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AMD Joins Intel's MeeGo OS Effort

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  • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @12:52AM (#34239072) Homepage

    I love me some AMD, but this is just confirmation that mobile is where the money is at, and Intel and AMD are both out of the running compared to ARM-class chips (power usage), and are struggling to keep relevant.

    Specifically the "iPad cannibalization" meme is probably scaring the pants off the x86 chipmakers, who hope to stave off (or take relevant share) of the nascent tablet invasion.

    • by iplayfast (166447) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:03AM (#34239116)

      Actually Meego is ARM ready so I don't think this is a case of x86 doing catch up, More like joining forces in order to make a viable competition. JMHO

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:03AM (#34239120)

      > Intel and AMD are both out of the running compared to ARM-class chips (power usage), and are struggling to keep relevant

      Are you sure about that?

      http://fusion.amd.com/

      http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20101010112734_AMD_Fusion_is_Going_to_Be_Unlike_Everything_We_Have_Seen_Before.html#

      According to AMD, their upcoming Fusion family APUs are actually the reason why AMD has joined Meego.

      http://blogs.amd.com/press/2010/11/15/amd-joins-meego-linux-open-source-linux-project-for-next-generation-mobile-embedded-platforms/

      Apparently the lowest-power end of the AMD Fusion APU is a combined CPU + GPU (on the one die) with a TPD of 1 watt.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:28AM (#34239226) Homepage Journal

        They have to because we're going mobile with or without them. This much has been clear for years. They're trying to come up to speed, and Fusion looks like a credible effort but it's not going to be under anyone's tree this year - and iPads and iPhones and Android phones and tablets on ARM will be. Oak Trail from Intel looks promising but we'll need actual power and performance figures to know for sure.

        Windows? It's not coming with us. It will wither slowly in the first world. It has a long tail. Familiarity is important. But the next billion users? Almost all of them will come online having never used it, or a machine that can use it - and they'll do fine.

      • Are you referring to the reference to falcon, which was cancelled and replaced with swift (5 Watt), which was then cancelled and replaced with bobcat (9 Watt)?

        I look forward to it (9 Watt including a gpu that's good enough (today's low mid range, in 6 months)), but it is not the super mobile chip they were hoping for.

        It will find a place under my TV if the lnux support for h.264 is there (allegedly it will be)

      • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:49AM (#34240058)

        Apparently the lowest-power end of the AMD Fusion APU is a combined CPU + GPU (on the one die) with a TPD of 1 watt.

        TDP isn't a great metric by itself, you need to consider the amount of computation that is actually being done in exchange for that peak thermal energy, and, more importantly, what the power consumption for real world usage patterns is. Intel's Atom similarly promised a revolution, with a minimum TDP of 0.65W, and whilst it has been successful in the netbook market, it hasn't challenged ARM in the lower arenas of cell phones etc.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:10AM (#34239142)

      Sorry, too much marketing speak.

      Maybe AMD is getting involved because one, it can. It's pretty much the only real open source project for mobile that is being worked on. They don't really have to work spend a lot of cash on contractual obligations to get involved. And two, because err...well, related to number one. It works on netbooks too. It's not tied to mobile chips. They're definitely targeting mobile, but the stuff will work on just about anything. Netbooks, embedded, cell phones, etc. There's nothing stopping them from including x86. That might be what brought AMD to the table.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:27AM (#34239222)

        > That might be what brought AMD to the table.

        The Meego project is hosted by the Linux Foundation.

        http://www.linuxfoundation.org/node/5887

        AMD is a gold member of the linux Foundation, and it has a seat on the board of the Linux Foundation.

        AMD has released programming specifications for its GPUs so that open source drivers could be written.
        www.x.org/docs/AMD/

        Open source driver for Linux have indeed been written for Linux for AMD/ATI GPUs. The have existed now for a couple of years.

        AMD are about to enter the low-power embedded and mobile space in a big way with their Fusion family of APUs ... which are chips with a GPU and a CPU together on the one die. Perfect for the low power mobile space.

        All things considered, Meego and the mobile space is a very good fit with the future directions of AMD/ATI and Fusion APUs.

        This is what brought AMD to the table.

      • Maybe AMD is getting involved because one, it can. It's pretty much the only real open source project for mobile that is being worked on.

        Wow, mod insightful! Indeed, because of open source AMD can invite itself to the party. It's amazing how open source can get the bitterest enemies to cooperate. This also happens in the film business where the competing studios all contribute to key production tools running linux. And incidentally, also run Linux on their IT servers and artists desktops (PHBs still run window$).

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:13AM (#34239160)

      I love me some AMD, but this is just confirmation that mobile is where the money is at,

      Of course that's where the money is at, they've pretty much saturated the developed world at the desktop level, any further growth will be slow and steady, not rapid and profitable.

      I suppose they could go for the undeveloped world, but wait, won't mobile computers be desirable there too?

      Seems like it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:13AM (#34239162)

      If power was the be all and end all then explain all the Nvidia Tegra 2 powered tablets coming out? Not to mention there's still the HTPC and STB market like GoogleTV to fill up with a chip like the Fuzion. Also in the mobile space there's companies like Qualcomm with their Snapgragon processor and the integration of all the diverse cellular standards in one chip.

    • by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:32AM (#34239248)

      I doubt AMD or Intel feel much of a sting from the 4-5 million iPad units sold this year, but strategically, this is an area where both AMD and Intel have to start worrying about. There are a ton of low-end consumer spec devices growing rapidly in a highly volatile market of mobile phones and personal computing devices. This is an area where X86 systems have fared poorly. Intel and AMD need to find some magic to get themselves through the door before the market is so tight upon ARM arch that there's no hope for penetration.

      How did they get here:
      1. Intel blew their early adopter chances here when they dropped StrongArm/XScale years back. Maybe the licensing and profits were bad then, but it makes it a lot harder now to claw back into the sector
      2. Intel bought into Atom big time, which combined with Windows put the chill on Linux/ARM based netbooks before it got enough traction to become 'a threat' to the status quo, though I doubt Intel makes nearly as much as it does when compared to a standard Notebook computer, residuals are better than nothing, though its yet to be seen just how low end (power and affordability) that Intel can scale down the chip line.
      3. Both AMD and Intel are not seeing gigantic sales growth in PC CPU's or GPU's, so they need to look at other areas to continue to grow their businesses
      4. With supporting Meego, at least AMD will gain compatibility for free instead of say investing in OHSA requiring the native pieces to be ported from ARM7 to X86
      5. Nokia has been supporting Maemo as an also run Windows mobile type smart phone OS for a long time, and having iPhone, Android, WebOS, and WP7 absolutely blow their offerings out of the water means that something had to change with them. I'm not sure why they just can't pull something compelling together, but its hurting the company until they work on getting something. I personally think that bringing in Qt was a bad decision which has at least in a small part hindered efforts to get product to market.

      Why this probably doesn't matter to consumers in the long run:
      1. We have three large companies (AMD, Intel, Nokia) that are all considered dinosaurs of their industries who have very little impact on the software development or OS space to make me think that they can pull off a win in both areas of the scale needed for this product to do well
      2. They have a large hurdle in getting X86 capable of competing on mobile computer-type devices at the same power efficiency that ARM chips seem to get for a lot less effort. They could license ARM which gets them part of the way, but then they get bit with higher royalties
      3. In 2 years when the 'tablet computing' fad has largely blown off, Intel and AMD will realize that its just not that important to keep pushing down their marginal revenues until its just not worth the investment to keep with it. Nokia will either keep with Meego (and hopefully for them) make something substantial out of it for their phone platforms or just fumble along as they have with efforts like Symbian and further reduce their mind share and eventually their revenues

      • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:03AM (#34239346) Homepage

        3. In 2 years when the 'tablet computing' fad has largely blown off, Intel and AMD will realize that its just not that important to keep pushing down their marginal revenues until its just not worth the investment to keep with it.

        I just don't agree that 'tablet computing' is a fad. Bill Gates was definitely correct that this form factor held lots of promise but Microsoft just could not untether themselves from the Windows gravy-train and thus constantly missed the mark with their tablet OS (not to mention pricing put it well out of the general consumer market). Intel got lucky in an emergency conspiracy with Microsoft to kill the netbook market but the tablet market is out of their control (with upcoming wave: Google/Android, HP/Palm, and RIM/BlackberryOS will put a permanent dent in PC sales). I bet both Intel and AMD are pretty disappointed in Microsoft's lack of real competitive OS here and have no "in" with the tablet players of today.

        • by MrHanky (141717) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:50AM (#34240290) Homepage Journal

          It's a fad. Not that it doesn't have its place, but considering that Apple and their brain dead followers in the mainstream press have pushed it as a "revolution" that would "change" (oh, where have I heard that before?) "everything", while being less capable and twice as expensive as a netbook, and that the only influence it has had is that news outlets can push their wares in the form of paid "apps" through iTunes instead of the usual web content, it just isn't worth the attention it has received. The tablets are pushed for everything, and are unsuitable for most: poor ebook readers, poor computers.

        • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:20PM (#34246054)

          I don't think so either. I gave up my MacBookPro at work for an iPad and glad I did. I have a docking station at the office and one at home. If I need to write longer emails to people I can. The only machine I have left at home now is the Mac Mini attached to the TV and that's mainly used as a media center.

          I got my Dad a iPad3G for his birthday and a docking station. He loves it as he travels a lot while he is still able and can keep up with emails. I don't think he even turns on his iMac anymore unless he's doing tax related stuff.

        • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:30PM (#34248222)

          WebOS and BlackberryOS are only worth mentioning because of the companies they USED to be. They are so far behind its like a 200 lap race, where the race is over and HP and RIM are still trying to roll over the first lap.

          Android had a chance, but its openness is killing it, too much fragmentation for normal end users so its going to be unlikely it'll take over anything anytime soon unless something changes. Sure, people buy android devices, but very few people own one for any length of time and continue to say 'I'll buy another' once you exclude the geeks who buy it just cause its Linux.

          Apple still wins, sadely, as I'm sick of them. I'd love to see Android not suck, but I certainly won't be devoting any development time too it, I can make several times more for several times less work by sticking with iOS for the time being.

          If anyone wants to beat out Apple, they're going to have to start paying attention to why people like iOS, and contrary to what everyone seems to think, its not just that its got apps or a fucking home screen with buttons on it. Making all these other OSes LOOK like iOS with its eye candy isn't why people buy A SECOND or REPLACEMENT iOS device, its because the device worked well, easy to use, not a freaking hassle, updates are plugin and click okay and not constrained by the carrier and for the most part work on all devices except several year old models. The same can not be said about anyone else.

          People aren't going to buy the others the first time without the eye candy, but the eye candy certainly isn't keeping anyone around for the second purchase, especially after they use the devices for any length of time and they realize the eye candy feels crappy and unresponsive.

          Tablet computing IS a fad right now, 90% of the people with iPads won't be using them (or anything else) in 2 years. That doesn't mean the other 10% won't continue to use pads (from apple or anyone else) in the future, but the general population isn't going to use pads all the time. A phone is pretty close to a pad, can accomplish the same stuff and is far smaller, when that doesn't cut it a pad is bearly a step up unless its a specific function (doctors using a pad to view medical data/imaging for instance) but really for any sort of real work, you want a real computer with real input devices.

          Tablets won't go away, but this fad of everyone buying one will once the 'new' and 'trendy' wears off.

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:05AM (#34239354)

        Intel bought into Atom big time, which combined with Windows put the chill on Linux/ARM based netbooks before it got enough traction to become 'a threat' to the status quo, though I doubt Intel makes nearly as much as it does when compared to a standard Notebook computer, residuals are better than nothing, though its yet to be seen just how low end (power and affordability) that Intel can scale down the chip line.

        As I understand it, margins on Atoms are pretty good, and an Atom-based netbook usually uses Intel chipset hardware so I suspect they're making a decent profit on the overall system.

        I'm sure they'd prefer to be selling i7 laptops, but I doubt they're too upset about selling millions of netbooks.

      • by randallman (605329) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:26AM (#34239408)

        Nokia has been supporting Maemo as an also run Windows mobile type smart phone OS for a long time, and having iPhone, Android, WebOS, and WP7 absolutely blow their offerings out of the water means that something had to change with them. I'm not sure why they just can't pull something compelling together, but its hurting the company until they work on getting something. I personally think that bringing in Qt was a bad decision which has at least in a small part hindered efforts to get product to market.

        I agree with everything else but this. Have you used an N900? Maemo is the most capable of the mobile OS's and it's a solid progression from the previous versions. The interface is slick - four desktops with useful widgets, combined IM/SMS/SIP "conversations", nice view of multiple running apps and more. The reasons it's niche is because Nokia has not aimed Maemo at the general public, but instead has targeted a small geek market. In fact the N900 is marketed as a mobile computer, not a phone. I'll bet their next Maemo or Meego offering will be a smart phone.

        Qt has long surpassed GTK and since Nokia owns the company they'd be nuts not to use it. From what I can tell they've done a fine job of transitioning developers.

      • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:56AM (#34239702) Homepage

        Maybe I'm missing something, but by going with Meego, which features C++ APIs, devs have to recompile for every different processor line.

        How does this help the desire of Meego partners to have a single large Meego app store?

    • It seems as if ARM will be doing to Intel and AMD what they themselves did to the traditional high end RISC architectures...

      General mass market devices will end up going ARM, because ARM chips now offer enough performance for most peoples day to day computing needs while offering low power consumption (and the things that go along with it such as low noise, low heat output, long battery life and low running costs)... Intel and AMD will be pushed upmarket into highend workstations, highend servers and other areas where performance matters more than cost or power usage.

    • I love me some AMD, but this is just confirmation that mobile is where the money is at, and Intel and AMD are both out of the running compared to ARM-class chips (power usage), and are struggling to keep relevant.

      Specifically the "iPad cannibalization" meme is probably scaring the pants off the x86 chipmakers, who hope to stave off (or take relevant share) of the nascent tablet invasion.

      Bingo. Specifically, AMD and Intel are taking a competitive stance against Apple and Google. And all are doing their damdest to promote Linux! Who woulda thunkit.

      And there is another big theme here: anti-Java, pro native. Java on cell phones is just, in a word, idiocy. It introduces startup lag which people don't want, sucks more battery to do the same job, and has legal problems. This new situation should help Google get a clue and offer a proper native environment for Android development, as opposed to that weird malformed JNI silliness. With JNI you can in theory write native apps but they use Java as a launcher which introduces nasty startup latency, and its far harder to debug JNI apps than native. Plus the JNI interface is just sickening to work with.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @12:57AM (#34239090)

    The only expertise AMD is offer to the OS is to be a comic relief by Intel's continued mockery. After all, the Intel-AMD 2010 settlement does not ban Intel from crippling AMD in Intel Compiler, it only requires Intel to honestly gloat how it screws AMD.[1]

    [1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20012610-38.html

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:15AM (#34239168) Homepage Journal

      This is a Linux. The compiler is open source. If AMD has a trusting trust [wikipedia.org] problem, they have the bit-diddlers to implement a basic C compiler and assembler in raw machine code. And of course they can add all the optimizations to the compiler that apply. Linux is about as level a playing field as it can get.

      If AMD wanted to improve use of their products they probably need do no more than go to SourceForge's most popular projects and offer optimization tips to the developers - and maybe some test hardware.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:26AM (#34239214)

        AMD can offer optimizations, but many of the device builders who customize and build MeeGo already have Intel compilers, so they would not see the benefit of these optimizations, and then blame AMD for 'inferior' CPUs. Thanks to Intel's nefarious schemes, AMD is still screwed even when dealing with non-Windows OS.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:41AM (#34239282)

          > many of the device builders who customize and build MeeGo already have Intel compilers

          Meego is open source. It does not require an Intel compiler.

          Of two developer groups who both make a build of Meego for an AMD-based device, one who compiles it with an Intel compiler, and the other who simply uses ggc or LLVM, the latter group would deliver the faster build (even starting from the exact same source code). Guess which group wins the contract to build the deliverable distribution software for a new mobile device based on AMD Fusion APU + Meego?

          Hmmm?

      • by jonwil (467024) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:36AM (#34239272)

        GCC may be Open Source. But the Intel Compiler is NOT (and thats the one where Intel has been crippling the output on AMD chips)

      • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:36PM (#34248322)

        I wonder why both Microsoft's and Intel's C compilers produce so much better code output than GCC if the playing field is so great.

        GCC compiles slower and the executable code is slower in most cases.

        If you want fast, you don't generally use GCC.

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @10:05PM (#34250840) Homepage Journal

          Hey, whoa. The Intel C compiler does compile Linux targets. I hadn't looked at that in a long time. Does Microsoft's? I haven't used that in 20 years - it's probably different than I remember. Back in the day if it compiled for both the server and the desktop version of Windows they considered it "cross platform". Back then they liked to pretend non-Wintel environments didn't exist. I'm trying to imagine people wanting to use a Microsoft compiler to compile their Linux, and I'm just not seeing it. Maybe you could draw me a word picture of just what such a person would look like.

          Regardless, the issue was compilers, trust, AMD, Intel and MeeGo. Since GCC is a credible, trustable open source compiler it's likely to be used to compile the open-source OS MeeGo, at least for AMD-centric or cross-platform distributions of MeeGo. And of course if Intel can squeeze out a few extra watts by using the compiler that's highly optimized for their platform, that's what they'll use for their reference implementation. Nobody gets hurt by that.

          As for compile time, I really doubt that's relevant. All of the modern compiler toolchains have distributed compilation now, don't they? And source files just aren't that big. So it's a problem of how many cores you throw at it and how fast your storage is.

          As to executables performance, well, the HPC folks are using Linux aren't they? Like 91.8% of them? Don't they use GCC? In my experience poor application performance is better blamed on the craftsman than the tool.

    • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:58AM (#34239508)
      Actually up until Core optimizations made it into ICC it probably did make better code for Athlon using the "crippled" code path than trying to foist the stupid long Netburst "optimized" codepath onto the high IPC K7/K8 parts. For SSE optimized code most developers who cared were already hand tuning anyways so the loss of ICC auto-tuning was probably meaningless.
      • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:58AM (#34240094) Journal

        it probably did make better code for Athlon using the "crippled" code path than trying to foist the stupid long Netburst "optimized" codepath

        Only if, for example, having a memcpy that's significantly slower than a naive generic assembler implementation isn't a performance problem for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @12:58AM (#34239100)

    Now they can call it, wait for it........ WeeGO!

  • by Z80a (971949) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @12:58AM (#34239102)
    Time to build a huge bonfire and call the ghostbusters, because gozer is coming again.
  • by paulkoan (769542) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @01:35AM (#34239266) Homepage Journal

    MeeGo is a linux distribution optimised for low power mobile devices.

    No one would be surprised if the title read "AMD Joins Mobile Linux OS efforts" which is what is going on. It is an open source project, and the only real contender for mobile at the moment.

    Of course AMD want to play in the mobile space and to do this they need an OS. Their alternative is to roll their own or form another equivalent partnership like MeeGo that aims to achieve the exact same thing.

    This is the only sensible move they could make.

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:01AM (#34239340)

      Of course AMD want to play in the mobile space and to do this they need an OS.

      Surely they need a mobile CPU first? Do they have anything that can compete with ARM or Atom at the low-power end of the market?

    • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:17AM (#34239386)

      *puts on anti-Nokia troll hat*

      Isn't that what Android is for?

      What's stopping Google from using code in the MeeGo base?

      I'm 99% sure that it's nothing, and that if the code's good enough, we'll probably see a lot of cross contamination between Android and MeeGo kernel code.

      I think though, that this is more proof that Nokia and maybe Google(I suspect that since Android's source is completely open, there would be no shame if Googlers went into Nokia, Intel and AMD's back yards and stole the grill) are both too stubborn to realize what's best for them.

      If Nokia and Google were smart, Nokia would steal Google's UI code and Dalvik and Google would steal their best threading, i/o, and whatever other code is probably superior in MeeGo that isn't probably going to wind up in the base kernel trunk and call the whole thing a "cross platform open source collaboration" or some other nonsense string of buzzwords that make marketers beyond happy.

      (I'm pretty sure AMD and Intel know better tricks for CPU optimization than Google does, then again, I don't know if ARM is working directly on the Linux kernel/Android or not.)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:35AM (#34239438)

        I do not think MeeGo and Android are as similar as you think they are. Android uses the Linux kernel and that's about it. They could probably share kernels and that is probably a significant amount of code to share... but I am not sure how much of that is pushed upstream anyway.

        Android runs its own environment with the Dalvik VM, etc. MeeGo is just a normal Linux distribution that happens to be optimized for small screens / low-power devices. It runs normal Qt apps.

      • by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:35AM (#34239440) Homepage Journal

        What's stopping Google from using code in the MeeGo base?

        The fact that Android has very little in common with mainstream GNU/Linux distros i.e those with GNU libc. That includes MeeGo (and its parents, Maemo and Moblin). Beyond the kernel (including drivers), I don't see them being able to share much.

      • by paulkoan (769542) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:57AM (#34239504) Homepage Journal

        The goal for both Meego and Android should be to get their kernel customisations back into mainline.

        They benefit everyone then, provided they are not customisations that only benefit the android stack.

        As for using Dalvik.. doubtful. QT is the strategy and it goes beyond Meego, and is native.

        "Stealing" is an odd term to use for open source. Sharing it is the point.

        We don't need to worry too much about Nokia's involvement in MeeGo either - you can take your hat off. It is an open source linux distribution, and the more people / businesses that get involved, the lesser is Nokia's influence. My hope that this goes the way of other distributions, where corporations contribute but the distribution has its own life. Once MeeGo has reached a usability milestone we'll see xda port it to everything they can get their hands on, then demand will increase for handset manufacturers will be pressured in to providing open source (or at least blobs) drivers for their hardware. Then the tables will be reversed, asking not what handset/OS shall I buy, but what handset shall I buy, and which OS shall I install on it.

        And it will go the way of the PC

      • Are you sh*tting me? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Qubit (100461) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @03:14AM (#34239558) Homepage Journal

        *puts on anti-Nokia troll hat*

        I don't know about hats, but it sure sounds like you're trolling!

        What's stopping Google from using code in the MeeGo base?

        MeeGo uses a (somewhat) stock kernel, I believe. Android puts in all kinds of special sauce not in mainline like wake-locks.

        Drivers written for Android aren't necessarily going to just work in MeeGo, unless you add all that additional stuff (cruft?) to the kernel, etc...

        Like most popular distros, MeeGo uses the standard GNU userland; Android uses their own, non-GPL userland.

        we'll probably see a lot of cross contamination between Android and MeeGo kernel code.

        Sure, anything that's from upstream.

        (I suspect that since Android's source is completely open, there would be no...

        Android, like MeeGo is largely open. But there are certain things that are not released under a FOSS license (e.g. some drivers, particularly power-related and graphics-related drivers).

        On Android, I believe that all of Google's core applications are completely closed-source. What's more, it's non-trivial to set up the phone to sync with non-Google servers.

        Nokia would steal Google's UI code and Dalvik

        I don't think that Android's UI is particularly better or worse than MeeGo's.

        And Dalvik? That's like asking the MeeGo folks to go stick their hand in a beehive filled with thousands of tiny little Larry Ellisons with stingers. Surely, you must be joking!

        Google would steal their best threading, i/o, and whatever other code is probably superior in MeeGo that isn't probably going to wind up in the base kernel trunk

        Part of the whole point with MeeGo is to try to get as much stuff pushed up into upstream projects as is possible. If there's some good threading or i/o improvements to be made to the kernel, it seems reasonable that the MeeGo kernel devs will work hard to get it into mainline. From my perspective, Android has an "after the fact" attitude towards kernel development, whereas MeeGo has more of a "let's cooperate with upstream" attitude.

        I don't know if ARM is working directly on the Linux kernel/Android or not

        Sure. One of the projects they sponsor is Linaro. Linaro is a projects tasked with making it easier to deploy Linux-based systems on top of ARM: http://www.linaro.org/ [linaro.org]

      • by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:13AM (#34239754) Homepage

        What's stopping Google from using code in the MeeGo base?

        There's no GPL code in the Android userspace.

      • by Urkki (668283) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:43AM (#34240030)

        >

        Isn't that what Android is for?

        Android isn't particularily "Linuxy". If you want to take advantage of the wast amount of open source Linux/Unix software, Android is hardly the way to go, because it doesn't provide Unix-like environment.

        IOW, no, that's not what Android is for. Android is Android, and is useful when you want Android. If you want anything else, you shouldn't choose Android.

      • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:11AM (#34252326) Journal

        If Nokia [...] were smart, Nokia would steal Google's [...] Dalvik

        WTF? Why on earth would Nokia want Dalvik?

      • by peppepz (1311345) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @11:41AM (#34254808)

        Isn't that what Android is for?

        No, Android is not a Linux distribution. It's an embedded platform supporting Google's business model; it happens to run on the Linux kernel just because it was the best strategic choice. Android might drop the Linux kernel tomorrow, and Android applications would hardly notice it.

        What's stopping Google from using code in the MeeGo base?

        I'm 99% sure that it's nothing, and that if the code's good enough, we'll probably see a lot of cross contamination between Android and MeeGo kernel code.

        Android already uses Nokia code. For instance, Bluez, and Nokia-contributed kernel code.

        Palm, too, used some results of a collaboration between Nokia and TI on their products (at least this is what was said at the first MeeGo conference).

        The Linux kernel already makes use of Google-contributed code.

        If Nokia and Google were smart, Nokia would steal Google's UI code and Dalvik and Google would steal their best threading, i/o, and whatever other code is probably superior in MeeGo that isn't probably going to wind up in the base kernel trunk and call the whole thing a "cross platform open source collaboration" or some other nonsense string of buzzwords that make marketers beyond happy.

        I think that, from a collaboration point of view, MeeGo are doing their share, by developing their software on the open, using public repositories and mailing lists, reusing existing open source projects instead of inventing new ones, and especially with the "upstream first" policy. It is yet to be seen if such approach will be successful. Or even feasible: for example, Maemo's changes for GTK were rejected by upstream IIRC.

        Android chose a more business-oriented approach, by forking the software they needed, to keep it under their control, developing it behind closed doors and "revealing" it only after handsets have already been manufactured. This approach has been very successful so far, but I doubt the Linux Foundation would approve it.

        But even if the two worlds were compatible, I wouldn't be happy if they merged. Competition is good even in the open source territory: in the end, after all choices have been made, a single project, open source or not, can only evolve in a single direction, and that direction need not be the best one. Or, it might make some users happy and others angry. It's good to have more projects, with differing philosophies and targets, see the different results they obtain, and be able to choose among them.

    • by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @02:31AM (#34239428) Homepage

      No one would be surprised if the title read "AMD Joins Mobile Linux OS efforts" which is what is going on. It is an open source project, and the only real contender for mobile at the moment.

      I've heard a rumour about another possible contender, I don't recall the exact name but it was something to do with robots, and backed by some Silicon Valley startup that is apparently doing quite well in online advertising. Seems unlikely to me that some upstart can challenge Intel's clear history of successful operating system development, but some people apparently consider it to be a real contender.

  • Nokia Icon? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Etiko (1391455) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:37AM (#34240012)
    When is Nokia getting its own icon? They are quite a big (understatement of the year) player in the daily lives of us Mobile devs.
  • by balaband (1286038) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @06:18AM (#34240168)

    Let me get this straight: couple of biggest hardware manufacturers are putting their effort to bring full-blown GPL-licensed Linux distro on mobile devices, and you guys don't seem to care? I would imagine geeks all over the world would be jerking off on their monitors upon hearing this news...

    Am I missing something?

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @10:57AM (#34241858) Homepage Journal

    Is MeeGo increasing the robustness of mobile devices by offering variety? Or is it splitting the developer and consumer activity in mobile between MeeGo and Android, and so slowing down the pace and survival strength of mobile development?

    Both are happening. Which is stronger than the other?

    • by Teun (17872) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @12:39PM (#34243438) Homepage
      Android is backed by Googles money but is for important parts closed source plus there are serious doubts they are contributing up stream.

      MeeGo is run by the Linux Foundation thus truly Open Source and backed by money from Intel, Nokia and now possibly AMD.

      I'd put my money on MeeGo especially because I don't see Google actively hindering MeeGo.

  • by Yfrwlf (998822) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:55PM (#34248598)
    I'm all for getting rid of x86 if it is a poor, power-hungry standard, but standards are still very relevant. When I can go download Meego or Android from their website for say ARM or whatever other major arches there are out there, and install it on a wide variety of device models and types, let me know, because waiting for a specific build for a specific device is ridiculous and should not be needed. Normal Linux distros do a great job of detecting existing hardware and having drivers for everything, so this desperately needs to occur on smaller devices like "phones".

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