Nokia scraps Meltemi, the mobile OS that never was

Nokia scraps Meltemi, the mobile OS that never wasMore news from the increasingly precariously stacked house of cards that is Nokia: a year after committing itself to a new OS, it's decided to abandon the idea and stick with what it's got.

Sadly, though (well, for some anyway), it isn't Windows Phone that's getting the boot but rather Meltemi, the Linux-based platform for low-end devices that Nokia never actually got around to making official in the first place.

We first came across the Meltemi name about a year ago now when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly told disgruntled staff who had been working on the abandoned MeeGo platform that opportunities would open up for them “within the Meltemi organisation”.

The project never seemed to exist as anything more than a rumour, but that didn't stop the Wall Street Journal from blowing the story wide open back in September, confirming that the company was “shifting its programming efforts toward creating software for its low-end phones”.

And then came... nothing at all – or not until this week, anyway when Elop confirmed that the OS had been shelved, though he managed to do so without confirming it had existed in any tangible form in the first place, even refusing to speak its name out loud.

Talking to journalists on the back of the announcement that around 10,000 Nokia staff would be cut by the end of next year, Elop refused to be drawn even when asked directly about the project by name: “We’ve never publicly used the term [Meltemi] than you mentioned, so we don’t have any specific comments a specific engineering effort, although it is the case that we have cancelled certain specific engineering projects as part of our changes.”

Make of that what you will, but the upshot is that it seems we won't get to feel the strong, dry winds of the Aegean Sea after all.

Via AllThingsD

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6 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 15, 2012 at 10:13

Pity! I read some good things about the project. But I guess now we know - where there's smoke there's fired.

satchef1  Jun. 15, 2012 at 10:14

No surprise really. They aren't in the position to build new platforms anymore; doing so would only speed up their inevitable death.

It's a real shame that they realised Symbian was in adequate so late. If they'd focussed on building new platforms five years ago they wouldn't be in the same mess they are now (they might have followed Palm to the grave instead, but at least they could have said they tried). Now it's Windows Phone or nothing, they need Microsoft's cash to keep them afloat.

I actually wonder if that's the answer to the 'why not Android?' question? I mean, aren't payments supposed to be something like $1bn a quarter? If so then they've had $6bn already, which they've burnt along with a lot of their own cash reserves...

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 15, 2012 at 10:26

No surprise really. They aren't in the position to build new platforms anymore; doing so would only speed up their inevitable death.

It's a real shame that they realised Symbian was in adequate so late. If they'd focussed on building new platforms five years ago they wouldn't be in the same mess they are now (they might have followed Palm to the grave instead, but at least they could have said they tried). Now it's Windows Phone or nothing, they need Microsoft's cash to keep them afloat.

I actually wonder if that's the answer to the 'why not Android?' question? I mean, aren't payments supposed to be something like $1bn a quarter? If so then they've had $6bn already, which they've burnt along with a lot of their own cash reserves...


True.
I find it very hard to believe how little they learned in the last 5 years.
At a time when Apple's keynotes are mainstream headline news, Nokia cannot run a countdown timer for the PureView's India launch without getting it wrong?
I maintain, relatedly, that Symbian per se wasn't even the problem. But the long delays between 'announcements' and actual launch of hardware and OS updates ticked off plenty of punters. HTC, Apple etc had their products in the shops a couple of weeks after 'launch', while the E7 was delayed for what? 8 months? The N8? PR2.0 for S60 5th was delayed months and months as was most recently Harmattan 1.2 for the N9 (some batches still don't have it and Nokia is shtum...).
People may be willing to delay an update for a few months, but when they cannot be sure that a couple of months turn into 8, and when the end product is sucky, well, wow... what do you know?!
Last year after the disastrous platform speech, Elop was harping on about the importance of the commitment to the '3rd' world - and look...

Sudhakar  Jun. 27, 2012 at 13:06

It's all intentional. Elop arrived at Nokia just to use all Nokia resources to boost WP market-share. Otherwise, what is the problem for offering both WP and Android on Lumia hardware and offer choices to customers ? Elop will never allow Android on Nokia handsets as his intention is WP and not Nokia.

Sudhakar  Jun. 27, 2012 at 13:13

Elop always sees Android as its competetor. This clarifies that he is a Microsoft trojan and acts on behalf of Microsoft. Otherwise, he should see Android as an opportunity just like WP and offer both Android and WP phones to its customers. Millions of people would like to buy Lumia Android phones which Elop will never allow from Nokia.

JanSt / MOD  Jun. 27, 2012 at 19:30

It would appear that way.
Android aside, rather than put Symbian on the backburner, they could have polished it. Reinforce Belle, add some value - pay Jan Ole Suhr to include Gravity*** in the firmware (***arguably the best social network app out there - on any OS), get SPB to polish the UI etc etc... While simultaneously working on 'MeeGo' - which, even on the b*ggered PR1.2 was better than WP7. Yes, people with an app fetish would still have bemoaned the lack of 6 digit app 'variety', but a lot of loyal Nokians wouldn't have jumped ship.

I'm not convinced Elop is an actual plant/trojan; but looking at his CV it is clear to me that his mindset is firmly 'corporate'/Microsoft. He wouldn't 'get' something like MeeGo. Open Source and Freeware are not in his make-up.

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