Ex-Nokia execs to bring back MeeGo OS, launch smartphone

What do you get when you put a group of ex-Nokia employees and a team of MeeGo developers in a room? A new mobile company.

Dubbed Jolla – Finnish for 'dinghy' – the company expects its first MeeGo-based smartphone to be revealed later this year, in conjunction with various partners.

"Nokia created something wonderful – the world's best smartphone product," Jolla CEO Jussi Hurmola said in a statement.

The company's COO is 11-year Nokia veteran Marc Dillon, who served as principal engineer for MeeGo.

Jolla has been working since the end of 2011 to develop a new smartphone and its operating system, evolving from the previous MeeGo OS, which launched only on the Nokia N9. The new system will incorporate Mer Core and Qt, as well as a new user interface, the company said.

Jolla is hiring MeeGo and Linux talent, according to a company press release.

In 2010, Intel and Nokia took the stage at MWC to announce that they would merge their Moblin and Maemo platforms into one software platform - MeeGo. A year later, however, Nokia announced that it will pursue a long-term relationship with Microsoft, and make the Windows Phone 7 operating system the foundation for Nokia mobile phones.

Intel vowed to forge ahead with the platform, and by fall 2011, Nokia began shipping the MeeGo-based N9 smartphone, though the platform didn't go much beyond that.

Nokia has taken a nosedive recently, closing three national facilities and cutting its global workforce by up to 10,000 employees, including three top executives, all while in the middle of rumours of a Microsoft or Samsung acquisition.