MeeGo 1.1 arrives for smartphones and netbooks, not tablets

MeeGo 1.1 was released on Monday. This is the official call to device makers and developers to build us a new class of Linux-based Intel Atom and ARMv7 devices. Version 1.1 includes a user interface for smartphones and for netbooks but not for tablets. This didn't stop yet another round of rumors over a Nokia MeeGo tablet.

The release of MeeGo 1.1 is nicely timed two weeks before the MeeGo Conference in Dublin, November 15-17. Version 1.1 includes a core operating system, the Netbook UX and an In-Vehcile Infotainment UX -- important because in July, The Linux Foundation announced that when MeeGo arrives, it would be used by the GENIVI Alliance as the "basis of its next reference release for In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI)." GENIVI is used by the likes of BMW, General Motors, Hyundai, Peugeot Citroen.

The MeeGo organization also said it will have the 1.1 version of its software developer kit released before the conference, too.

MeeGo is set to be the Symbian replacement for Nokia's high end smartphones. While Nokia says that reports of Symbian's death are greatly exaggerated, no one can deny its decline. It's Symbian^3 N8 earned raves from reviewers for top-notch hardware but was panned for the clunky new Symbian OS. Even so, Nokia MeeGo devices are not slated until 2011. We hope to hear more news from Nokia at the MeeGo conference.

Updates for the young mobile OS are planned for every six months. In this way, MeeGo hopes to play catch up in a hurry to  iPhone and Android. Next up, in April, 2011, MeeGo will include "a Handset UX release with a complete set of applications, and support for other device usage models." Yeah, we don't know exactly what that means, either, but "other device usage models" sounds like the long-awaited tablet UX, doesn't it? The organization also wants to impress you with a public list of other planned features. Lots and lots of them.

The lack of the tablet UI hasn't stopped the endless rumors of a Nokia MeeGo tablet. At one point, the name of this famed device was supposedly leaked -- the "Z500." Reports surfaced that the Ovi store was sort-of recognizing the Z500 name on Monday -- meaning that for a short time, when people searched for the term Z500, they got a page saying no information was available, rather than one that said the Z500 was an unsupported device. Tweets flew. No doubt Nokia would love to produce a killer tablet to take a bite out of Apple. But that's not the most convincing evidence. We prefer pictures.