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Nokia Ovi Store goes live-ish

Nokia launched its Ovi Store app store today, but the enthusiasm of Nokia phone owners has made it a difficult birth for the overloaded service

Nokia officially launched its Ovi Store today, and we're not the only ones who're excited -- the online app shop is as congested as a hayfever sufferer licking a cat in a rapeseed field.

After spending a leisurely bank holiday Monday rolling out the Ovi Store on some phone models in Australia and Singapore, Nokia threw open its doors to all comers today.

Nokia mobile users can visit store.ovi.com on their mobile browser to see what's available. But right now, we found the server to be too overloaded to do much more than cower in the corner and whimper. Both browsing apps and downloads are painfully slow right now, but in the meantime, you can check out the site in a PC browser to get a taste of what's on offer (although even that is slow), or check out our preview look at the store from back in February.

Nokia says that for some phone models, you can install the Ovi Store as an application rather than visiting through your mobile browser -- but again, we had no love from the servers of Finland on any of our Nokia handsets. Paid apps can be bought using a credit card on the Ovi Store Web site, or directly on to your phone bill, if you've installed the Ovi Store application.

Installing applications has always been a tough task on Nokia's powerful smart phones, so we have high hopes that the Ovi Store will solve the problem with an easy-to-use interface for getting some of the great Symbian apps on to our mobiles. As soon as it's taken a break and sat with a damp cloth over its eyes, we'll be right back in there to give you a full hands-on.