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MeeGo conference eyes uses beyond phones

Stephen Lawson, IDG News Services | May 23, 2011
Supporters of the MeeGo open-source platform put tablets, in-car systems and TV in the spotlight at a conference in San Francisco on Monday, saying the technology had broad potential while downplaying its role in smartphones.

An executive of Nissan Motor said his company has been working with MeeGo to build car-based entertainment systems and other electronics. Nissan said MeeGo saves the company the trouble of developing its software from scratch and allows it to incorporate third-party software modules. Amino Communications, which develops IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) services for carriers, said in a video message that MeeGo had allowed it to combine conventional and Web-based TV on the same set-top box for Telecom Italia. That development took only about 10 months, according to Amino.

Intel now often hears about new uses of MeeGo indirectly, a demonstration of how open the ecosystem is, said Imad Sousou, director of Intel's open-source technology center. But Intel is more closely involved in some other projects using the platform, such as a development center it has set up with Chinese Internet giant TenCent.

Though Nokia's departure introduced some uncertainty about MeeGo, conference attendees seem more committed to the platform now than at the November meeting in Dublin, said Jeff Tranter, a consulting manager at ICS, which provides software development teams and consulting for projects using MeeGo and other platforms. ICS is a sponsor of this week's event.

Before Nokia shifted its handset focus to Windows Phone 7, other potential uses of MeeGo were somewhat overshadowed by questions about its role in the mobile OS battle, said Dustin Kassman, an engineering manager at ICS. In that sense, the bad news had a silver lining.

"It really helped to highlight the other areas where MeeGo is being used," Kassman said.

 

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