will be the one swan song legacy that Nokia have with linux, it will be their Meego release but will be about as supported as the N900 was / is. Though I do believe 10 people work on the project which is up from the 3 that did Maemo. So maybe it won't have as much grief as Maemo did, and actually do some basics this time.

As the N900 is a steaming pile of dog doo and the Meego releases for the N900 so far have been dire I can't see it being used much, one release didn't have phone functionality and one had no battery managment software and some of the developers were urging the forums to really regard them as a work in progress and not to start installing the releases.

I don't think Meego will be taking much shape to rival the ipads of this world as it can't make known hardware on a 16 month old phone work. And Nokia unable to make a decision isn't a shock,

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Gates Horns

The N9 / N950 was seen at shows last June.

It is already looking obsolete and I doubt that it will ever be released. To be honest it looks like crap too.

Meego runs on the N900, but a lot of the hardware is not supported and with Nokia walking away it probably never will be.

So really Meego can only run half a Nokia phone.

I suspect this whole story is marketing bullshit anyway; there will be a period where Nokia is seen to be weighing the relative merits of Meego, Android and Win7. Then Win7 will be very publicly declared the winner.

Meanwhile the dribbling masses will simply go on buying Android phones or iphones, and Nokia will fade into bankruptcy or be sold for scrap without anyone really noticing....

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Headmaster

Correction

"Nokia will fade into bankruptcy or be sold for scrap without anyone really noticing"

Should read;

"Nokia will fade until their market cap is miniscule and then sold to Microsoft for spare change"

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title

I think my N900 is great but I am not sure I would go so far as to call it a tablet, though it has far more functionality than many tablets out there.

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a Reg mole

The issue really is that after the Black Friday, people at Nokia no longer know anything that's going to happen. The tablet was to be MeeGo, but with the new WP garbage announcement Elop just said the agreement didn't include tablets but suggested his view was to go with Windows. People lower in the company don't really know anything about what's to happen anymore, and can't even make good guesses as the management doesn't follow logic and reason. As you can imagine, the motivation is then at an all time low and people are doing little, despite promises of bonuses.

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Heard from another mole

I've been hearing the same thing...

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Boffin

Why not both?

More choice for their customers

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Go

sure, why not both or all three

Nokia seems bound to not understand the market it is in. Or, it's own business.

If you are going to focus upon hardware you are going to be much better off going with the flow when it comes to software. That may mean a MeeGo table. Or, it might be an Android tablet. Or, even a Microsoft tablet.

Choosing just one is far too limiting.

You can go strickly proprietary as has Apple. But, even HP is likely to not focus so strongly on WebOS that it ignores other operating systems.

Not picking Android because it does not want to be an "also ran Android" is silly. You still have to compete with them regardless. That is the huge mistake that Nokia has already made in regard to focusing only on the Microsoft phone. Coming out with a MS phone does not protect Nokia against the Android phones. They are still competitors regardless of whether or not Nokia makes one. Or, two or three.

What is Nokia's business? If it is to make the best handsets, then you do so for all prominent software systems. Why restrict yourself? If you did not have the staff to make software work it might make sense. Or, as in the past, if you had and applied only your own software, it might make sense. Apple takes that route.

But, if you only make the hardware, it is stupid to restrict yourself to only one OS. Even if it is a good choice. And right now, Microsoft is not up to par. And it may never be. Microsoft has to compete against the likes of Google, Apple and even RIM. Adding the Nokia set does not change that.

Funny how some in the industry think they are better off by offer less choice. Less choice than is already out there for the consumer.

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Coat

and have developer target 2 different platforms?

if Nokia wish to have its/the developers use the same application across the phones and tables, without any extra work, then they might need to stick to one OS.

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Economic theory

I thought they had sacked all the programmers?

If they do release a meego tablet I will be tempted to buy one just to annoy Elop.

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Anonymous Coward

No they haven't sacked all the programmers

They just scared the bejeezus out of everyone with the Big Announcement, then not much at all happened. Yet at least.

Makes me wonder about (a) the reasons behind the way the announcement was made and (b) about whether its substance is what at first appeared. You can let your imagination run wild.

Anyway, if their intention was to scare away the smartest guys who can find a new job the easiest, they may have had some success.

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Missed the boat? They're already number one in mobile Internet/app handheld devices

Nokia had non-phone tablets years ago (N800), it's just that more recently they've gone back to focusing on smartphone tablets. By this logic, it would be like Apple "missed the boat" because their tablet came later than Nokia's. And indeed, we could say the same for smartphones, which Apple entered the market far later.

But that's silly - tablets from years ago are no competition for tablets today. Similarly, it makes no sense that Nokia have missed the boat simply because they don't have a non-phone tablet out today but might release one in future.

But it's not just the "missed the boat" comment on an otherwise good article that makes no sense - it's the "yet again". Which other markets have they missed the boat on? Agreed they've had some lack of success (e.g., the attempts to move into handheld console devices), but so have many other companies. This doesn't stop them being the most successful phone and smartphone company, for years.

I love the spin between the two companies:

In smartphones, Nokia were in the market years before Apple, and were and are the number one company, with increasing sales. Do we hear "Apple missed the boat"? No, all we hear is doom and gloom about the falling market share.

In non-phone tablets, Apple's market share is falling, and predicted to fall further. Do we hear doom and gloom about that? No, for Apple all we hear is about them being number one and with increasing sales, and how other companies have "missed the boat".

You can't have it both ways.

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If Nokia are so successful why are they restructuring so much?

Nokia have pretty much admitted that they failed in the "new" smartphone market and are now practically an arm of MS -- so I wouldn't call them successful any more.

The N800 (and N850) was failure because it didn't know what it was -- it was too small to be a tablet (or the approximation at the time), it wasn't as much use as a laptop and it would have been a fun phone but didn't have the connectivity. So, in order to use this too-small internet device one needed to buy a phone also -- not forgetting buy the device with no operator subsidy. It was this close >< to being an iPhone for techies and missed out. OK, so hindsight is everything, but the criticism of the N800 at the time was that it was too small and not a phone, so there you go.

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+1

I completely agree.

Journalism like this is just thoughtless repetition of common misconceptions. Where do you go to get proper analysis and not just speculation and, deliberate or not, lies?

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FAIL

Great

One's a PoS and the other's not ready yet.

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simples

Microsoft will get round to telling them which version of Windows it runs soon enough...

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Anonymous Coward

Big or Little Windows?

if Nokia do go for a Windows tablet would it be -

* Win7: total joke. battery life in minutes, no touch apps (try using Outlook on a 7" screen with your finger)

* Win8: hmmm. let's see, the world ends in 2012 so at least no-one will complain if it's late (and no-one knows if it's going to have apps like Office optimized for that form factor anyway)

* WinPhone7: well, it's here and it works and while it's not perfect it's a damn site better in many ways than WinMo6 and there's a marketplace full of half decent apps.

* WinCE: not quite dead yet, CE7 is a pretty decent platform but politically within Microsoft probably not going to get much love as the Big Windows mafia see it as a challenge to their dominance so probably a dead end.

the obvious choice... probably isn't going to be made because it doesn't align with politics

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You can't have it both ways.

@Mark.

Yes Nokia is still the market leader by volume. But their smart phone products are mostly just used as phones.

There is no doubt that even if Nokia Sales are increasing, the Dumb and Feature phones are under threat from China by price and their Smart phones are under threat from everyone.

Apple may not see much more market share. But Nokia has demonstrated that they can't do GUIs. that the best aspect of Symbian was designed by Psion. Symbian is still best choice for a basic feature phone. But with falling ROM. RAM and CPU costs, cheap Chinese Linux Feature phones may be "good enough".

I doubt Intel and Nokia can ever deliver a decent GUI experience on Meego. Meego is 5 years too late. That's why Nokia has missed the Boat.

Win Phone can't Scale up to Tablets and ARM Win8 is yet to be proven to be any use at all on a Tablet. MS has been trying to get GUI right for Tablet since 1993 Win3.11. They may have finally got Phone screen GUI on WinCE "OK"ish via Zune for WinPhone7. That's not a Table OS. They may be too late also. Getting WinPhone7 on Nokia may be too late. Has MS missed the Boat?

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WinPho7 not for tablets

MS have repeatedly said theat WinPho7 is for phones not tablets. Win7 should be used for tablets now, Win8 in the future. So the chances of a Nokia WinPho7 tablet are obviously pretty slim.

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Linux

Missed the Boat.

They had the Communicator 9000. But messed with S60 instead of a decent GUI for a Symbian Smart phone. by 2002 the 9210i had Flash too.

They had the N770 Linux tablet in 2005 but made tiny incremental changes to produce N800, Nokia N810 and Nokia N900. Never produced a large enough screen size or good enough GUI.

Nokia lost the plot years ago.

QT was a nice idea. But they bought Trolltech and killed it.

Nokia missed the boat because they went to the Train station by mistake and took a rickshaw..

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MeeGo today, M$ next century?

I'd have hoped they'd have something in the labs by now FFS!

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FAIL

Meh

My original Motorola Droid has tons more functionality & hackability (despite Verizon/Motorola) and a better keyboard than my N810, and is a better phone than my friend's N900.

I coded apps on the N810 for 2 years, and it was a drag, compared to the first couple weeks with Android. Maemo was a horribly documented schizophrenic mess.

So I think Nokia's ship sailed about the time of Christopher Columbus.

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So...

After a shocking attack of decisiveness the other month, Nokia have quickly returned to their usual "ummm" "errrr" as more boats sail off into the sunset?

Bangs head against wall.

To those that says Nokia did not miss the boat, they did. The boat isn't just about the product, it's about the promotion and public perception. It's a sales boat (not a sail boat - sorry). You can't have a world beating or dominating device if the world doesn't know about it!

With the N800 et al, they built 95% of the boat, then launched it, in secret, at night, without telling anyone and then bobbed off out of port listing slightly to one side.

It's only now when they had to call for the MS life boat to rescue them from yet another 95% complete boat, which had been left drifting with a skeleton crew, that people are going "Ooooh, Nokia made a boat?!"

(I suspect the MS lifeboat may be made out of Papier-mâché)

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Waiting for the bank statement to decide

Presumably the confusion lasts about as long as it takes the next investment form MSFT to clear?

If the reg readers had a whip round we could probably persuade them to consider something else - VMS or BBC basic?

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Not so much missed the boat...

...as dead in the water.

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Unhappy

Doooomed

If there's any platform that'll need more help foisting on customers than WP7 it'll be Windows 8 for Tablets.

We all know which OS the trojan horse will choose. RIP Nokia, it was nice knowing you.

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FAIL

Win7 on a tablet?

Like that's going to work well. You would like to think that Micosoft would have learnt that shoehorning a PC-based OS usually mainly controlled with keyboard and mouse may vaugely work, but does not really interest the punters. Or at least not when they've tried to use one.

Meanwhile I've no idea what Nokia think they're up to. If the tablet market were a marathon then Apple's offerings would be past 20 miles and Nokia would still be trying to figure out which t-shirt to wear before getting to the start line.

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