Nokia’s first Windows phone is N9 redux

The walking dead lives!

Two days ago, I suggested that Nokia’s newly introduced N9 phone based on the MeeGo zombie OS was released to generate buzz around the features and form we could expect from the Finnish company’s first handset based on the Microsoft’s Windows phone OS.

It turns out I was right, literally. CEO Stephen Elop naively or more likely, coyly, offered a large crowd a sneak peak of handset codenamed “Sea Ray” running the Mango iteration of Windows 7 phone OS on condition it was kept secret. To no one’s surprise, it wasn’t, and in due course a video of Elop’s top secret meeting appeared on YouTube.

While little is know about the guts of the Sea Ray, the exterior looks identical to the N9, save for an extra button to operate the same 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens found on the N9 and different placement of an LED light on its back.

Check out a short clip, below and follow this link for the full video.

The question now is why Nokia bothered announcing the MeeGo in the first place when it could have teased the masses with Elop’s little kept secret to arguably greater effect.

Nokia’s N9 is Windows phone preview

The walking dead never looked so good.

Yes, Nokia promised to release a phone this year based on the MeeGo OS, a merger between the company’s Linux Maemo software platform with Intel’s Moblin, also based on Linux. But the soon-to-be former No.1 handset maker later announced that it would be their last, relegating MeeGo and Nokia’s other OS, Symbian, to zombie status.

Would-be smartphone buyers don’t fancy buying into an apps ecosystem with no potential for growth. And Nokia’s announcement that it would abandon its Symbian OS platform in favor of Microsoft’s Windows phone software should have been a lesson. Yet, Nokia still has plans to release Symbian-based models while it loses ground in key markets like China as smartphones become cheaper and alternatives proliferate.

Never mind that the N9 is as good looking as they come. Made from a single piece of polycarbonate plastic, it won’t leave unsightly marks if the body is dented. And the 3.9″ curved screen won’t easily scratch since it’s made from Corning’s ultra-tough Gorilla Glass. Wired’s Charlie Sorrel compares the N9’s aesthetics to “a giant iPod Nano, in a very good way.