Nokia appears to be preparing to lose the Symbian operating system on its N-series range of top-end smartphones.  In its place will be Maemo - the Linux-based operating system that powers the forthcoming N900 handset.

The claim was made by Maemo's marketing team during a London-based N900 event. If correct, it would see the company phase Symbian out gradually - some devices that use it are currently in development and they'll be released as planned. However, no new devices with Symbian on will be created.

Nokia was apparently "surprised" at the level of enthusiasm shown towards the N900 and Maemo by the development community. Symbian won't be dumped entirely - it'll still be used on the X-series and E-series range of devices. However Nokia has no doubt been stung by the fact that many reviewers, including Pocket-lint, criticised Nokia's current flagship handset - the N97 - for its interface and software.