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Nokia gets another OS

Norwegian acquisition for touch screen phones

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Nokia has gone out and bought itself another operating system. It has snapped up the privately-held Norwegian company Smarterphone, which licenses a touchscreen featurephone OS, for an undisclosed sum. The company describes its eponymous platform (now up to version 3.0) as competing in the market of $25 to $75.

The business has been around since 1993, but operated under the name Kvaleberg until a year ago. It boasts a clutch of Asian licensees including Compal. Industry readers with long memories may remember OpenWave's V7 software; parts of that are included in the Smarterphone stack.

In the past 12 months Nokia has dispensed with its two key operating systems, Symbian and Meego; signed up to Microsoft's Windows Phone; and accelerated development of a new system of its own, Linux-based Meltemi, for featurephones like this. Nokia would appear to have three options for future touch screen smartphones: Series 40, Meltemi, and the new system. Where Smarterphone fits into an overall strategy is anyone's guess.

Perhaps Nokia simply liked the novel fan-out 'radial' menus, which you can see demonstrated in this video.

For Haavard Nord, it must seem like Groundhog Day. Nokia snapped up Trolltech, best known for its Qt libraries, in 2008, to give it a unified development environment across its disparate platforms. In doing so, it also acquired a Linux-based platform.

Nord joined the Smarterphone board in 2010. There's no escape, Haavard. ®

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