Announcing MeeGo5I have about eight blog posts I wan to make coming out of the Intel Elements 2011 Conference, most of them positive. BUt one of these seems pretty time sensitive and I want to be part of the conversation out here so I’m going to do this now even if it’s only half baked.

Whoever is in charge – you cannot use the name Tizen – it’s about the worst possible marketing move possible at this moment.
Instead – call it MeeGo5 – and you’ll be celebrated instead of mocked.

OK, now let me step back just a bit. On Tuesday we first heard the news that Samsung was contributing its LiMo code to the Linux Foundation and that was going to be added to the MeeGo project to add a ton of well made, sorely needed, mature code to make a big step forward in a solid open source OS that will work on mobile devices as well as desktop/laptop/ultrabook devices. Awesome news right?

But most MeeGo enthusiasts heard, thought, and talked to me about something entirely different and entirely negative – it goes something like this:

  • We’re already bummed and torqued that Nokia abandoned the MeeGo project and didn’t launch their long promised phone at MeeGo conference in SFo earlier this year.
  • We already have mixed feelings about a big sponsor like Intel because we hate The Man and Intel pretty much IS The Man…but we want their funding support.
  • With this announcement our fragile hopes are dashed since Intel clearly decided that MeeGo was a failure, despite all our hard work and support, and now we’re starting all over on something that will most likely also fail.

Back to the people in charge, you folks say it all the time – your developer fans and enthusiasts are your best asset but you are kicking then in the nethers with what amounts to marketing clumsiness. What I suspect you thought of as “rebranding” is being interpreted as the failure of MeeGo and the cold start of a completely new effort that is expected to fail just like Moblin, MaeMo, and now MeeGo before it.

And unless I’m totally missing it, that is 180 degrees from what you intended with this announcement. Am I wrong?

All you need to fix it is a name change. Announce immediately that you didn’t mean to say Tizen or introduce that Genie that was roundly ridiculed by everybody I talked to at Elements (hey guys – I’m just the messenger here).

Instead use the name – say it with me – MeeGo5.

MeeGo5 implies two things that you mean to communicate in one simple term.
First, it communicates progress and improvement to a project many people are deeply invested in. It suggests in the name itself that the new combined code base is better than it was before. You are reving the project, not replacing it.

It also indicates what we heard was one of the biggest and most forward-looking aspects of the news – the ground-up inclusion of HTML5 support as kick-butt platorm-agnostic programming environment.

For my part – and for your own good – I will endeavor to never say Tizen again and refer to this project by a name that makes way more sense. Who with me?




  1. Hi David – yeah, I know all of the various names have had their fans and enemies. My real thought now is really about keeping momentum behind ANY name instead of constantly changing course…or at least looking that way.
    For my part, one name is as good as any other but the constant shifting only serves to give the impression of a chain of failed products instead of a steady evolution of one project…whatever it’s name.

  2. You do know that the name Meego was very much hated and ridiculed when it sprung up to life. I do not know what the hang up is… it’s a name. I actually like Tizen a bit now when i have seen it a couple of times. ūüėČ

  3. I’m going to disagree with you Mary though I do see your point.

    MeeGo is not defined by QT in the same way that Windows is not defined by Visual Studio. Sure, the connection between a common IDE and the programs it compiles is a tight one but there is a real difference between the two.

    And to your point, I’d arguer that QT is what is inextricably linked to Nokia, not MeeGo. For my part, when Nokia walked away from MeeGo earlier this year I got used to it pretty quickly and so did the whole community. At the very least MeeGo has has a post-Nokia existence going on for a big chunk o the year and existed quite comfortably under Intel’s wings. Since that relationship remains intact or even stronger I can’t agree with your suggestion on that point.

  4. But with QT gone in favour of HTML5, you can’t call Tizen Meego 5 without risking huge confusion over compatibility. Also, there are too many other players and the name is too associated with Nokia. There’s a communication problem, but keeping the Meego name isn’t the solution.

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