Does MeeGo have a future?

An industry insider claims the nascent MeeGo operating system will be dead within 8 months.

Indeed, a MeeGo licensee told TechEye’s Tamlin Magee there is virtually “no chance” for the OS.  

“The 32 dollar license (Android is $2, Microsoft is $100) is only getting bought up as a way to show and save face, to tell the partners involved that you’re current and as a pat on the back,” wrote Magee.

“… It’s a dead duck. Like throwing money down the drain. Finnish sources [say] all the money and hype is generated by Intel.”

TechEye’s report seems to confirm what TG Daily was told on the sidelines of a recent Intel MeeGo conference – but with one notable distinction.

A number of developers at the event conceded (off the record, of course) MeeGo was probably finished in terms of smartphones and tablets.

As one dev told me, iOS and Android have effectively cornered the smartphone market. If there is room for a third OS, said the dev, it is likely to be Windows Phone 7 as RIM’s BlackBerry slowly fades away.

The same paradigm, to a certain extent, can be applied to the tablet market, where Apple reigns supreme, and Android is attempting to play catch up. If successful, explained the dev, the ARM-friendly Windows 8 could grab significant market share at third place, but MeeGo isn’t a genuine player at this stage and obviously won’t be anytime soon.

Yet, he wasn’t quite ready to eulogize the moribund MeeGo – even though its future is rather uncertain.

The dev, like a number of other people I spoke to that evening in San Francisco, said MeeGo still has a fighting chance when it comes to other platforms, such as in-vehicle infotainment devices, SmartTVs, ConnectedTVs, IPTV-boxes and other embedded systems.

Of course, no one says the way forward for MeeGo will be easy, as it suffered a near-mortal blow when Nokia unceremoniously dropped the hapless operating system.

Yet, Intel seems quite determined to push the platform forward and has clearly committed a hefty amount of cash to keep the project alive.

However, only time will tell if MeeGo can survive in a world dominated by Google, Apple and Microsoft.