Ovi is dead. Long live Ovi!

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Most Nokia news stories as of late have been doom, gloom and everything in between. The Finnish handset maker has been shedding staff left and right, outsourcing development of its largest operating system, Symbian, and abandoning its new project, Meego, almost entirely.

Up until now Nokia’s services have all flown under the “Ovi” banner. You’d use Ovi Suite to sync your phone, Ovi Maps to find your way around, and you might even shop for apps in the Ovi Store. Come this time next year, those Ovi services will be no more. But fear not – this isn’t another doom and gloom story! The Ovi products are being re-branded “Nokia Services” in preparation for the manufacturer’s big love-in with Microsoft. As Ovi Maps will be powering Windows Phone 7′s mapping services on handsets, Nokia has obviously chosen to consolidate its branding so people know where their maps are coming from.

Beginning in July, handsets rolling off the Espoo production line will no longer sport Ovi branding in what Nokia are calling an “evolution”. Nokia’s Chief Marketing Office Jerri DeVard said of the move -

“We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike.”

Quite how many consumers they will be delivering these compelling opportunities to is unknown, with the company placing dead last in a recent Nielsen poll on purchasing intentions with 0%. However Nokia is quite clear this is just a branding decision – all services will continue uninterrupted.

“This is solely a name-changing exercise and the service roadmaps will continue exactly as planned.”

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