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Nokia N900 users won't get MeeGo upgrade

Analyst says snub will prove costly

Users who have bought Nokia's flagship smartphone, the Maemo-based N900, won't be able to upgrade the device to MeeGo, Nokia said in a blog post on Tuesday.

The MeeGo OS, announced in February, merges Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo Linux-based operating systems. The first devices based on the operating system are expected to arrive during the second half of 2010. Nokia and Intel hope that advanced smartphones, netbooks, connected TVs and tablet computers will all use the operating system.

Not allowing N900 users to upgrade to MeeGo will turn out to be a mistake, according to Martin Garner, analyst at CCS Insight. N900 owners expect to be able to upgrade and Nokia needs the good will of these users to help MeeGo take off, Garner said.

Nokia acknowledged that the news will disappoint some users, but promised to continue to support Maemo on the N900, according to the blog post.

Nokia doesn't give a very good explanation as to why the company is leaving N900 users behind, only saying it is "about ensuring that you have the best possible experience designed for the features on your Nokia N900 device."

N900 smartphones are being used for platform development and testing purposes by those involved in the MeeGo project, according to the blog post.

On Tuesday, Nokia also announced a software update for the N900. The upgrade -- called version 1.2 --includes a number of new games, video calling and an improved user interface.

The upgrade will be distributed in the U.K. on Tuesday and the rest of the world on Wednesday, the blog post said.

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