After that Stephen Elop happened to Nokia and that meant the end of MeeGo, and the full transition to Windows Phone as the company’s main platform. We are yet to see how that plays out and so far it’s been a bumpy road for the Finns. Now, as thousands working on MeeGo have been laid off, 10 anonymous Nokia employees tell the story of MeeGo, Nokia’s partnership with Intel that resulted in a single phone, the Nokia N9, and became ashes after that.
Check out the slideshow below to see when it all started and why and when it was scrapped, but also don’t hesitate to hit the original source for the full story.
The story of Nokia MeeGo
1. Nokia before MeeGo: OSSO and Maemo
In 2005, Nokia worked on a very tight budget to release the first device running on the new platform, the Nokia 770.
2. The Nokia 800 followed making a bigger splash in 2007
The problem was that Nokia used too many subcontractors and the quality of the resulting product just wasn’t good enough. Outsourcing work further on translated in poor communication with Nokia stuff and contractors from countries like India and China.
3. 2007 and Nokia N810: leaving the phone function out was a political decision
Internal competition was on the rise. The seemingly brilliant idea for swiping gestures was shot down initially, but the developer persisted and managed to get it as default in the finaly N810 device. But this political divide resulted in the device losing its core phone function, a decision that would erode its sales.
The reason? Symbian managers were afraid the product was too good and would get in the way of Symbian devices. At the time, staff at Nokia already knew Symbian was outdated and saw it would be extremely hard to adapt the platform to the new touchscreen reality. At that time, it was all bad politics - the iPhone wasn’t out yet, and Nokia took the wrong decision.
4. Nokia N900: Maemo starts looking like Nokia’s future
The N900 was built like previous devices - with subcontractors, part by part and with little clarity about the time of launch. It used Maemo 5 Freemantle, but in parallel the more modern MeeGo Harmattan development had started. The UI was fully written in Qt, the coding platform that was built to scale to all Nokia devices, from low to high end.
5. In 2010, MeeGo was finally born. Intel and Nokia partnered and merged Maemo with the Moblin platform.
6. Maemo 6 UI concepts appeared
7. First Harmattan UI
8. New simple Dali user interface
Interface was made to look like what the competition already had. It was supposed to be reay mid 2010, but suspicions arose that it’s not on par with what’s on the market, and it was further delayed.
9. Lankku, or the Nokia N9
Interestingly enough, it was developed by designer firm 80/20, a place home to a couple of former Apple and Adobe employees.
The company knew it had finally nailed it and started preparing to release the Nokia N9. The first and only MeeGo device. After that? It was Windows Phone, and the rest you know all too well. MeeGo was disassembled and is now only developed by Jolla, a group of former Nokia workers.