MeeGo v1.0 Now Available To Download For N900 And Netbooks

Remember MeeGo? That's the operating system that was formed when Intel and Nokia decided it best to merge their respective Moblin and Maemo efforts into one system designed for mobile devices, MIDs, UMPCs, slates, and even netbooks. Not much has been said about the software since it was initially launched, but now consumers are getting the first good look at what exactly this OS will bring.

The MeeGo 1.0 release is currently only for Nokia's N900 handheld computer and for Intel Atom-based netbooks. All other systems will simply have to wait until they're supported in future releases. But there's still plenty to enjoy, as quite a few Atom-based netbooks have been shipped to date. Basically, MeeGo for Netbooks aims to bring the basics to netbooks, and to bring speed that isn't usually there when using Windows 7. Let's face it: Windows 7 is a full-on desktop OS, and it was hardly designed to work best on lowly 1.6GHz Atom CPUs with 1GB of RAM. You really need more power to really enjoy Windows 7, and that's where MeeGo comes in.

Early reports have shown that the OS really flies on even the most basic netbook hardware, and even though the user interface is far simpler than in Windows 7, that simplicity leads to increased speed. And on a netbook, when all you need is to access the Internet, a few Office-type apps and maybe a chat client, all you need are the basics.

We're pretty excited to see what MeeGo will bring to the fold. It has been awhile since a real OS has emerged to compete with Windows, and while the mobile OS space is crowded (iPhone OS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Symbian, etc.), the netbook/UMPC space is wide open. The 1.0 build is available to download now, but obviously you should back up all of your important files before just blasting ahead with a foreign OS. After you've done that, go right ahead and see if this is a suitable alternative to Win7--did we mention that it's free to download and install?