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Nokia ex-pats Jolla offer a first look at their Sailfish smartphone OS

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As promised, Finnish startup Jolla has given a first demo of its new MeeGo-based OS, Sailfish. The company, which was founded by a number of ex-Nokia employees, demoed the OS at a live show in Finland earlier today, but has uploaded a promotional video to YouTube. MTV 3 Finland has a live demo of the new OS running on what looks like an old Nokia N950 developer device that's worth checking out for a closer look at the OS.

There are a few interesting UI concepts detailed in the video. First, the homescreen itself acts as a multitasking menu: when in an app you can swipe it away to push it to the homescreen, where it'll act like a large, interactive widget. The application drawer itself lives underneath the homescreen and can be accessed with a swipe up, while notifications are displayed in the upper right. There's an automatic theme generator called "ambience," which creates a look and feel for your device by analyzing a photo. Jolla says many Android apps will run "unaltered" via Myriad's Alien Dalvik software, while others will require some tweaking.

Jolla also announced a number of deals that it hopes will help it bring the OS (and its unannounced devices), to market. It's partnering with ST-Ericsson, which will provide chips for the upcoming phones, and says more manufacturers will be signed up in the future. It's also signed a deal with DNA (Finland's third-largest mobile network) to carry its devices when it launches, and hopes to target more carriers down the line. There's no date for when you'll actually be able to purchase a Sailfish smartphone yet, but the company has said previously that it's hoping to launch in the second quarter of 2013.

Update: KickNetwork has uploaded a hands-on video showing the Sailfish OS in more detail.