Nokia employees anonymously tell the story of Nokia MeeGo
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 At the time, staff at Nokia already knew Symbian was outdated and saw it would be extremely hard to adapt the platform to the new touchscreen reality.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.
1. B3BLW29 (Posts: 237; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
Though I love devices from Nokia but I hate Nokia for not releasing N9 in India, They would have sold more N9s than entire Lumia series(till date)
2. No_Nonsense (Posts: 826; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
Yes, that's true. But I'm seeing a rising number of people with a Lumia.
3. wendygarett (unregistered)
I don't know why, but I started to cry when I read this story...
what a golden age of nokia
4. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)
Elop bad decision to picked only Windows OS but a lot of phone makers are using WP OS. Nokia hard wares couldn't catch up with WP7 to WP8 changes that cost Nokia billion dollars in lost. Android is only choice for any phone makers to survive.
10. djg71087 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Oct 2010)
Your kidding right? Your opinion I believe is incorrect, other than Samsung and maybe LG (as they are making a small come back) most other Android manufactures are not seeing much for profits (i.e HTC, Moto, Sony). I understand Nokia hasn't really seen a "boom" in sales quite yet but they are still selling a few million globally and doing quite well establishing the "Lumia" name. Should i read to you the story about the tortoise and the heir!
*lets not forget the Amazon Kindle Fire either, as their sales are doing well to.
23. pookiewood (Posts: 626; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)
Soooooo....how's Android working out for HTC? I hope Nokia, Elop, MS and WP8 make you eat your words! Lumia 920 FTW!
6. -box- (Posts: 3881; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Yet another reason to keep things in-house for core and primary developments, and involve subcontractors if/when necessary for fleshing out the platform, i.e. graphics or front-end support. Maemo could have easily been a widespread UI, and make the world see the iphone for what it is, a feature phone with pretensions of being a smartphone, as well as potentially sending Android to the drawing board, letting 1.x versions be more like 2.x versions. As for Blackberry, Palm, and Microsoft, well, that would be difficult to say. Maemo has some similar characteristics as Windows 8, so collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft may have been inevitable. RIM might have realized the biggest phone maker in the world was pushing the envelope and started working on a better OS years before their decline. Palm, well... Palm was already in a bit of a decline, as was HP's rep with the iPAQ line, so even with their eventual collaboration it may not have succeeded, or maybe it would have supplanted BlackBerry. Needless to say, it's highly likely we'd have better OSes now had Maemo been properly funded, supported, and spread, to the point the iphone may have been a flop or remained an ipod with a phone module (and not a great one at that)
7. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1163; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
they made a huge mistake. now they are facing problems.. this should be their primary OS...developing it along with symbian and windowsphone if they want to.
they say meego os is capable of running android apps too.thats great news: more apps.
but now, jolla will take care of the whole platform. today onwards.
8. TheDarkKnight (banned) (Posts: 88; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)
Nokia sucks regardless of what they release.
11. SIGPRO (Posts: 509; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)
And you suck regardless what you say.......Nokia makes good phones.
Yes they were behind with os and hardware. But wiith the new Lumia series the other brands are behind!
14. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
nokia does make good phones, but elop made the worst decision ever to put WP inside it... they are behind by choice...well, elop choice...
if it were powered by android, i'm sure nokia is already on the same level as samsung now, imagine lumia 920 as a google nexus phone...
12. samystic (Posts: 195; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)
opinions should come with logical proofs... and you have none... please don't come to places where you see Nokia
9. redmd (Posts: 911; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
too bad I've moved on with android. well best of luck Nokia it was fun.
13. emitchell4luv (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)
haven't read the article thumbs up nokia designs, but for what it is let see how from now till the mid 2013 wat kinda phone we be seeing from d great finnish company. Nokia for lyf
15. Loubielou (Posts: 261; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
The Nokia N9 an Mr Elop just show to consumers how bad things were at Nokia,How can a company invest so much money into creating a new ecosystem an then the Chairman stops it being Released Globally to Improve the Sales an Share at the Company,Mr Elop was so scared of Meego an the N9 becoming more Popular than is Old Employess Investment into Nokia,The N9 could have been one of the Best Smartphones from Nokia, an hope the Old Employees at Nokia can produce another Top Class Meego Phone to really Embarass Mr Elop
16. allen83 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Mar 2012)
Elop wanted to be big in the US market because that is where MS is. What is big in the US market is not big in other places on Earth. Meaning Elop doesn't think right. He does not know every places on earth where nokia is big and how it become big. He thinks that when windows phone is big in the US others will follow. Well sorry for him only few followed. But if Meego is released in those other places other than US then many will follow Nokia and Meego.
17. shuaibhere (Posts: 1679; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
I miss meego badly......
If meego is in market then i will go meego over android....
But i don't think jolla will bring back the meego magic....
18. AhmadAlsayegh (Posts: 256; Member since: 18 Jul 2011)
someone said "small and little ideas from the bottom of the organization grow to become a great idea"
when you have people who are afraid of losing position, innovation dies....you know what employees appreciate more than money? recognetion
it is saddening me to read such story, that Meego's death came from within Nokia
-ex n900 owner
19. ddeath (Posts: 163; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)
I've got the N770 which although wasn't that great, it was not a bad attempt. Was looking and admiring on the sidelines at the N800, the N810 and the N900, hoping to maybe get a good deal on the second hand marketplace to try it out. Then IOS/Android happened, they scrapped MeeGo, and Nokia went for Windows. That was the tipping point when I see Nokia going down the drain. The huge Nokia store in the shopping mall near where I stay closed after being there for a long long time, and no one else around me uses Nokias anymore. Lumias? It's not bad, but windows seems to be always behind there somewhere.
20. andrew1953 (Posts: 176; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)
I have had a lot of Nokia's and love my N9 which is still working. MeeGo @ Noki is a sad story of managerial incompetence on a grand scale. Its a strong robust system but didn't attract enough apps so it was scrapped. Good luck to people at Jolla.
21. dasqwer (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)
Looking at N810 or N9 design Would it not be amazing if it gets relaunched with some pepped up hardware incl. 4.7/5.1in IPS HD, anodised aluminium/polycarb, 1.5ghz quad core Krait A9, BT 4+, 12mp 2gb RAM, Pureview Motion rear with Zenon, 32gb in built with micro sd support, front cam, Lumia UI WP8, wireless charging (pillow/cradle/station incl. in the sales package), Wifi with dual antenna, DLNA, FM with transmitter, battery 2100mah, weighs upto 150gms (incl. battery). I will certainly have no need for a lappy in that case coz Nokia will suffice me for the next few years
22. IHateApple (banned) (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
I had respect for Nokia. But i don't have it now. After reading the source i realized that Nokia is a FLOP. Here's why:-
1. Months of hardwork was done on innovative ideas which were later abandoned. WTF???
2. Symbian leaders intentionally used their position to undermine the rate of development of Maemo and Meego. WTF??
3. Both symbian and maemo teams were aiming to develop a similar kind of UI and were using the same platform for developing it. Yet they were working seperately. WTF??
4. Nokia was focussing on 2 different OSes at the same time instead of focusing their efforts on one good OS.
5. There was no communication inside the Maemo team and in between various teams.
6. The software developers didn't know which device they were working for or if there hard work would be put to use. They didn't know about the big picture.
7 . They let the selfish brat Intel come into their plans. The intel which only wanted to bring in x86 phones and cared about nothing else. And they delievered horrible products. Eg. Moorestone.
8. And amongst all this the CEO was sitting like a duck and watching Nokia fall. He didn't care to see the internal competition and failed to realize that revolutionising Symbian was the way to go instead of evolution of Symbian and development of Maemo.
9. See micosoft-they knew wm6.5 was horrible. So they revolutionised it. They tried to make another kind of device but it failed. So they improved Windows Mobile and created WP7.
10. There was no quality control over who does what kind of work. Contracters were free to cheat.
Sorry Nokia but i am clear. I am never buying a Nokia ever again.