Unlikely partners Intel and Nokia have joined forces in an attempt to fend off increasing mobile competition from Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The two companies have merged their mobile OSes into one entity: MeeGo. You can expect the first mobile devices running on MeeGo later this year.
MeeGo is a merger of Nokia's Maemo OS and Intel's Moblin OS, both of which are Linux-based. Maemo is the platform that runs the Nokia N900, while Moblin runs on phones such as the LG GW990 and netbooks from Foxconn, Acer, and others.
Overall though, both are small fry when compared to Google's Android platform or Apple's iPhone OS, which could be part of why Intel and Nokia felt it was necessary to team up.
As for how the thing will work: well, it'll be built around the Moblin core OS, but it will utilize Nokia's Ovi Store for its apps. It'll be hosted by the Lunx Foundation as an open source project. Oh, and MeeGo will not just be for mobile phones either, but is intended to work on netbooks, tablets, and televisions as well.
In some ways, the entire thing just seems like a "too little, too late" attempt by both companies to muscle their way back into the smartphone market that Apple and Google have been taking by storm. Neither Moblin nor Maemo have the intuitive interface of Android or the iPhone OS (or the app catalog of either), and it's tough to see how a merger will change that.
Still, at least they're not giving up without a fight — it's too big of a market to simply surrender. Combining resources and encouraging open source additions will probably help its development as well. We'll see what the two companies come up with later this year.