In what appears to be yet another win for the MeeGo Open Source Project, AMD has agreed to officially be a participant in the project and to contribute resources to help move it forward. This is a good thing for anyone interested in MeeGo because this means that not only are Nokia and Intel getting involved [original starters of the MeeGo project], but even Intel?s competition is hopping onto the project as well.
The benefits for AMD hopping onto the MeeGo project will likely derive from the fact that it is an open source project and everyone will be sharing the same core OS. Furthermore, it saves AMD money in having to develop an entirely new mobile OS for their customers when trying to create product offerings for embedded devices utilizing AMD?s x86 chips. Because MeeGo is designed for both ARM and x86, this means less development is needed from AMD to make sure the OS will run using the x86 instruction set.
While we don?t really foresee very many smartphones in the near future utilizing AMD?s APUs, there?s a very good chance they could be seen in tablets or embedded within other devices. The fact that MeeGo is natively x86 is probably very attractive for AMD especially if it means that porting between hardware platforms for developers would be easier. AMD states that they will provide engineering expertise intended to help establish the technical foundations for next-generation mobile platforms and embedded devices. As part of AMD?s targeted approach towards their APU products branded as their Fusion line, it seems fairly reasonable for AMD to try to find a unifying operating system that they can back across the board without showing up to customers empty handed.
AMD already has quite a bit of involvement with the Linux Foundation and is currently a sitting member on the board with gold member level status. This announcement further ties AMD closer to the Linux Foundation and the MeeGo project in a way that can only be better for consumers and system integrators. Having used Maemo [a Linux foundation project], I can tell you that the most powerful thing about this approach is the power of the community and their ability to improve the operating system in ways that even the manufacturers struggle to. As such, we really hope that AMD?s involvement improves the hardware support for MeeGo and makes sure that it is successful and a new competitor to Android , iOS, and Windows Phone.
MeeGo has a lot of potential, but more companies need to be brought on board to make sure that it is constantly being updated and fixed with all promises fulfilled. While the community is a useful resource, it should not be relied on almost entirely for support and development as was the case with Maemo 5. All of the acting participants in the MeeGo project need to make sure that they are working together to make a better product for everyone and once that is accomplished that they continue to work together to iron out any bugs and improve features. Our biggest fear is that once MeeGo is released, there will be a sharp drop off in participation which will ultimately leave the project in a limbo status and once again leave the community to innovate on its own. Plus, Nokia?s future depends on it.