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The main problem with Nokia (with Maemo) is the same problem OLPC folks face (and Borland faced with OWL back when they owned C++ on Windows development), namely credibility. Both announced their platform with defiant optimism. Both got a huge following. Both abandonned them. Anything produced after that is met with scepticism because the early adopters were left as orphans without even a migration path to the new platform. Meanwhile, the market moved on. Nokia added insult to injury by abandoning its old Symbian OS. Why should any developer or consumer trust Nokia again considering that there are safer and more credible competitors out there? How is Meego better than AndroidOS? It's not enough to be marginally better, AndroidOS has to be blown out of the water before it would be worth consumers and developer to accept the risk of being orphaned. An example of this would be, if Meego devices could give you everything AndroidOS did at a third of the price (since it needed to run on less powerful hardware). Another example would be being able to run both iOS and Android apps and Symbian apps and other types of apps at the same time at about the same price-point as Android or iOS devices.
BTW, seniors devices will likely be touch screens too since context sensitive buttons are much more intuitive than buttons that persist whether or not they are useful in the current context. Edited 2011-02-09 20:05 UTC
As an N900 owner for the past year and iPad owner for a couple of months, I'm quite puzzled by your post.
How was I "abandoned" on the N900, exactly? How was I "left as orphans without even a migration path to the new platform"?
S60, Symbian^3 and MeeGo are programmed using Qt 2.6; well, darned if Qt 2.6 can't (now) be used to program Maemo as well. And the repository certainly has a fairly wide selection of Qt apps for my N900 today - more than I can work through, actually, which makes it effectively rather similar to my iPad (though the app store's UI is certainly more fun to browse - except for the prices ;-).
And I presume that you already know that the N900 can run the Dalvik engine by purchasing Alien (a commercial, supported product by Myriad), so that it runs Android apps. Oh, great - MORE apps to sort through!
And what's the first two platforms simultaneously supported by Firefox 4 Mobile? Hmmm...
So, I don't understand why you think I should feel abandoned or orphaned. My darned N900 tablet/phone has been a joy to use for the past year, and it still compares favorably to my iPad.
One N900 user to another..
- how long will I continue to see updates in the maemo repositories?
- what are the chances of new apps being added?
- what amount of contribution will Nokia keep in Meego?
- after watching Nokia stuff Maemo in favor of Meego, what reason does one have to trust in future development promises?
- when my N900 does fall over, what open standard distro based options will I have to upgrade too? Will there even be a device that can be truly considered an upgrade?
There is just not another option available at this time and may very well not be in future given the three most likely prospects. I may be looking at going back to a dumbphone and PDA combination just so I don't take a functionality downgrade.