Nokia N9

(via Daring Fireball)

The N9 is Nokia’s first serious MeeGo phone aimed at consumers. It’s hard to say from watching a movie, and I’ve never used MeeGo, but as far as I can tell, MeeGo is a lot more mature than I had previously assumed.

I like how the multitasking view seems to be the main home view. When you leave an app, you go to the multitasking view, which shows thumbnails of your open apps’ screens. The app launcher and notifications are two additional home screens, with each home screen given equal weight.

I also like that the phone has no buttons.

It’s hard to understand why Nokia doesn’t bet everything on this OS. Windows Phone 7 is fantastic, but the market for WP7 phones will soon be entirely commoditized. Nokia needs to control its own operating system if it wants to compete with companies like Samsung, HTC, and Huawei.

Or, to put it differently, if Apple had abandoned Mac OS 9 in favor of Windows ten years ago, I’d probably be using a Lenovo notebook right now, rather than my MacBook Pro.

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You can find out more about it (and order it directly, printed or as a DRM-free ebook) on the Pragmatic Programmers website. It's been translated to Chinese and Japanese.