Symbian has its dance of the dying swan song

Former rubber gumboot maker Nokia has launched a new update to its operating system, Symbian, as well as two new smartphones which will use it.

Given that Nokia is not that keen on Symbian and plans to move to Windows Phone 7 by the end of the year, the update, codenamed Anna, will probably be a swan song for the world’s most popular mobile phone operating system.

The new update will offer a faster web browser, new icons for its main interface, an update to Ovi Maps and enhanced security features. A new split-screen view will also be introduced. Sadly, it would have to offer you millions before it would get any serious take up.

Nokia remains hopeful. It thinks that by the time Anna passes there will be more than 150 million phones that run it. If this rings true, it would give Symbian a worthy send off and mean that analysts would always wonder if Nokia should ever have dumped it.

It is not as if the new operating system will not come with lots of apps for people to play with. Nokia assures us that its Ovi Store now includes 40,000 apps and is serving 5 million downloads per day.

However with Symbian no longer being open sauce, developers are less interested in making their software work with Anna.  Nokia insists there will be some more developments on Symbian before “the transition” and the wounded OS collapses onto the mattress in its death throes.

In the meantime Nokia is releasing the X7, a full touchscreen device focused on entertainment and gaming, and the E6, aimed at business users, will launch later in the second quarter of 2011.

The X7 handset will feature a 4″ touchscreen and a stainless steel and glass design, and come with the games Asphalt 5 and Galaxy on Fire pre-loaded. It will also feature an 8mp camera and 720p playback, recording and editing capacities.

There will also be the E6, which will include a 2.46″ touchscreen along with a Qwerty keyboard, which will again be aimed at corporate users. It will have Mail for Exchange, browser access to Microsoft Sharepoint, business grade security and the ability to read and edit Powerpoint, Word and Excel documents via Quick Office.

Apparently the Symbian Anna update will also be offered on some older devices, including the N8, E7 and C7.