Finally, tangible progress from Nokia

Finally, tangible progress from NokiaA couple of months ago I bemoaned the lack of progress from Elop & Co in Hurry Up, Nokia. It’s all change with the Finns this year, but seemingly very little happened in the months immediately following the publicising of the Elop/Ballmer romance.

Well, other than reports of tumbling profits and market share, of course.

But this week it seemed like every second story concerned Nokia, and – shock horror – they weren’t all bad.

Let’s get the depresso story out of the way first. The agreement for Symbian’s move to Accenture has been finalised. I’m not a big fan of outsourcing, but the fact that 2,800 existing employees are making the jump is surely a good thing.

The worst type of outsourcing is where work is punted off to cheap foreign labour with minimal training with the sole purpose of saving money. Er, not that I’ve ever participated in such a process. Ahem.

In less somber news, Nokia finally – finally! – unveiled the industry’s worst kept secret, the N9. The unanimous feeling seems to be that it looks pretty sweet, and geeks everywhere are rubbing their hands at the prospect of MeeGo smartphone action.

The N9 is expected to be released in relatively small quantities, but it’ll be able to run Android apps thanks to Myriad’s Alien Dalvik. The idea is that the process is seamless – or “transparent” – from the user’s point of view, so the apps will launch in the same way as those native to the N9. Nice.

Needless to say, the release date for the N9 is entirely vague at the moment. “Later in the year” is all Nokia was willing to commit to.

We also quite like the look of the N950, the developer variant of the N9, which has a QWERTY keyboard and a few other minor differences. Interesting stuff.

Attendees at Nokia Connection in Singapore also got a glimpse at Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 handset, codenamed Sea Ray. Elop asked the audience to put away their phones, saying: “this is something that is super confidential and we do not want to see out in the bloggersphere.” Yeah, right. Is he really that naïve? We think not.

And finally, we got a glimpse of an alternative Nokia future, with an N9-style handset pictured running Android. It’s not clear what the heck the device is, but our eyebrows were raised ever so slightly.

And finally finally, Martin has just written a story about the possibility of MeeGo living on in Series 40.

Phew, that was a lot of Nokia. Now get to Finland and let us write about something else.

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