Nokia has decided to merge its powerful Maemo platform with Intel's Moblin operating system to form a new Linux-based platform. The companies plan to release the MeeGo platform in the second quarter of 2010 and say devices will launch later in the year.

The new platform is targeted at the emerging embedded device market and will support mobile computers, netbooks, connected televisions and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

"Our vision for seamlessly communicating between computing devices from the home, auto, office or your pocket is taking a big step forward today with the introduction of MeeGo," Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said in a statement. "... the merging of these two important assets into an open source platform is critical toward providing a terrific experience across a variety of devices and gaining cross-industry support."

The platform combines Moblin's core operating system and support for a variety of device types with Maemo's mobile technology and Qt application framework for software developers. Qt will allow apps made for MeeGo to be deployed on other platforms such as Symbian.

The Ovi Store will be the channel to market for apps and content for all Nokia devices, including those that are MeeGo and Symbian-based. Forum Nokia will provide developer support across all Nokia device platforms.

The Intel AppUpSM Center will carry Intel-based MeeGo devices from other device manufacturers. The company's Atom Developer Program will support app development for embedded devices.

MeeGo will be hosted by the Linux Foundation as a fully open source project.

"MeeGo will drive an even wider range of Internet computing and communication experiences for consumers, on new types of mobile devices," Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a statement. "Through open innovation, MeeGo will create an ecosystem that is second to none, drawing in players from different industries. It will support a range of business models across the value chain, building on the experience and expertise of Nokia, Intel and all those who will join us. Simply put, MeeGo heralds a new era of mobile computing."

Nokia uses Symbian on the vast majority of its handsets and has historically used Maemo to power its mobile internet devices, such as its N900.