Free hardware has somewhat become the norm lately, if you want to promote your new platform (at least if you aren’t Apple or Google). We hear that HP is apparently planning to hand out WebOS tablets and Intel just confirmed that it has given developers MeeGo netbooks.
How do you convince developers to start using and developing for a new platform. Hardware would help and that seems to be a common theme these days. Remember Microsoft, which handed out more than 30,000 Windows 7 phones? Or Google, which beta tests Chrome Os with 65,000 ChromeOS notebooks (and hopes that developers will start developing many more apps for the Chrome Web Store)? Intel does it on a much smaller scale with MeeGo.
At a recent meeting with about 140 developers in Arizona, the company gave out MeeGo netbooks to “qualified developers”. The hope here is, as well, that developers will actually use the netbook to build MeeGo apps. “By the end of the night, developers learned that with MeeGo they can rapidly create a variety of experiences across many computing device types, as well as have an opportunity to make money with their applications,” Intel’s Rhonda Peters wrote in a blog post.
The success of smartphone and tablet platforms seems to be a numbers game. 140 netbooks are a start, but it may not be enough to see a big impact. The first MeeGo version that will make it into consumer devices is, as far as we know, currently scheduled for a late April 2011 shipment date. We have no idea whether there will be MeeGo netbooks on retail shelves, but we do know that the company plans on having MeeGo tablets in U.S. retail by June.
If you are a developer interested in MeeGo, we have no idea whether Intel is giving out more free netbooks. However, you could always try and contact the company through its AppUp developer program.