If you look at the Businessweek article, according to Nokia they gave up on Meego because it took too long. Symbian phones were dying on the vine, and they had been dropping prices, and thus losing profit margins, in order to keep their declines from getting worse. I think it is reasonable to posit that perhaps Meego's strict adherence to open source development principles, with the "it will be done when it is done", attitude, may have cause the schedule to slip out too far for Nokia's needs, and that they couldn't have stayed in business waiting another year or two for Meego to become sufficient mature for their needs.
Sometimes, you need to know when it's a better path to take on a little technical debt. Too much will of course sink you, but playing things too conservatively can also be a path to losing.