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GLOBAL – Today marks a new project release of the MeeGo software, the open-source next-gen operating system for computing devices that Nokia and Intel kicked off earlier this year. The release brings it to version 1.1. This includes updates to the Core operating system, together with the Netbook, In-Vehicle and Mobile Handset packages. An updated Software Development Kit (SDK) for version 1.1 will follow shortly. So MeeGo’s well on its way and showing great progress.

So what is a “project release”? Let’s start with what it isn’t. This isn’t a finished product for you to load up on to your phone and use on a day-to-day basis. The user interface is neither finished nor is it representative of what the experience will look like on future Nokia devices (we’re creating our own unique experience using Qt). What it is, is a generic version intended to allow developers and device manufacturers to get familiar with the code and the capabilities of future devices.

The main updates in this new release are that key mobile technologies such as cellular and sensors are built into the core OS. In the handset package, there’s a basic user experience for tasks like voice calling, SMS messaging, web browsing, music and video playback, photo viewing, and connection management. The in-vehicle package also has a sample home screen and features speech recognition. The whole bundle is available for download from the MeeGo site.

The Netbook release will work on Intel Atom netbooks, while the Handset release will work on the Nokia N900 and Intel’s Aava reference device. Developers who have the N900 with the latest 1.3 update can set their device to dual-boot into MeeGo on a memory card and play with what’s on offer. Note that we don’t recommend that you do this if you aren’t a software engineer. MeeGo is intended for as-yet-unreleased handsets and other mobile computers. Really. Don’t do it unless you’re a developer or a phone manufacturer.

(If you do it anyway and want to restore the latest Maemo software, it’s available at

And this is what MeeGo looks like right now.

This is the in-vehicle version:

Here’s part of the handset interface:
And here’s the netbook version:
So that’s version 1.1.  Version 1.2 is scheduled for April 2011, by which point the MeeGo handset user experience software should be pretty much complete. For all the technical details, jump to And as ever, let us know what you think in the comments below.