Finnish mobile developer Jolla has announced plans to showcase its upcoming MeeGo-based mobile operating system at the two-day Slush startup conference in Helsinki, Finland starting November 21. The company, comprised of several former Nokia employees, has managed to raise €200 million ($258 million) in funding in addition to €10 million of their own money to develop an OS codenamed “Sailfish.”
MeeGo came to life when Nokia and Intel agreed to merge their two operating systems (Maemo and Moblin, respectively) in February 2010. The OS showed promise as highlighted in Engadget's review of the Nokia N9 handset but it was pretty much a stillborn product. Nokia officially announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to use Windows phone as their principal smartphone strategy, effectively throwing MeeGo to the wolves – otherwise known as making it available to other developers to use.
Sailfish will be open-source although it will use some UI elements licensed from others. The company plans to make the developer story and SDK available at next month’s unveiling as well but even more interesting is the fact that Jolla will demo a new phone.
Jolla’s timing is interesting considering the mobile landscape will be dominated by new Windows 8 phones over the next few months. Introducing a new operating system and new hardware in the middle of Microsoft’s perfect storm will be a challenge to say the least. Sailfish could put a lot of pressure on Nokia if it’s successful considering the partnership with Microsoft has yet to pay off.