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February 25, 2014


Earendil Star

So, a phone is out, it works, owners are happy, yet this does not count.
Because a trusted friend told that an old version of Meego was full of "showstoppers".
So, if reality points to one truth and a story to something else, then let's believe in the story. Why? Because the concern was not saying "anything at all about how good or applicable WP was, or was not. My concern is about people saying that Maemo/MeeGo was OK." Why? Because you can't stand it? I believe this really tells it all.

One thing must be clear though. The issue here is: did Nokia have a suitable replacement for Symbian, that was years ahead of WP? Then the answer is yes. It had Maemo Harmattan with a Meego compatibility layer. Denying this is just making up stories and following the MS propaganda lies.

If instead we refer to the original Meego project, the one to replace Maemo, the one to work on Intel SoCs, well that may have had showstoppers (I do not know) but it is something totally irrelevant. Unless your aim is just to muddy the waters and support MS propaganda.



Are you really that stupid or do you actually think we fall for this kind of faulty logic here:

"N9 proves nothing. It simply proves that Nokia can put out a Maemo phone with a swipe UI and call it Meego. It also proves that Nokia could put out another phone with no apps. Another phone with no ecosystem support. "

Yeah, sure. The phone was brand new and had no software.
Think again:
So did the iPhone shortly after its release!!!

Whether the system would have gained traction or not is another matter - but we all know for certain that the main reason it didn't gain any traction was the fact that Elop declared it a zombie right upon release.

The one thing that's certain is that it would have fared better than Windows Phone. Yeah, I know, it's incomprehensible for a True American.

"Another inch phone that only appeals to geeky open source guys."

Again, utter and complete bullshit. That phone would have appealed to lots of people who did not want to deal with Apple or the shitty Android versions that were current at that time. But as we all know it was sacrificed to promote the second worst smartphone OS ever to be released (I'll give Microsoft that they did better than Blackberry OS 7 but that's hardly rocket science to do better than that POS.)

Earendil Star

For those Astros still insisting that Nokia had no ecosystem: then why is MS banking on Here Maps and Nokia MixRadio, just to name a few? Where would MS be without these essential pieces? Just as an example, Apple considered maps of such a strategic importance that they went into a pr nightmare when they initially ditched Google maps.

Again, this badly stinks of stale MS propaganda. And we reallly can't stand this stench any more.


@Sander van der Wal
"Point is, you van always release a device that has no showstoppers. Just remove the functionality that doesn't work."

No. If you remove essential functionality this would be a show stopper by itself. The N9 might not have all the features originally planned, but it was not missing anything important. So what is you point?

"So the only proof that releasing a given device offers is that Nokia was able to create the N9. Apart from that it doesn't prove anything more. Not that meeGo was ready,"

It proves exactly this. You must have a very strange definition of ready, if you think that the OS on a a device such as N9 should not be considered ready. The N9 had some minor quirks (and still has), but in comparison to the problem Windows Phone had (both WP7 and WP8) this was very minor.

Earendil Star

How utterly Boring!

Usual Astros are murkying the waters again.

The discussion was on whether Maemo was ready, and being it evident that it was, the discussion was transformed into "did it have mass appeal". Apples and oranges. The usual tactic to deceive readers. Typical softie FUD.

So, first, I read in the replies I have seen so far, a de facto confirmation that Maemo was ready. Thank you.

Secondly, regarding mass market appeal, THTRH Flop felt compelled to relegate the N9 to the smallest markets he could find worldwide in Nokia's portfolio. Yes, the same Flop who badmouthed Nokia's own (Symbian) products, the one who said that favoring the competition (Samsung) was ok as long as this helped WP. Why? If he was so convinced the N9 would be such a flop, why not selling it in all important markets where Nokia was present?
Yes, you know only too well: because he knew anything branded Nokia would have had mass market appeal (unlike things branded MS), especially if the experience was good. This is why he decided to limit the N9 diffusion, and just to be sure that the N9 could really stand no chance, he released an interview saying that the OS would have no future, no matter what. Not me saying this. The Elop guy did. And despite all this, the N9 was nonetheless a discrete success in the makets where it launched.

More evidence? Let's just look at the examples you made. HP and WebOS. RIM and BB. Did these companies relegate their OSs to their smallest markets WW? Or did they try to wholeheartedly push their devices in their most important markets? The latter of course. This is the huge difference between what HP and RIM did and what Elop at Nokia did with the N9. A MONUMENTAL difference.
But we know, Flop was not there to support Nokia or the N9. He was there to salvage the WP burning platform.

On Jolla, the comparison is totally unfair. First, Jolla is still competing. Secondly, the comparison is made between huge multinationals (MS, HP, RIM, Nokia) and a dozen people strong startup. Again, apples to oranges. Again pure and plain propaganda. Boring. Baseless. Too. Wal. Are you all one and the same?


Tomi, you missed one scenario behind the Nokia X launch ;-)

Elop: Hey Balmer, how do my chances of becoming Microsoft CEO look like?

Balmer: Sorry, there's this guy called Satya...

Elop: WHAT! You dirty double crosser. I'll get back at you. Android phone it is!!


@ qwazix: "How about the bundled skype with free calls to landlines and mobiles for a month? How will that affect Nokia X sales?"

It will increase it! :-)

Anyawy, as we discussed those minutes will most probably be free for end users but they will be paid by somebody...


@Earendil Star
> THTRH Flop felt compelled to relegate the N9 to the smallest markets he could find worldwide in Nokia's portfolio.

Ummm... N9 was sold (among other countries) in Brazil, Russia, China. Ever heard of BRIC countries?
Feel free to talk about N9 been limited with its distribution (as it was) but don't twist the facts.

And for Skype: everyone here seems to agree that carriers are happy to sell a phone that is sold with one month of Microsoft paid loss of call revenue from the customer, more if customers choose to continue Skype subscription.
If Skype was red light before this is a abort signal!


"Ummm... N9 was sold (among other countries) in Brazil, Russia, China. Ever heard of BRIC countries?"

But it WASN'T sold in any of the market that in 2011 were truly relevant, i.e. the majority of the EU and North America.

So to you, too: Don't twist the facts. Nokia deliberately withheld the device from any market that could have produced good sales.


I think people seem to forget the the N9 was designed for the TI OMAP 3630 chip-set. TI has gone out of the chip business. so the meego OS and its hardware drivers designed for a defunct hardware platform.

Jolla started on this but have not gone on to use chip-sets used by all Android devices making it I think easier to be able to run android apps.

Think about all the work done trying to get an OS running on OMAP which was probably difficult. Then having to do all that work over again to run on say a qualcomm chip-set because your vendor left the business. I think guys tend to disregard this detail very conveniently.



"I think people seem to forget the the N9 was designed for the TI OMAP 3630 chip-set. TI has gone out of the chip business. so the meego OS and its hardware drivers designed for a defunct hardware platform."

Yes, we heard this fairy tale often enough, it's still complete and utter nonsense.

Let's be clear about one thing: An operating system is never made for a specific chipset - the drivers are - and only the drivers! That's why they exist - to abstract the OS code from the underlying hardware and to make porting easier.
To interface with different hardware, new drivers have to be written, of course, but not the entire OS. But this is no show stopper. Consider on how many chipsets Android is running. Also consider that none of the chipsets Android was designed on still exists. They are obsolete by now. The OS has outlived them - as it will outlive today's hardware, so what makes you think that Nokia's engineers were so stupid to hardwire their OS to this one chipset?


"An operating system is never made for a specific chipset - the drivers are - and only the drivers!"

It is more involved than that.

Process management (including multitasking and process memory management) depends on the hardware architecture. The exact choice of mechanisms to rely upon for inter-process communication and synchronization and their implementation also depend on the architecture.

True, one does not need to rewrite the entirety of an OS when porting from one architecture to another. But beyond the perennial issue of device drivers, there are a few things at the very core of the OS that are nasty to port -- or that have to be reimplemented outright.


"Process management (including multitasking and process memory management) depends on the hardware architecture."

It's really funny: Nokia has launched Symbian on how many different chipsets over the years? According to this logic it would have been a major, hard to overcome obstacle each time - and yet they managed.

And suddenly with MeeGo this is a show stopper? Even though some work is necessary to make adjustments, please don't make it sound that this is enough to kill an entire OS. Come on! This is something that operating system engineers have been doing for decades, and suddenly they run against a wall? Makes no sense to me. It's a typical FUD argument, nothing more.

After all we are not talking about migration to a completely different CPU architecture (like transitioning to x86) but merely using a different ARM-based chipset. So they still work according to the same rules.


"merely using a different ARM-based chipset."

Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that Texas Instruments had actually customized the ARM architecture with proprietary features in its OMAP chip line?

"it would have been a major, hard to overcome obstacle each time"

It must have been harder than suspected.

A common criticism was that Nokia always seemed to rely too long on older, less powerful chip sets. Stretching the use of somewhat outdated technology may well be a sign that porting was more cumbersome than expected.

The other issue is that Meego was really Maemo, which Nokia criminally did not take seriously. I suspect that after the official demise of the Maemo product line enough competent people were lost to hinder progress.


Let me add:
Walking down the street.
See an ad about something cool.
"App available for Android" text in it.
QR code next to it.
Scan the code.
Find yourself from Google Play store where you cannot download the app.
Get disappointed.
Never forked Android again.



This last comment of you appears quite condescending towards users from developing countries.

"I'm not so sure these folks are the "app economy participants" anyway. Phone, email, texting, whatsapp, Facebook and their local "Ugandan Bank App" might well be enough. With a handful of games."

Which is certainly the case for the majority of users in developed countries as well.

After all, a recent study indicates that 0.15% of gamers account for 50% of all freemium app-in purchases. The "ecosystem" of apps is hugely skewed towards a minority of high-spending customers.

Which also means that most customers in the USA, Europe, etc have a profile more similar to the "folks" you consider negligible in the mobile economy.

"These are the people, after all, who have bought hundreds of millions of Nokia feature phones over the years."

Which is also the case for everybody in every country for a decade before the iPhone (if you assume there were no smartphones before that), including yourself, and still close to a third in developed countries nowadays.

What kind of attitude is this that whoever does not sport the highest-end device and does not splurge money for dozens of apps is some kind of contemptible demography?

For that matter, I suspect that many a "folk" relying upon its mobile Ugandan bank service is using his/her phone in ways that are existentially more meaningful -- i.e. to make a living, not as a lifestyle token -- than most of those "app economy participants".


@E. Casais:

"Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that Texas Instruments had actually customized the ARM architecture with proprietary features in its OMAP chip line?"

I have no idea how TI's chipset looked. What I do know is that MeeGo - just like Android - is based on Linux, so one can assume that a lot of the dirty work is done in there. Anyone managing to lock such a system to one specific chipset must either be brain amputated or intent on sabotage. I don't believe either. This leaves only one conclusion: This entire 'locked to one chipset' business is a fairy tale - spread by those who have an agenda to dismiss non American products

"The other issue is that Meego was really Maemo, which Nokia criminally did not take seriously. I suspect that after the official demise of the Maemo product line enough competent people were lost to hinder progress."

Yes, that I agree with. Nokia mismanaged Maemo for several years leading up to 2010. That still doesn't mean that the system was uncompetetive by default.


"... Find yourself from Google Play store where you cannot download the app. ..."

Indeed. And that's precisely why I presume that Nokia X will fail in any market where real Android alredy has a foothold - which basically means anything aside from China - and maybe a few other countries. But I do not, for example, expect this to have any hint of success in a region like South America which is too close to the developed Western world.


So sorry for Tomi Ahonen... Bottling so much Hatred in him for Nokia, MS and Elop.
Still spreading FUD.
Too bad, man. You will die an angry, bitter man.

Earendil Star

What really amuses me is how some astros on this blog are still coming out with patently weak arguments to try and demonstrate the absurd: that WP was a sensible option for Nokia. That Maemo was not a viable option, which, instead, it was.

MS has won. Nokia's ecosystem was annihilated, including Maemo/Meego. So, why bother? Why this attempt to rewrite history at all costs? Why this continuous and immediate reactions by MS astros or zealots?

One reason must be simply pr and marketing. MS has been trying (unsuccessfully) for ages now to free itself from the evil empire aura. But how can you succeed if you continue to go the route of unfair and hideous -if not plainly illegal- tactics, as was the case with Nokia? Let's not forget that pr and marketing are central to MS strategy. Just look at the Scroogled campaign.

Then there must be also legal grounds. If it becomes eccessively evident that Elop was a trojan, as hinted by reporters since the beginning, there could be repercussions. So better raise a curtain of disinformation, a load of seemingly plausible arguments to have handy if the case arises. All supported by the friendly (and very well paid :) press, to make it seem even more credible. But I don't think this is the main driver either, since regulators or the Judiciary are well asleep and very unlikely to take any initiative.

The last reason, probably the most relevant one, is that MS still is in emergency mode, trying to getting a foothold in the harsh mobile world, where their monopolist position they enjoy in the PC world does not exist. Lumia sales -despite the MS marketing spin- continue to be lackluster. So, any voice saying that WP is a (P)OS bothers. Hence the massive astro deployment.

Meanwhile, those of us allergic to these 1984 orwellian tactics will continue to expose the weakness of their arguments. For the sake of truth. To guide the casual readers of this blog in the artificial darkness shed by these astros and bring them to the light.



"In the embedded Linux world, device drivers are often obtained from hardware vendors, not operating system vendors."

Yes, and the hardware vendors are asshats. Always binary driver this, firmware blob that. For example, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for the development of a high-performance open-source graphics driver for their Broadcom CPU. Because Broadcom is run by jerks.

Actually, another part of Jolla's delay was probably developing libhybris enough so they could run a GNU/Linux system on Android device drivers.

"And MeeGo had a full phone stack and working user interface. Claiming that MeeGo is not open source is like claiming that OpenWrt is not open source because Fonera made their commercial FON with proprietary bits on top of it."

Yeah, full phone stack, running on what phone exactly? Also, I remember when Nokia dropped out of MeeGo, the first news was that the MeeGo project was adopting an open-source dialer program (or something essential like that). Because previously that was proprietary to Nokia.

OpenWRT is fully functional by itself. Some models of Fonera even have open-source device drivers. So, I can install OpenWRT on a Fon router with no loss of hardware functionality. The same can't be said about the N9 and MeeGo.

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