As a big fan of both Maemo and MeeGo, I was terribly disappointed when Nokia decided to shelve the MeeGo project in favor of Windows Phone 7. It’s nothing against Windows Phone 7, I just preferred the Linux based mobile OS to Microsoft’s offering. Before killing the project, they managed to release a beautiful piece of hardware called the N9, but it was the last of a dying breed.

Now, information has come to light that the N9 wasn’t supposed to be the only MeeGo device released, and Nokia even went so far as to make a prototype of the next MeeGo based smartphone. What you see above, code named the Lauta, is what Nokia would have released after the N9 had they not mad a deal with the devil (er, Microsoft). According to the source of the images, the qwerty slider you see above was in working condition, and running MeeGo, when the shots were taken. It is also said to have mostly the same specs as the N9, just with the addition of the hardware keyboard.

Although it doesn’t do any good, I’m quite disappointed that this phone was never released. I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a used N9 just to play around with, and this hardware looks even better. Really, seeing this just makes me more sure that completely killing the MeeGo project was a bad idea, because the above hardware is certainly something I would have bought.

Of course, no amount of complaining will ever get this device released, even just the hardware as a Windows Phone. But hey – sometimes it can be fun to reminisce, and then there’s always Jolla to hope for.