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Nokia puts all its chips on Windows

Well, well. We think we hear an era quietly ending.

When it was announced a few months ago that Nokia would be teaming up with Microsoft for its smartphones, running them with Windows Phone software, there was a bit of an outcry from Nokia fans. Surely, they cried, the company's own software isn't that bad!

So Nokia was quick to reassure customers that it wouldn't be phasing out its own software - it has three different operating systems - overnight. 'Series 40', the software that runs on Nokia's cheaper 'dumbphones', would be kept around. 'Symbian', the semi-smartphone software that powers current top-end Nokias like the N8, would be phased out, but only over a couple of years. And 'Meego', which was originally supposed to be the company's answer to iOS and Android, would come to market in just one phone, the N9 (pictured). Then when the N9 was shown off a few weeks ago, and was seen to be really rather marvellous, people started to wonder if Nokia could be convinced to keep more of its own software around a bit longer.

Apparently not. In fact, the opposite. The company has announced that it's not even going to release the N9 in the US or UK, preferring to keep it just for the less smartphone-centric markets of continental Europe - though, to be honest, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being released at all.

And there's more. In an interview, Nokia's US president Chris Weber said this week that Symbian and S40 would basically be dead once the first Windows Phone Nokias were released early in 2012 - at least in the US. 'When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc.,' Weber said.

This isn't a total surprise. Nokia had said S40 would stick around, but had hinted that they saw it mostly as a product for poorer countries, where Nokia does well. Low-cost 'featurephones' are not a very profitable business in the US, so it seems fair enough for Nokia to get out. But it seems like bad news for the likes of the N8. Why would you buy a phone now with software that's going to be abandoned in a few months?

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