"If Meego had been as slick as it was in the N9 but two or three year earlier, then I'd agree. By 2011 nobody else wanted Meego and Nokia didn't think it could build an ecosystem on its own. The board agreed."
Actually Maemo had _no_ adversisement and even the N9, which was probably one of the worst Maemo/Meego handsets (no keyboard!) outsold all of their Windows handsets at that time.
Sure there's the iPhone/Android/WindowsPhone crowd who just want some "slick" device to display ads on, Maemo cannot complete with that but why should it? There are people who want to actually _do_ something with a mobile device. People who don't want some cut down "smart"-phone, but a mobile computer which in principle can do everything their laptop of desktop can do. Even the N810 was closer to that than all Android/iOS/WindowsPhone devices you can buy today.