Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Intel Operating Systems Cellphones Microsoft Linux

The Story of Nokia MeeGo 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the rise-and-fall-but-mostly-fall dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TaskuMuro, a Finnish tech news site, has anonymously interviewed various Nokia employees and pieced together an interesting timeline of the events which led to the abandonment of the Nokia MeeGo platform and to Nokia's current affiliation with Microsoft and Windows Phone. It appears the MeeGo project was rather disorganized from the get-go and fell victim to the company's internal tug-of-war, aimless management causing several UI redesigns and a none-too-wise reliance on Intel components which lacked some key features – namely, LTE support."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Story of Nokia MeeGo

Comments Filter:
  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:48PM (#41634695)

    I've considered Elop to be a massive fuck up but this sounds pretty bad. Maybe his move to Microsoft wasn't completely moronic (even if it ultimately kills the company because no one buys windows phones).

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mystikkman (1487801) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:02PM (#41634831)

      Symbian was even worse. They had different branches of code for each phone and they were each run by middle managers who were always at loggerheads with each other and refused to merge code from their competing teams. Not to mention they always tried to scuttle any move away from Symbian.

      • Not really (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Nokia builds great hardware, great cameras, has assets for mapping and navigation and they had 3000 people working on Software. With Android and some hard furious work they could have done some amazing things, no doubt.

        • No, no they couldn't have.

          the culture at Nokia was really toxic. no one could execute. Even if they went Android the OS would've had a crap load of apps but outclassed by the likes of HTC, Moto and now, Samsung.

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:44PM (#41636455)

        They used to have a normal organizational structure. Phones division, network division, research division, etc. Then in early 2000's it decided to go with a "grid" style structure. Business phones vs personal phones vs whatever going horizontally, and CMDA vs GSM etc going vertically, things like that. The traditional organization style is what got Nokia from a smallish company to a major world power; the new grid style ended up with 50+ different phones doing essentially the same thing and a shrinking of the market share.

      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

        by CockMonster (886033) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:51PM (#41637921)
        The Symbian Ltd employees who were bought by Nokia could not believe how fucked up Nokia was at software. To be honest, I'm wasn't aware of any competition between teams but I wasn't in Finland.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:11PM (#41634919) Homepage

      You must realize, Microsoft has a long tradition of maintaining an internal tug-of-war, led by aimless management, and causing several UI redesigns. They're the perfect choice to synergize with Nokia's corporate environment to leverage their assets for market innovation!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kingkaid (2751527)
      Nokia didn't have a choice to partner with anyone but Microsoft. If they stayed with Symbian they were dead. MeeGo was dead before being born. Blackberry would have never partnered with them. Apple would have never partnered with them. This leaves Microsoft and Google. If they choose Google they are now competing on the same platform against a much cheaper Korean and Chinese manufacturers and designers. I am sure they could have made a go of it, but the company would have shrunk and likely be in worse sha
      • by Kartu (1490911)
        Nokia, known for great hardware, still selling gazillion of cheap phones (guess where they are produced? Nope, not in Finland) would have problems competing with the likes of Samsung, hence it had to become Microsoft's EXCLUSIVE delivery boy, how could that make sense, considering NON EXISTENT smartphone market share of Microsoft?
        • by jbolden (176878)

          Margin generally requires a differentiator otherwise you are a commodity.

          Google did not want to give Nokia an exclusive they were doing too well.
          Microsoft was willing to give Nokia cash.

      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:31PM (#41637107)
        This is another repeat of the "Nokia wouldn't be able to make their phones special under Android so they would just compete on price". I'm still trying to work out how the shills can even say this "couldn't differentiate" bullshit with a straight face. Let's get this right:

        with Android you have the source code and support for almost all available hardware; You are allowed to change the interface and a number of companies have already done son. Also you are allowed to add any applications you want of your own. This makes it impossible to differentiate your phone from other ones

        With Windows; there is a small set of limited standard hardware; There is no support for proper cameras which is why PureView had to be crippled to work on it. The interface is controlled by Microsoft and is pretty much the same commodity system on all phones. The apps are forced to a secondary role by Microsoft controlled "hubs" which limit the possibilities for presenting data. All of this adds up to an operating system where Nokia has excellent opportunities to differentiate.

        Based on their inability to differentiate using Android, Nokia were wise to go with Microsoft, where not only will they have to compete with the same much cheaper "Korean and Chinese manufacturers" (who seem to be actually getting MS backing to release ahead of Nokia) but they will also have to compete with Microsoft a company which sees its self as devices company [zdnet.com].

        ' Really; that's basically what you are saying. Astounding.

        • Yea, they still compete against Android on features and price. Only now they can have the bulletpoint "Includes More Microsoft Software", not realizing that 1) There is insignificant demand for Microsoft Phone OS
          and
          2) More and more people have a general dislike for Microsoft software. They don't use it out of choice.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          It's an excuse. It only needs to be solid enough for plausible deniability. The bar is quite low.
      • by Tharald (444591) on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:11PM (#41638119)

        Seriously, I agree with all but the Android part. Back in 2010 Nokia was the biggest phone maker in the world, both in smart and dumbphones. They had the distribution network, the manufacturing capabilities and the brand name to keep that position. With Android they could have stayed in this position, possibly losing a bit of it or gained a bit more depending on their implementation and quality, but they would still have had a fighting chance to be the top dog.

        Why the hell has Samsung gone from a bit player to a giant with Android while we should think that Nokia couldn't even keep their dominating position with the same system? It just doesn't compute. Of course Nokia should have seen the lights 5-6 years ago and either dedicated themselves to Meego/maemo or they should have jumped ship and gone with Android. But they would still have a be in a position if they had gone with Android instead of Windows close to 2 years ago. Of course they could still have fucked up, but saying they couldn't have competed with Android just makes no sense at all.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        If Elop had kept his mouth shut Symbian would still have 20% share and enjoy a long tail. But no, we had to throw them off the burning platform and get fully committed to Redmond. Symbian buyers bought it because it wasn't Windows mobile. To think you could ever convert those customers to Windows Phone on the strength of the Nokia brand was just dumb.
      • I know Symbian would not take Nokia anywhere, the Symbian "App market" is pathetic compared to Android's one and that's one of the things that sell phones, but why didn't Nokia built several lines of phones (Meego, Windows and Android) like Samsung, LG and HTC did? I know it would be expensive, but I'm sure Nokia had money in 2010 to match at least HTC and LG. I have a Nokia C7-00 (Symbian) and I like it, it's very well built and it does everything I need, the free worldwide turn-by-turn navigation is awes
    • They should have switched to their iPhone killing bubble UI instead.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSRuY_9ZMsY&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Wasn't Meego more an Intel project than a Nokia one? One brought about by what Intel at the time perceived was Microsoft dragging its feet about supporting the Intel Atom w/ Windows 7? Later, of course, it became Intel/Nokia's cellphone OS.

      Incidentally, how is Tizen doing?
      • by Donwulff (27374)

        It's a bit complicated to try to look at that way, since MeeGo is open source, anyone is free to fork it and make their own version, which is what kept happening all through. If you really try to look at it with the "Whose project" mindset, since MeeGo is Linux, at the root you'll find out it's a Linus Torvalds project :)

        However, if you look at its more recent history, MeeGo was Intel's Moblin + Nokia's Maemo (Except that the only released MeeGo phone was never true MeeGo, much of the Moblin code was still

  • I always had to think whether it actually doesn't sound like a "Mi-go" (from Whisperer in the darkness), and had absolutely no other explanation for the 'MeeGo' word.

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:55PM (#41634767)

      MeeGo, the scourge of Carpathia, the sorrow of Moldavia, commands you!

    • by Microlith (54737)

      MeeGo was supposed to be the industry-facing name for the platform. That it was spread farther was typical of the ineptness of the management at Nokia.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Even the names of the parent platforms - Intel Moblin and Nokia Maemo - were strange, although Intel's sounded a tad better, just like Tizen does. What's even stranger is that they made the name of the joint platform a derivative of those names. Even the name 'Mer' of the current successor project doesn't sound that much better.
      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        I liked the name Moblin (still do). Thought it was a shame when Maemo merged with it and killed the name. Tizen is OK sounding as names go, but I don't really understand what it's supposed to mean (other than sounding like a popular British soft-drink). Mer I understand ("MeeGo Restructured"), but I don't like the sound of.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:57PM (#41634783)

    You have to figure they're recruiting the best of the best, yet some of them manage epic F-ups. I can't imagine there weren't howls of disapproval from at least a few people in that organization.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I lived in Finland for some years and found multiple cases where an individual was dragging a whole department down and none of the collegues were fighting the horrible unfair situation.

      It is a cultural problem in my perception.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:54PM (#41635595)

      You have to figure they're recruiting the best of the best, yet some of them manage epic F-ups.

      Like the article said though, the teams were great what they were coming up with was great - but they lacked focus, and Nokia was working on multiple platforms at once.

      You cannot do that when Google and Apple both ALSO have great teams, also working but all with a focus on one system. Nokia was fated to fall behind these other platforms without the focus on building out a single ecosystem at the same pace Apple and Google were.

      It's really a shame, Nokia had an awesome starting position and smart people. But in the end I have to agree with Elop that they were too far behind and the Microsoft partnership was the only way to let them catch up and yet stay distinct in the market (which would have been an issue with Android for Nokia).

      • by UpnAtom (551727)

        But in the end I have to agree with Elop that they were too far behind and the Microsoft partnership was the only way to let them catch up and yet stay distinct in the market (which would have been an issue with Android for Nokia).

        So Elop was perfectly capable of killing 10+ departments but not capable of killing the 8 or so that were getting in the way of MeeGo Harmattan, easily the best phone OS in existence? This makes zero sense.

        A proper CEO ie one about 10x better than Elop would simply have restructured the company to a more cohesive form.

  • subcontracting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrquagmire (2326560) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:21PM (#41635043)
    "...it was difficult to keep hold of the quality of the subcontractors' work..."
    "...bad code written in India..."
    "...communication problems..."

    I'm shocked. How upper management types keep justifying this model with "lower costs" is completely beyond me.
    • You have to understand they don't want to save money but just make it look that way.

      Until they get their bonuses and have move onto a new company.

      Vultures.

      • Fully understood. But you'd think at some point that the myth of cost-savings-by-outsourcing would come to light.

        Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit.
        • by Narcocide (102829)

          Its a self-perpetuating social phenomenon amongst middle management, I think. Sort of like how no heroin addict would ever call another junkie an addict; to do so would be too obviously a betrayal of their own nature.

    • by BLToday (1777712)

      I've been there. It goes like this:
      a) hardware manager is require to get his cost of the project to a level required by upper management => he subcontracts to the cheapest guys around => gets promoted because he exceeded his target.

      b) software manager is require to get his cost of the project to a level required by upper management => he subcontracts to the cheapest guys around => gets promoted because he exceeded his target.

      c) QA manager says whatever because hardware and software is substand

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nokia subcontracting 101: Expand your budget and pump as much cash you can out of Nokia before they do a reorganization shuffle, if the numbers look good sell the subcontracting company for cash - lie to 3rd party investors that the budget figures aren't from short term contracting to Nokia.

      Besides, if you don't have specs on what you should be contracting and the target sdk changes every 6 months, what does it matter if you put the Indians on the project payroll? it's not like you're going to get anything

    • Re:subcontracting (Score:5, Informative)

      by CockMonster (886033) on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:02PM (#41638017)
      The 'bad code written in India' mainly came from the SoC manufacturers who'd write the baseports and drivers, in my time they were Broadcom and ST-Ericsson. (The Raspberry Pi uses the same graphics hardware as the N8). They were so flaky you couldn't believe. And on top of that Nokia management expected the entire stack to be developed in parallel. It was unworkable, they'd release new Symbian environments a few times a day and if it worked you got lucky, if it didn't you just wasted 4 hours downloading Gigs of rubbish only to have to delete it and see if anyone else had a working env. There were other Nokia-proper teams in India but the code they wrote shouldn't have brought down a board and if it did there was usually a workaround. However due to the *appalling communication* within Nokia it was nigh-on impossible to find out what the workaround was, or even who to ask. We'd have to do test runs everyday yet the phones in development crashed constantly and unpredictably so you couldn't tell if it was your code causing the problem or something else. Managers demanded answers and ignored the truth. To be fair the whole system was so fucked there really was nothing that could have been done. The subcontractors that I knew of were Sasken and another I can't think of right now.
  • by tantrum (261762) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:35PM (#41635271)

    My N900 is almost 3 years old, and it is starting to show it's age. I really hope the combination mer/sailfish will turn out ok, as i haven't found anything able to replace my current N900 yet.

    I'm going to miss Nokia if they go down for good :(

    • If what you want is a good, unlocked Linux phone, get a Galaxy Nexus. It's $349.00 [google.com], it's unlocked, it runs Linux (wrapped in Android but allowing you to build your own kernels [xda-developers.com]), and it's actually a good phone. If you're not in the US market, and you don't want the N9, consider the Razr i, which also has an unlocked boot loader. Me? I'm happy with my iPhone 4S, I'll just keep iOS 5, thank you very much ;-)
    • by Arhaglor (2751573)

      My N900 is almost 3 years old, and it is starting to show it's age. I really hope the combination mer/sailfish will turn out ok, as i haven't found anything able to replace my current N900 yet.

      I'm going to miss Nokia if they go down for good :(

      you're not alone... I'll be desperate if nothing intelligible will appear to replace maemo I've on the phone... it's ridiculous, it's sad. I don't want android, I want something amazing for my n900

      • I just recently got an N9 (after using an Android phone for about 2 years) and it's just an amazing phone (hardware *and* software wise). Maybe that would be an option for you, if you still manage to get one somewhere.

    • by kc8tbe (772879)

      If rumors are true, there should be five new Nexus-branded devices compatible with the Android Open Source Project coming out November 5. In addition to running the most hackable version of Android, it should also be relatively easy to get them running Debian, Ubuntu, or even MeeGo.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      jolla is going to be continuing the Nokia MeeGo line.

    • Until then, install CSSU Thumb2. It will give you a very significant free RAM boost. If swapping is still your issue, you could try installing a fast microSD: http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1277722&postcount=40 [maemo.org].

      Also, Opera 12 just got ported, although it's a bit buggy.

      This should tide you over a couple of months to see if Jolla will fit your bill.

  • by Duncan J Murray (1678632) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:37PM (#41635287) Homepage

    I'd always assumed Meego had been canned because Elop is a Microsoft Trojan Horse who just wanted to get back into bed with Microsoft and kill anything new, open-source and great. But reading this story of events, I'm quite dismayed to read just how unguided and wasteful the development process apparently was. Even though the final end product (the N9) was terrific, it looks like they only got it properly together when they were told that the project would be canned after the release of the N9. It really does look like a lack of overriding vision and lack of staff working towards a common goal which resulted in the Meego project swimming in circles while the tide took them out.

    Going with Microsoft was obviously a bad choice, though. What he needed to do was scrap Symbian, say that Meego would be scrapped after the N9. Pretend to sign a deal with Microsoft. Wait for the greatness that was the N9. Sell the N9. Profit. Develop the N9 to get it to work on LTE., upgrade the processor, memory etc & Profit more...

    • First of all, I don't think you "pretend" to do anything with Microsoft without a lot of legal bother later.

      But also consider at the time that Meego just was not in the same place that iOS and Android were in terms of a rich SDK for developers, never mind the comparative lack of applications. Windows Mobile made a lot of sense vs. putting the effort into having Meego catch up to other mobile OS's...

      Of course in retrospect with Microsoft tossing all WP7 phones onto the fire in terms of upgrade, perhaps Noki

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:53PM (#41636611) Homepage Journal

      "too many cooks spoil the broth"

      once it was announced dead platform, the shit cooks went away. up until then it was billed as "the next thing" withing nokia and finnish scene - ironically it was at that state since announcement in maemo form, it was always 2-3 years from being on every nokia phone, however symbian and s40 were always going to run on inferior hw so that's why it was for the whole time in that "future" bracket.

    • by Donwulff (27374)

      Maybe it's worth noting the context that understand first of all some 10.000 people in Finland have been laid off from Nokia or their subcontractors, such a thing generates a lot of ill will against a company. Combine that with the Finnish mindset, and you'd be truly hard pressed to find anyone with a single good thing to say about Nokia in Finland, even if the company had in truth been saints of the highest order. Of course they weren't, they were far from perfect like every company in every market, the bi

  • by CreamyG31337 (1084693) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:56PM (#41635651)

    The phone itself is running x11 which is really great for porting apps to it. You get to use c++ and the great qt framework and extensions for pretty much everything, with the option of doing the UI in QML (a javascript based framework). You get to use deb packaging which you either know already or doesn't hurt to learn. If you use the qt creator sdk it does all the dirty work for you, but you can develop without it and just use the scratchbox environment instead if you prefer. Services run with upstart. The xterminal and related developer tools are already compiled and hosted in nokia's repositories, one click to install everything. The fcam camera api allows raw shooting and manual aperture and focus. Gnome tracker indexes your messages and music. The nolo bootloader can be set up to dual boot to another OS. I look forward to the new Sailfish OS promised by Jolla, I have faith the guys writing it are the ones behind some of the well designed N9 OS, and won't make it any worse. I tried windows phone 7 and you're not even allowed to run background services, let alone run your own code without paying a $99 fee.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by MrEricSir (398214)

      The phone itself is running x11...

      And that's where you lost me. Running a new product on a painfully outdated stack? No thanks.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        You would never know, quite honestly.

      • Running, like from a users point of view?
        Why do they care?
        It's good for developers, though. There's lots of open source software that expects x11, now to port it all you have to do is change the window size and maybe set a few flags to make it fullscreen. Maybe write a double buffer extension using pixmaps because nokia removed the one that is supposed to be in x11. If you're writing a new app, there's lots of other frameworks available on the n9 that wrap all the x11 stuff away so you never see it, so it's

      • ... and frankly, a 1980s style framebuffer, even if redone today for the nth time, is the "outdated stack".
      • by jbolden (176878)

        x11 has problems with high end video cards on desktops and $2000 laptops. On a phone its not really that outdated. And I say that as a Wayland fan.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      The phone itself is running x11 which is really great for porting apps to it. You get to use c++ and the great qt framework and extensions for pretty much everything, with the option of doing the UI in QML (a javascript based framework). You get to use deb packaging which you either know already or doesn't hurt to learn. If you use the qt creator sdk it does all the dirty work for you, but you can develop without it and just use the scratchbox environment instead if you prefer. Services run with upstart. The xterminal and related developer tools are already compiled and hosted in nokia's repositories, one click to install everything. The fcam camera api allows raw shooting and manual aperture and focus. Gnome tracker indexes your messages and music. The nolo bootloader can be set up to dual boot to another OS. I look forward to the new Sailfish OS promised by Jolla, I have faith the guys writing it are the ones behind some of the well designed N9 OS, and won't make it any worse. I tried windows phone 7 and you're not even allowed to run background services, let alone run your own code without paying a $99 fee.

      The jolla guys are apparently avoiding any patent mines in the ui, so it might be different for that sake in too. if they're to hit their implied(in speeches, q&a sessions) release targets they'll have to release something pretty soon though.

      and wp is so limited it's silly. s40 is more free. but ask the local MS branch for a free developer key and there's a pretty good chance they'll give one to you, it's there just to make source distributioning to end users a hassle.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      The N900 is the best phone I have ever used. Full Linux system. Great physical keyboard. And it supports QT (as well as the GTK-based Hildon) if I ever get around to writing some apps for the thing.

      • by DerPflanz (525793)

        I had a N900 and did some hacking on it with Python. I also have a Galaxy Nexus and am using the exquisite Android Eclipse plugin to develop for it.

        I can tell you, developing for Android is way better than for the N900. You get better apps out faster. Plus they run on almost all devices, not just the N900.

  • In other words, this article is crap. It's not even an article -- it's a write-up. You see a multi-page write-up and expect some actual information and facts; instead, you get nothing but what could only honestly be called whining:

    From TFA [taskumuro.com]

    Products were mostly made by subcontracting without a top organization or support from certain sector’s professionals. No one intervened with the process and it resulted in quality problems in finished products. Considering the small resources and the subcontracting, lowest price was always the first priority in choosing components, space requirement was second and poor hardware performance was patched up with software optimizations as well as possible. Cutting expenses from the software developers didn’t particularly motivate anyone, considering the fact that savings were made in material expenses by using poor components, which then meant stress for the next couple of weeks in performance optimization.

    Most of the people we interviewed from Nokia said that Nokia used too much subcontracting. Building specific knowledge from scratch inside the company is expensive and time consuming, and the OSSO team’s resources were limited.

    There were a lot of problems, it was difficult to keep hold of the quality of the subcontractors’ work and the contracts weren’t supervised properly. The subcontractors could cheat in the contracts by changing the best experts, who were there in the beginning, to less qualified people. Examples given included bad code written in India and the communication problems with the Chinese and the Japanese because of their poor English skills. All this resulted in more additional work and delays for the project managers in Finland, when they had to take measures to repair the errors and poor quality.

    Okay, so the development contractors were chosen based on low price. That is one fact.

    Okay, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian coders were used. That is another fact.

    But beyond that...no other facts. The article alludes to "bad code written in India and the communication probl

    • by hydrofix (1253498)

      You do understand that the interviewed current and ex-employees of Nokia had to speak generally and under the condition of anonymity because they are subject to very strict NDAs? Talking about anything specific could make it possible to identify the individual. We should be greatful that we even got this peek into the inner workings of the MeeGo project, and what went wrong.

      BTW if you want a more in-depth (albeit slightly outdated) look at Nokia's downfall from #1 mobile phone producer in the world, have a

      • by rwade (131726)

        You do understand that the interviewed current and ex-employees of Nokia had to speak generally and under the condition of anonymity because they are subject to very strict NDAs? Talking about anything specific could make it possible to identify the individual.

        So you're saying you agree that it is a surface-level write-up. Okay. Thanks!

        • by hydrofix (1253498)
          Well yes, it's not maybe a Pulitzer Prize earning writeup. But these people are tech enthusiasts, not journalists, after all. Also, good to bear in mind that the original article [taskumuro.com] was published in Finnish, and translated to English by volunteers. However, I enjoyed the read because it provides very exclusive insight to the story behind MeeGo.
    • Examples given included bad code written in India and the communication problems with the Chinese and the Japanese because of their poor English skills.

      I have sometimes wondered, as Asians are the top dogs in hi-tech and electronics, why is their English language skill so poor then? One could assume that they would push it more in schools, especially along engineering subjects.

      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        When I studied English in Russia, the lowest score I got among all subjects I studied since I was 10 to, I think, 19, was for English.

        Between ages of 19 and 24, my English was "read-only", and heavily skewed toward Engineering -- I could read technical documentation but was bad at writing, could barely understand spoken English and, obviously, could not speak it.

        Then I moved to US, and actually had to communicate with people in English (well, American version of it).

  • by hydrofix (1253498) on Friday October 12, 2012 @06:21PM (#41636983)

    Even before Nokia scrapped its whole smartphone strategy, the MeeGo project was in difficulties. The biggest problem was that Nokia clung to Symbian, refusing to see the obvious fact that the customers were attracted to the competitors' platforms because they had a much stronger offering of 3rd party apps. MeeGo/Maemo was a good development platform, but internal competition between teams meant that the managers of the much older Symbian division would do anything in their power to stall the development of the "competing" platform. Although this might have shielded a few jobs in the Symbian division for a short period, Nokia's customers, and eventually the company as a whole, had to pay a very dire price for this indecisiveness.

    Relevant quotes:

    First signs of Nokia’s internal competition between two platforms were seen with the N810 device. It was released in late 2007 and entered the market without phone functionality. It would have been Nokia’s first Maemo phone, but the decision to leave out the phone functionality was said to have been completely political.

    According to a Maemo team member we interviewed, Symbian team directors were afraid of the possible competition between the N810 and the Symbian based communicator.

    Inside Nokia, members of the Maemo team thought that the managers of the Symbian team were afraid for their jobs, and used their positions within the company to slow down the development of Maemo by any means they could.

    N9 will remain most critically acclaimed and one of the fastest-selling and anticipated models in the company's history. Sadly, it could have been so much more, the beginning of a new platform like Android and iOS, but it was ultimately an executive-level decision to prioritize Symbian over Maemo. With falling market figures, this eventually lead to a situation where the whole strategy had to be scrapped in favor of Microsoft serfdom.

    • by 21mhz (443080)

      N9 will remain most critically acclaimed and one of the fastest-selling and anticipated models in the company's history.

      ... in nerd mythology. Nobody outside Nokia has seen the real sales figures, though.

      • by hydrofix (1253498) on Friday October 12, 2012 @08:41PM (#41638277)

        ... in nerd mythology. Nobody outside Nokia has seen the real sales figures, though.

        Right on. Here [blogs.com] is the estimate (by Tomi Ahonen, a blogger and ex-employee).

        • by 21mhz (443080)

          Ahonen is the single identifiable origin of this myth.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            it's not that hard to analyze the numbers so that n9 sold less than lumia's and lumia's have continued to sell less than symbians.

            it's standard nokia procedure to fudge the numbers and move models between segments in released earnings reports so that it's impossible to know which models or even which os sold which amount.

  • Spring and summer of 2011 I worked part time testing software at a company that wrote software on contact to Nokia and the big Android OEMs.I always hated when I got a Meego to test. Apps wouldn't launch, would crash randomly just a disaster.

  • Nokia makes some of the most beautiful hardware. I would have seriously considered switching from iPhone to get a nice Nokia Android phone. I simply can not stand Windows phones or anything associated with Microsoft. They have (had) a great reputation and completely messed it up. There still is a chance that they wake up and bet on Android. Samsung is making money hands over fist on Android. Nokia can do the same. Windows 8 is a dead end for them.

    • by UpnAtom (551727)

      Either Microsoft are paying Nokia a fortune to be a Windows Phone doormat or Elop is a trojan horse.

      There's no other credible explanation.

  • meego was truly a dead end. There are far too many of these mobile platforms. The last thing the world needs is Yet Another Incompatable Mobile OS. Each company trying to do their own OS simply harms consumers, leading to scattered development. Developers basically cannot target more than 2 or so platforms.

    It was smart for Nokia to dump Meego but questionable to go with Windows Phone. Like RIM, they should go with Google Android. It is actually confounding to watch companies spend years while their market s

    • by jbolden (176878)

      And then what? With a generic OS they end up in the same position as the PC manufacturers as commodity vendors selling their phones for slightly more than the cost of parts. Where is the upside there?

      BTW Jolla's MeeGo runs Android apps as does RIMs system.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes. The upside *for the consumers* is that the freaking phone works with anything and everything.

        And if that "generic OS" can be *easily* customized to the user's every whim, is super cheap (or have no licensing fees at all like Android), AND is easy to develop for, then that will be the best seller. Guaranteed.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          First off all not guaranteed. Linux lost on the desktop to Windows for example.

          But the point is why would a manufacturer want to target that. They work really hard to produce lots of product and make no money.

    • meego was truly a dead end. There are far too many of these mobile platforms. The last thing the world needs is Yet Another Incompatable Mobile OS. Each company trying to do their own OS simply harms consumers, leading to scattered development.

      Think how many mobile phones styles there were before Apple. People want their individuality. Indeed this is the basis of the success of iPhone. Get an iPod because it makes you look cool. Get an iPhone X because it's clearly better yet largely identical than what half the world has.

      It is almost irrelevant what developers think, especially as MeeGo is Linux. This is why N9 outsold Windows phone 7 in spite of being declared a dead end, not sold in all major markets etc.

  • I have had innumerable Nokia phones going back to the Radio Shack branded Nokia hand held in the 80's. I especially like Maemo. I have an N770, N800, N900, and an N9.

    I have also had a lot of Symbian phones. the best being my N95, and the worst of all the N97. I have an N8 which is a nice phone with a great camera, and an N808 Pureview which is a great camera infected with Symbian Belle which is flaky as hell.

    I won my N900 as a door prize at the chicago Nokia store launch. Wow!

    I just bought a Nokia Asha 311

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

Working...