MeeGo for Netbooks Pros & Cons
- ProsEasy to use. Visually attractive and whimsical. Lots of preinstalled software.
- ConsMany apps lack advanced features. Some basic functionality (Web search, MP3 playing) doesn’t work “out of the box.” Very little appeal for experienced users or enthusiasts. Potentially confusing installation procedure.
- Bottom LineAs a platform for the upcoming generation of mobile communications devices, MeeGo shows considerable promise. As the next great netbook app it shows less; it’s dependent on developers to fill in the missing pieces, which leaves the vanilla download a bit shaky. But it could be the start of something big for seriously casual users who find Windows or Mac OS intimidating. Let’s face it: If you’re an ExtremeTech reader, chances are netbooks aren’t generally on your radar. The tiny notebooks are usually best for those who just want to do the most basic of basics—Web browsing, e-mail, maybe IM—and not much else. In fact, were it not for the fact that Linux is a popular operating system of choice for them due to its nonexistent cost, they’d have almost no appeal to the DIYer whatsoever
But MeeGo may give even them reasons to raise an eyebrow. The open-source, Linux-based OS was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The project unites Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo into one OS using Nokia’s Qt development platform. The result is aimed squarely at making netbooks (and other similar platforms, like nettops, “in-vehicle infotainment devices,” connected TVs, and media phones) faster, easier, and more fun to use as mobile communications devices.
Version 1.0 of the core MeeGo software platform was released . It’s got a kernel based on 2.6.33, and uses DeviceKit and udev for interacting with hardware; its default file system is btrs. The goal of the platform is to provide “developers with a stable core foundation for application development.” and the netbook version (optimized for Intel Atom–based systems) is the first to officially appear. Subsequent releases will follow roughly every six months; v1.1, due in October, will have an emphasis on touch, making it just right for handsets and tablets