No. 1 handset manufacturer Nokia has revealed more of its plans for moving into Microsoft territory with Ovi, a Web portal that will act as a personal dashboard for PC and mobile phone-based Web content.
Ovi, which means door in Finnish, was announced in August. It will let PC and handset users access an online music and video store, MySpace and FaceBook, Yahoo! Flickr photo sharing, GPS-enabled Nokia Maps with city guides, geo-tagging of photos, and the N-Gage gaming service, which goes live this month. Nokia also said it will welcome third-party developers to expand the portal over time.
At the Nokia World conference in Amsterdam this week, Anssi Vanjoki, general manager of Nokia’s multimedia group, said Ovi.com will offer a single sign-on for all services, and will eventually include a content organizer. A media-sharing service is also in the works. The idea, he said, was to connect devices and the Internet in a more organic way.
Nokia also announced a rollout timeline: Ovi.com is being tested internally and will launch in beta next year, along with desktop software, which will come on a CD with Nokia phones or can be downloaded over the Web. The portal and software will be free; Nokia has yet to fully explain its plans for the business model, but the assumption is that ad revenue will be the key.