Some 50 million Nokia owners have reason to rejoice, as the company has now gone live with its Ovi app store, however U.S. residents will have to wait a little longer. So far, Australia, Singapore, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Ireland, the UK are the first countries to gain access, with U.S. availability expected later this year.
Nokia's Ovi Store puts the company in position to compete with Apple's App Store, BackBerry App World, Windows Mobile Marketplace, and the Android Marketplace, plus any others we may have missed. At launch, the Ovi Store boasts some 20,000 items, representing a mix of both free and paid apps, podcasts, wallpapers, and ringtones.
The company's upcoming Nokia N97 is expected to work with the Ovi Store, and AT&T has promised to make the Ovi Store available to its customers later this year.
How do blokes at the S60 on Symbian Consumer Operations (SOSCO) contend with monotony that usually plagues people at workplaces with such unimaginative names? They savagely slaughter time through such wild undertakings as the porting of Symbian to an off-the-shelf Atom-based motherboard – please do try that at home.
“ A few of the bright and capable guys in the SOSCO (S60 on Symbian Customer Operations) team have Symbian compiling via GCC and now running on an off the shelf Atom based motherboard from Intel,” Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation, wrote in a blog post.
Williams wrote that the “responsiveness of the UI and upper application layers” impressed him the most. Williams’ bluster apart, the screenshots are rather vapid.
In a recently released video, a Nokia N800 that has been loaded up with VMware’s MVP hypervisor can be seen running Windows CE and Android simultaneously. Make no mistake about it, this is some cool stuff!
Now, admittedly the video is a virtualization, but the hypervisor is an extremely small virtual machine that will run beneath the phone’s operating system(s). It then creates virtual platforms on the device that it’s installed on, allowing OSes to be installed like apps. Since the virtual machine is what deals with the gadget’s firmware, you can theoretically run any OS that you’d like without the worries of driver compatibility.
VMware has stated that they’re in talks with manufacturers to have their hypervisor included with handsets so that dual booting could be possible. Though, there’s no clear reason as to why a manufacturer would license this software. Sadly, the idea of hardware virtualization, parallel mobile OSes and hypervisors are a bit much for mass marketing.
"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said. Nokia is widely expected to enter the netbook segment, if it does actually foray into the PC market.
Adobe and new BFF Nokia announced a $10 million Open Screen Project fund to encourage developers to create Flash-based applications and services for mobile devices.
"We are excited about the Open Screen Project Fund and the possibilities it offers to designers and developers worldwide," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "With close to 40 percent of all new mobile devices shipped with Flash Lite in 2008, the fund will enable more developers to bring their rich content and services to a large number of mobile users."
To make a bid for a portion of the grant money, interested developers are being asked to submit concepts for apps built around the Flash platform, capable of running on Nokia devices, and support a variety of screens, such as mobile, desktop, and consumer electronics devices. Once submitted, projects will be reviewed by Open Screen Project partners that include Adobe, Nokia, and Palm, who will be looking for how innovative and compelling the user experience is, how robust the application or planned implementation, and how well it exploits the capabilities and features of Nokia devices, the companies said.
More information, including how to apply, can be found here.
There's been a major push towards cloud computing during the past several months, so much so that IBM saw fit to invest $300 million upgrading 13 data centers with a cloud computing infrastructure. Dell even tried to (unsuccessfully) patent the term in anticipation of the importance the concept will play in the coming years. But are we ready to live in the cloud?
Apparently Nokia isn't, who managed to lose a full 3 weeks of user data on its Ovi service. Any updates made to profiles, images uploaded, and friendships added since January 23 have been wiped out and it doesn't appear any of that data wll be coming back.
Nokia blames the oopsy-daisy moment on a cooler that gave up the ghost in its hosting center, which caused a service interruption for several hours. Nokia's database was hit, and even though the company had been making regular backups, Nokia says its unlikely it will be able to restore the lost information.
To be fair, we should point out that Contacts on Ovi is a beta service, and as such, end users shouldn't be caught too off guard when problems occur. It just happens that in this case, the data loss demonstrates a potential danger of cloud computing.
Straight out of the “yeah, they’re still doing that” file, Greenpeace has released this year’s Guide to Greener Electronics. Since last year there have been plenty of notable changes for the better, but even more for the worse. Nintendo’s score continues to plummet, and Greenpleace’s traditional enemy, Apple, has fallen to 14th.
Nokia comes in at the top spot with some notably high marks in the chemicals department, and sports and overall score of about seven over ten. According to the report, “Nokia scores very well on toxic chemical issues, launching new models free of PVC since the end of 2005 and aiming to have all new models free of brominated flame retardants and antimony trioxide by the end of 2009. “
Near the bottom of the scorecard is everyone’s favorite software giant, Microsoft, scoring only about three out of the ten possible points. “Microsoft remains in 17th position with an improved score of 2.9 points, which it earns mainly on the toxic chemicals criteria,” states the Report. “The company has committed to removing PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its hardware products by or before 2010, and phthalates by the end of 2010.”
While there have been some that have spoken of the absurdity of the report, thanks to Greenpeace’s use of manufacturer information instead of conducting their own research, there are some validity to the numbers (as far as we can tell). Feel free to check out the report and draw your own conclusions.
Opera Software has been formally initiated into the Symbian Foundation, the body that now oversees the development of the Symbian platform. Opera isn’t the only new initiate as some other companies including Sharp have also joined the Symbian Forum. Nokia decided to turn Symbian into an open-source platform, governed by a consortium, after it bought the remaining shares in UK-based Symbian earlier this year. More than 40 companies have joined the consortium since its inception in June, 2008. Opera Software, for its part, has emerged as a major player in the world of mobile web browsers. It will be an important cog in the Symbian wheel.
If Sony Ericsson were capable of self-fulfilling prophecies, it would wish it could take back its ominous profit warning issued in late June. The company said it would break even in the second quarter due to disappointing European sales of its mid and high-end mobile phones, but even that turned out to be wishful thinking as Sony Ericsson on Friday posted a staggering 97 percent drop in Q2 profits. To help weather the financial storm and reduce operational costs, the mobile phone maker plans to cut 2,000 jobs "within the next 12 months."
Sony Ericsson only shipped 24.4 million units in Q2, compared to Nokia's 122 million handsets in the same period, who on Thursday announced better-than-expected earnings. Relief doesn't appear to be in sight either, as SE indicated "challenging market conditions" would remain through the rest of the year.