Intel 'fully committed' to MeeGo, exec says

Intel General Manager Doug Fisher declined to comment on rumors Samsung will buy its open-source OS

Intel said Thursday it was "fully committed" to its MeeGo mobile OS despite its main partner, Nokia, having jumped ship earlier this year to partner with Microsoft.

Doug Fisher, general manager of Intel's Systems Software Division, declined to comment on speculation that Samsung Electronics may be interested in acquiring MeeGo as part of a greater push into software.

"I can only comment on what's happening today," he said when asked about the Samsung report, which appeared on the website Mobiledia Tuesday and cited unnamed industry sources.

But he said Intel remains committed to MeeGo and, not surprisingly, is keen to find other partners to work with. "We're very open to other companies participating and helping us shape the next version of an open platform," Fisher said.

Intel has realized it needs to be a significant player in software if its processors are going to be widely used in fast-growing markets like mobile and cloud computing, said Fisher, who was in San Francisco to brief press and analysts on its software strategy.

"We've recognized the critical need for software," he said.

MeeGo was an example of that. Intel said last year it would develop the software jointly with Nokia, but in February Nokia said it would make Microsoft's Windows Phone software its primary smartphone platform.

But Intel is active in many other areas of software. Its acquisition of McAfee is the most prominent sign, but it has made many smaller acquisitions in areas like graphics rendering and development tools.

"The expectation is this will continue with further acquisitions around software," Fisher said.

It needs to ensure there are a wide range of operating systems optimized for its hardware, including Windows, Linux and Android. It also works closely with developers to provide tools they need to take advantage of multithreading and multicore architectures, Fisher said.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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