Fujitsu Ships MeeGo Netbook as Intel Tries To Build Buzz for Tablets

MeeGo isn't dead yet, but it's barely breathing. Into this life-supported world, Fujitsu birthed its first MeeGo netbook ... and the world yawned. The world also hardly took notice of the MeeGo tablet that Intel is demonstrating at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Not that the new Fujitsu netbook deserved much fanfair. Fujitsu merely took its middle-of-the pack Windows 7 Lifebook MH330 netbook and added the option to run MeeGo on it.

The MH330, be it a MeeGo or a Windows 7 version, uses a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N455 with 1GB of RAM, includes a 250GB hard drive and a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 LED-backlit screen. It has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a 5-in-1 card slot, Webcam ... like we said, yawn. The company says it adapted MeeGo to use its hardware buttons on the MH330 (and functional hardware buttons is what you would expect when you buy a new netbook). The price is right: under $400 for either of them with the Windows version costing $10 more (passing along the cost to license the Windows operating system?) The MeeGo option is being slated first for an Asia-Pacific release, with no word on when it will reach the West.

Just two weeks ago, Intel was stirring up a modicum of interest in the Linux-derivative OS. Word broke that Intel was promising MeeGo would arrive on tablets, not just netbooks and smartphones, and that we could expect the first crop by June.

At MWC this week, Intel demonstrated a MeeGo tablet and is still telling attendees to expect them this year. In addition to Fujitsu, other big names apparently are still onboard including Toshiba, Asus, Acer, Texas Instruments. Here's a video of the tablet that Intel is showing at its booth in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, it's main partner, Nokia, apparently hired a trojan horse as its leader. The world was shocked when Stephen Elop announced in September that he was leaving his powerful position at Microsoft, responsible for the uber lucrative Office family, to become CEO of hurting Nokia. A mere five months later, it became apparent that he didn't burn bridges. A cynical person might even conclude that Steve Ballmer sent Elop to Nokia to reel in a dedicated hardware maker for Windows Phone 7.

As for MeeGo, even the Linux Foundation looks to be giving up hope. The Linux Foundation hosts and oversees the project. Without it to encourage an army of pumped up open source-loving coders to go out and create amazing MeeGo apps, even the likes of Intel can't make MeeGo fly.

Alas, yesterday, the Linux Foundation announced that it would host its first ever Android Builder Summit to take place in San Francisco, April 13-14, 2011. This although many in the Linux world find Android to be a mixed bag, controlled as it is by Google. They were hoping that MeeGo, run by the non-profit Linux Foundation, would be for handsets what Apache is for Web servers. But with MeeGo so wobbly, and Symbian really dead, better to get behind the the super-hot Android open source mobile OS than no mobile OS at all.