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Nokia rev’s Linux tablet firmware

May 15, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

March and April have been busy months for Nokia and its Maemo open source software project. The results include new firmware releases for Nokia's Linux-based 770 and N800 Internet tablets, along with a much-improved website and new software roadmap.

Interestingly, Nokia previously said it would not offer a fourth firmware update for the 770 Internet Tablet, now about a year and a half old. However, developer interest apparently led to an “OS 2007 Hacker Edition” that includes many applications backported from the newer N800's firmware (missing are applications licensed from third parties specifically for the N800).

In an outstanding review of the new OS 2007 firmware published at, Nathan Willis praised Nokia for continuing to support the 770, despite financial sacrifices involved in doing so. His review concludes, “Maemo 3.1 is incrementally better than maemo 3.0, but the investments that the company has made in growing the developer community are better still. I secretly harbor the suspicion that — despite public denials — at least some thinkers inside Nokia view maemo as a potential replacement for Symbian on its mobile phone lines. If so, they are laying good groundwork.”

Meanwhile, Nokia has delivered its first firmware upgrade for the N800 Internet Tablet, which shipped about six months ago. The “3.2007.10-7” firmware release reportedly improves video and Flash performance, adds support for the device's built-in FM radio, and increases Opera browser stability. However, the update still leaves the N800 unable to render Flash websites such as YouTube well, nor to properly display some websites based on AJAX and other recent technologies, according to Willis. He suggests Nokia ditch Opera for Minimo, a cut-down version of Mozilla whose development is partly sponsored by Nokia, according to anonymous sources.

The new firmware releases for the 770 and N800 are both based on Maemo 3.1, which shipped at the end of March. Both are distributed through Nokia's website.

To learn more, find Willis's review here. Or, visit the freshly updated website, which features a new software roadmap and a new trademark usage policy.

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