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Nokia to support Symbian until 2016, despite churning out Windows Phones

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has pledged his company's full support for Symbian until at least 2016, despite its primary focus shifting to Windows Phone 7.

Nokia has committed to support its ailing Symbian operating system until at least 2016 -- despite ramping up production to churn out a new Windows Phone every few months. CEO Stephen Elop confirmed his company's intentions during a recent interview in China.

Symbian has had a rough ride of late. Ever since we learnt of Nokia's plans to make Windows Phone handsets the future of both Symbian and MeeGo looked bleak. That wasn't helped by the shedding of 7,000 jobs and the casting off of Symbian to Accenture.

That said, the latest Anna update is impressive, while future versions of the OS could benefit from WP features.

Though Elop reaffirms Nokia's primary focus and investment in Windows Phone devices, he promised full support for Symbian would continue for the next five years. Pressed by the interviewer, he confirmed this included full customer service, updates and apps.

There are some grand predictions for Windows Phone. Nokia is expected to launch its first WP phone before the end of the year, with new handsets coming every two to three months thereafter. Elop talks about the need for Nokia to up its pace, working faster and more aggressively to stay ahead of its competition.

There's no shortage of Symbian-based handsets coming on to the market right now, from the smart Nokia X7 and Nokia N9 to the brilliantly tasteless Nokia Oro and the simply crazy Fujitsu LOOX F-07C, which mashes up Nokia's OS with full-blown Windows 7 Home Premium.

Actually, we'd best not be too rude about the Oro. It turns out Elop is quite a fan of the bling, admitting -- nay, boasting -- that he's been using it in China. I wonder if he's given one to Steve Ballmer?