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GLOBAL – Today sees the release of the first major update for the Nokia N900. Following quickly on the heels of the minor release earlier this week, this latest version of the software brings with it a range of improvements across the device. Read on to find out what’s in store.

First up is support for the Swiss keymat variant with hardware and virtual keyboard layouts supporting the combination of German, Italian and English characters. We’ll also see full compatibility with certain SIM cards from network operator 3. Although only a small number of SIM cards were impacted at the time, this release means the N900 is now fully compatible with 3 SIM cards.

Mail for Exchange also sees an update which will it allow it to work with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This should bring the possibility of Exchange integration to a much broader group of users.

Ovi Maps also gets the update treatment, with improvements made to search performance and route calculation. Beyond these major changes come a range of smaller usability improvements which have been worked into the release and are based on the excellent user feedback the team have received (keep it coming).

Earlier in the week a minor update was released which brought two key changes. First was compatibility with Ovi Store Beta so users can now download and install software directly to the device from the store. The second prepared the device’s application manager for over the air software updates. Any users who have installed the first update will automatically receive a notification that a new update is available for their device. Users who prefer not to update directly over the air will also have the option to install the update using Nokia Software Updater on their PC. Anyone updating using their PC will be able to upgrade directly from the original to the latest version – without the need to install the intermediate update released during the week.

The update will be available to users in a staged roll out across the world over the next 24 hours.

Once you’ve installed the update, let us have your feedback here, as the team are watching and really keen to know what you think (as are we!).

If you have any problems with the update, you can of course get in touch with Nokia Care.