HP may have cancelled the HP TouchPad tablet, but the company has continued to push out software updates for the webOS tablet — and even if HP eventually pulls the plug on support for the operating system, we’ve seen a number of alternatives. A team of developers at CyanogenMod have already ported a slightly buggy version of Google Android to run on the tablet, and users have been loading Ubuntu on the TouchPad for months.
Now it looks like another option may be on the horizon. YouTube user crevetor has posted a video showing an HP TouchPad booting MeeGo Linux.
To be honest, that’s all the video shows. We see the tablet get to the boot screen — and no further. It’s not clear how well the OS runs on the hardware at this point — and it’s also possible that we’re simply looking at a custom splash screen and nothing more.
But if work is actually underway to port MeeGo to run on the TouchPad, it’s an interesting choice. On the one hand, MeeGo is as dead as the TouchPad. The open source, Linux-based software was originally designed to run on netbooks, smartphones and tablets with the backing of Intel and Nokia.
Nokia has pulled out of the project and put its support behind Windows Phone 7, and Intel is now backing a new project called Tizen which has a heavy emphasis on HTML5 and other web technologies.
That doesn’t mean that MeeGo is necessarily a bad fit for the TouchPad though. The platform includes a touchscreen-friendly user interface and supports apps that run in full-screen mode. While there aren’t a boatload of apps written specifically for MeeGo, the software actually tends to run on top of other Linux operating systems such as Linpus or Fedora, which means that you should be able to run native Linux apps.
We’ve also seen some MeeGo systems which add support for Android apps through a Dalvik virtual machine. The German WeTab tablet, for instance, runs MeeGo but supports some Android applications.
The HP TouchPad features a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core processor. It was released in July, 2011 and canceled less than two months later due to poor sales. But the discontinued tablet became popular among bargain hunters looking to snag one for $149 or less when HP started liquidating the remaining inventory.
via MeeGo Experts
Making a project open-source does not mean that it will magically be updated by the community. It means that it could be updated by the community, but, realistically, it probably won’t be because open source developers are, by and large, not paid for their work, which greatly limits their motivation to do the hard work needed to make an operating system end users actually want to use.
Android is an excellent case in point: It became a usable tablet OS because Google bankrolled its development, for reasons I don’t completely understand. Ubuntu, the most popular end-user Linux distro, is bankrolled by an eccentric billionaire. RedHat and its clones (CentOS, Scientific Linux), which provide long term support for older releases of software, is bankrolled by a company that sells support and the Red Hat brand name.
Ya, open source is only as good as what companies back it up.
MeeGo is not dead. Open source software doesn’t die. Open source software CAN’T die. That’s kind of the point. That’s why people turn away from proprietary software, which can die on you and leave you all alone, and embrace open source alternatives. It’s also why people are willing to “put up” with open source software that doesn’t seem to off as polished of a user experience, because in reality a good user experience one day that can suddenly and completely die one day isn’t actually a good user experience at all. In fact, it’s a lie. A mediocre experience that can last forever actually turns out to be the best user experience of all because it’s reliable.
There is no reason why people can’t keep improving and using MeeGo. It’s all right there out in the open, and anybody can take up the cause of development themselves or hire somebody to do it for them. WebOS may be dead by the end of the year, but all of us will be dead before MeeGo is no longer open source. That’s the absolute power of licensing.
Yeah, I actually started to make this point but edited it out of the final post because I don’t see a lot of evidence that the MeeGo community will really support the project in earnest once Intel switches to Tizen.
I’d love to be proven wrong though… and that wouldn’t be hard to do, since I’ll admit I haven’t been monitoring the situation *that* closely.
I have to agree with Brad here.
Though i will admit that Open Source software has the advantage to be carried on by ANYONE knowing the programming language it is written in, i see continued efforts in MeeGo losing mayor commercial backing paralleling the continuation of the Amiga.
When Comodore folded 1994, the Amiga Community was alive and well, most Amiga centric magazines carried on for several years.
New Hardware Addons were developed to retrofit Amigas with PCI Slots, PowerPC CPUs, 3D accelerator cards, new Versions of the OS were developed.
In fact the last public update to the AmigaOS was made available in August auf THIS YEAR.
Even completly newly designed PowerPC Hardware was made throughout the 2000s, and indeed to this day still is being made with the AmigaOne X1000 being said to launch within the remainder of the year, being a dual core 2Ghz Power PC machine with 2-4 GB of Ram.
My point here being – Every Platform, be it software, hardware or a combination of both will find its fans, and the community will continue one, no matter what.
But once the commerical backing of big companies falls away, the platform will lose steam.
There was a time when the Amiga was as loved and as well known as the Macintosh.
The Amiga carries on to this day, even after its corporate backing went belly up. But almost noone even knows it still exists, it lost its relevance to every non-loyalist.
There are hundreds upon hundereds of Linux distributions, some very specialised, some very general. Distrowatch alone tracks more than 300 individual ones.
I won’t deny that MeeGo might have its fans till the day humanity seizes to exist, but without corporate backing it will never gain any significant foothold as a premier mobile OS.
Open source software might not die, but it surely can become irrelevant.
Open source software turns into zombies once the corporations or that rich guy quit supporting them. Yeah, they’re not dead but they’ll rot forever.
You just proved that open source software is successful if only large companies back it up.
As someone who uses and writes open source software, I don’t want to be associated with you. You make us sound like idiots.
To everyone else, yes, open source software relies entirely on the community which may also include companies. As for Meego, the community was mostly just Intel. Companies can provide large amounts of resources but with enough interest, a project can develop well without that kind of backing. Of course, user interest can come and go just as fast. That’s just how it is.
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