UP TO 1,800 Nokia staff are losing their jobs as the Finnish phone maker shakes up its Symbian OS operation after the departure of the head of the Symbian Foundation.
In a nutshell, Nokia thinks it needs to deliver an OS that people want, do it quickly and provide improvements on a frequent basis or, as the company puts it, "increase responsiveness to consumer demands and reduce time to market." The company has announced it will no longer refer to Symnian^3 or Symbian^4 because, "The resulting change to a model of continuous evolution replaces the previous release-based model."
Symbian Foundation head Lee Williams resigned yesterday and has been replaced by Tim Holbrow, who was the Foundation's CFO. To deliver something people actually want, Nokia says it will use common tools for applications, streamline its software development, simplify how it works and place "greater focus on adding value to consumers".
We think what this management speak actually means is essentially that the company wants a better relationship with the developer community, some of whom could be among those 1,800 employees to get the chop.
But to focus on the positive, to make life easier for developers the Qt framework will be Nokia's sole application development framework for the Meego OS, which Nokia developed with Intel, and these unnamed "future evolutions" of Symbian, assuming it has a future.
Nokia has also said that both Symbian and Meego will support HTML5, which of course according to Steve Jobs is already used by most video on the Internet.
The Ovi brand appears to have a more prominent future, as Nokia has also said it is going to wrap its services into what it calls an "integrated Ovi experience across our full range of devices". In other words what services were not already branded as Ovi will be, fairly soon.
Juha Äkräs, Nokia's EVP of human resources gave us an entirely unintelligible statement that said, "the aim is to accelerate the company's transformation towards a leading mobile solutions provider, and to do this we are simplifying and integrating operations within our product creation and corporate functions."
Nokia announced the Symbian changes its third quarter financial results that showed the company had year on year growth of 5 per cent in device sales and services revenue to €7.1 billion. µ
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