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PreCentral: Former Nokia engineers raise $258 million for MeeGo phones - could the same be possible with Open webOS?

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Former Nokia engineers raise $258 million for MeeGo phones - could the same be p

While fans of webOS might feel they've been slighted over the years, our anguish is a different beast than that of the MeeGo fan. If you're not familiar with MeeGo, or even aware of it, we wouldn't blame you. MeeGo was introduced in early 2010 by Nokia and Intel. It was the combination of Intel's Moblin development efforts and Nokia's Maemo, and it was supposed to represent the future for both companies. A year later, Microsoft and Nokia shacked up together, and where Microsoft's Windows Phone OS took the high- and middle-tiers of Nokia's smartphone strategy, Nokia's old workhorse Symbian retained the bottom tier. MeeGo was unceremoniously put out to pasture, with the too-far-in-development-to-kill Nokia N9 getting released later that year as the world's first and so far only MeeGo device.

Thing is, everybody we've talked to who has used an N9 rather liked MeeGo. It's a unique OS and very much gesture-oriented. But having been released on only one device with no fanfare and certainly not much in the way of carrier support, it never took off. But then, it also never got established in the minds of consumers and then yanked as webOS was, thus avoiding being termed a failure (as webOS is so often branded, in spite of the failure being one of patience, not product). Unlike webOS, however, MeeGo has been open source from the start.

Earlier this year, a group of former Nokia employees that had worked on MeeGo and the N9 formed a company called Jolla, with the express purpose of releasing a new phone running MeeGo. We've been cheering them on a bit, but in a smartphone landscape dominated by multi-billion-dollar companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung with big players like Microsoft willing to put down their own billions, we weren't ever really optimistic about the chance for little Jolla.

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