Nokia's Booklet 3G: deeper into the Microsoft rabbit hole

I’ve just started seeing reports about the Nokia Booklet 3G netbook. It is a pretty swish looking 10.1″ netbook that will probably sync effortlessly with your Nokia device and provide you with a range of lightweight mobile connectivity options. It looks like a great little product and seemingly part of a strategy designed, at least in part, to challenge Apple head on. Think about it this way: a Nokia netbook that integrates with Nokia devices and offers Nokia services on the go. The one thing that caught my eye: Windows 7 as its operating system. What I can’t determine yet is whether the Booklet 3G runs Maemo, Nokia’s Linux derivative. The promo video is pretty cool actually. Nokia has been putting out some great videos and this one is worth watching:

What does seem clear to me is that Nokia isn’t exactly investing a huge amount of effort into bringing Mac users closer. There is still no plugin for iSync to enable me to connect my N97 to my Mac and while there are options to sync with my Macbook, indirectly, using Mail for Exchange and so on, I am not thrilled. You may remember I ranted about Nokia’s Mac support a little while ago without doing preliminary homework. That led to an apology from me for flying off the handle like that and rightly so. Just the same this paragraph from that post remains true for me:

So why are there still no versions for Mac and Linux users? This is just nuts. If anything Nokia is giving Mac users fewer reasons to buy its products.

My N97 has been doing some crazy stuff lately. I updated the firmware hoping that crazy stuff would stop and it hasn’t. One of the casualties has been Maps 3.0 which has been replaced with a malfunctioning version of Maps 2.0. Besides the fact that I had to find a PC to update the firmware (no option to do this one over the air), I have to get back to a Windows machine to somehow load Maps 3.0 even though the version of PC Suite I had access to for the firmware update didn’t give me Maps 3.0. Now it may be that the Booklet 3G will also come with Maemo or the option to install your own OS but this is unlikely considering the fact that the majority of Nokia’s Ovi services and software will not work on anything other than Windows. Coming on the heels of Nokia’s new alliance with Microsoft, this just reinforces my growing sense that Mac users (never mind Linux users) are just not the cool kids at Nokia’s party.

At the same time I think Nokia is a great company. All the Nokia people I have met are smart, helpful and engaging. Why Nokia continues to snub its Mac and Linux fans is beyond me (and I just don’t accept Microsoft’s OS dominance as the rationale for this any longer). Apple isn’t exactly a model of openness either but does it have to be a choice of Apple or Nokia products? Why is Nokia not reaching out to me and giving me the tools I need to keep using my Nokia devices with my Mac hardware? When you figure that out, let me know.



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