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Nokia merges MeeGo and Symbian development plans

If anyone owning a Nokia phone was confused before about just what the company was planning in development and OSs, Nokia came out this week and final

By PETER WHITE

Published: 28 October, 2010

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If anyone owning a Nokia phone was confused before about just what the company was planning in development and OSs, Nokia came out this week and finally squashed that confusion – it plans to move Symbian and MeeGo closer together, and almost immediately they will work with the same Qt Framework development environment. Also support for HTML5 will be added on all of its phones.

That helps not a jot if you currently have a Maemo phone (the old N900) or are stuck with an existing Symbian phone, or even one of the Series 40 feature phones which are Nokia’s main weapons in the third world, but at least it’s a viable plan to fight Android and Apple in the long term.

The sole focus on the Qt framework and support for HTML5, clarifies platform strategy for developers and Nokia also moved this week, on the back of relatively impressive financial results, to cut 1,800 jobs, and re-organize around its Ovi App Store, which has been around longer than all of the other App Stores put together, but has singularly failed to capture the public’s imagination.

These new strategies, from a new CEO, are strangely similar to the direction of the previous CEO, but perhaps means that Ovi will push more aggressively not only into Apps, but into making sure everyone knows that Nokia actually HAS apps.

The decision to focus on Qt will be a really popular one with European mobile application developers, as the framework has an almost fanatical following .

Nokia says that from now on it will develop all of its own applications using Qt and future improvements to Symbian will also be written in Qt. Recently Nokia has introduced Qt Quick into the Qt framework to enable rapid creation of user interfaces and visually engaging applications.

Nokia says it will no longer talk about Symbian^3 and Symbian^4 but have a constantly evolving platform under a single name.

Rich Green, CTO of Nokia said, “We're making strategic technology decisions that will accelerate our ability to offer the strongest possible opportunity for developers and the richest possible experience for consumers. For developers, it will open up a huge installed customer base for their applications. For consumers, it means a more compelling engagement with their Nokia product in terms of access to the best applications in the marketplace and a constantly improving product experience. We firmly believe that the choices we have made will not only mean significant opportunity and success for our developer partners, but for Nokia as well.”

In a separate statement Nokia said that it has a plan to accelerate its recovery transformation, which includes simplifying operations in product creation in Nokia's Symbian Smartphones organization. This will result in a reduction of up to 1,800 employees globally.

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