MeeGo might not be dead. Earlier today I reported on rumors that Nokia axed their first MeeGo smartphone. Combined with rumors that the company was looking into outside platforms, this seemed like a death sentence for little MeeGo. But things may not be as dark as they seem: the MeeGo tablet is still out there.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has a memo circulating, it states that the company needs to "build, catalyse or join" in order to survive. The join obviously refers to Android, which is already quite well established. Nokia would have to work to gain substantial share there. But Windows Phone 7 is young, it needs a huge influx of well-built devices to stoke those burning coals of interest. WP7 certainly seems a more likely choice.
But it has no tablet version, yet. And Nokia is going to want a piece of that tablet pie. We're still expecting to see a MeeGo tablet unveiled at the Mobile World Congress next week. The Reuters tipsters only mentioned that the smartphone had been killed. It is possible that Nokia intends to go with an already promising platform- WP7- for their smartphones, and stick with MeeGo for tablets.
Since the tablet is such a new form-factor, it should be much more forgiving of MeeGo's novice status. We're just now on the cusp of the first wave of non-Apple devices. If Nokia makes that wave, MeeGo has a chance to at least carve itself a niche.
I've spent a lot of time tinkering with MeeGo, and it really is a pretty solid platform. Just rough, and painfully sparse on apps. The buy-in from traditional industry rivals (AMD and Intel) I saw at the MeeGo summit was impressive, as was the commitment to open source values. I want to see MeeGo survive.
But if the Mobile World Congress doesn't see a MeeGo tablet announcement, consider the platform flat-lined. The answers come next week. For now, we speculate.