Nokia and Intel today announced MeeGo, an open sourced, Linux-based platform that will target smartphones, netbooks and other computing and communications devices, but refused to confirm any hardware or carrier partners.

On the first day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia and Intel announced that MeeGo will merge with the Linux-based Maemo platform seen on Nokia's N900 smartphone. MeeGo is set to launch in Q2 2010, though an Australian release time is unconfirmed.

Nokia also revealed that the MeeGo platform will not replace Symbian, the OS currently used on most Nokia smartphones and refused to comment or reveal any hardware or carrier partners for the new platform.

The new operating system will combine the best features from each operating system, including the Moblin core and the UI (user interface) toolkit from Maemo. Intel developed Moblin, and Nokia developed Maemo. The first version of MeeGo will ship during the second quarter.

The first devices based on the operating system are expected to arrive during the second half of 2010, according to Renée James, senior vice president and general manager at Intel's Software and Services Group.

The operating system will support both Intel's Atom and ARM architectures. The MeeGo source code, along with the build system and developer tools will be released in the coming weeks, according to a FAQ on the MeeGo website.

The MeeGo code will be hosted by the Linux Foundation, and anyone who wants to develop an application for MeeGo will use the Qt framework. The use of Qt will let users develop an application once and then run it on multiple platforms, according to Kai Öistämö, executive vice president for devices at Nokia.

So far, Nokia is the only company that has said it will ship phones with MeeGo. However, more hardware partners and operators will announce support and product plans for MeeGo in the coming weeks, James said.

The arrival of MeeGo will not change Nokia's plans for Symbian. That operating system will still be used on cheaper smartphones, according to Öistämö.