Not quite sure if you've noticed, but some pretty significant shifting is going on in the heart of Espoo. Just days after Nokia announced that it would be closing up its flagship shops in London, New York and Chicago, in flies this: a new Ovi Store is already in the works, and if all goes well, it'll be available for public use as early as next Spring. For those keeping tabs, that's right around a year after the (admittedly tumultuous) launch of the existing platform, which has yet to live up to the firm's own expectations according to George Linardos. In case you're wondering (and c'mon, you're wondering), Mr. Linardos is the head of products at Nokia's media group, and in speaking with the Financial Times, he confessed that the Ovi Store "had been outpaced by Apple." He also admitted that the chorus of complaints from end-users were driving the next version, noting that his company has "screens up in [their] offices running Twitter feeds [of gripes] all day long." In fact, he likened the act to "sitting there and getting punched in the face."

As for the next go 'round, he's looking to take a "tortoise and hare" approach when it comes to competing with Apple, who he himself claims "radically changed" the world around us when the App Store was introduced. As it stands, George sees the Ovi Store as a "jambalaya" of services, with Ben Wood -- an analyst at CCS Insight -- proclaiming that "none of those [work] properly." In the future, Ben has confessed that Ovi needs "to get all their ducks lined up, including hardware, software and services." So, what exactly will said ducks look like early next year? We're told that new features will include "in-application payments, a redesigned user interface that makes apps easier to discover and faster operation," and beyond that, the outfit is also looking to toss in recommendations based on the app purchases of their friends. This is definitely stirring stuff to hear from someone deep within Nokia's lairs, and it certainly makes us all the more excited to see what the next generation will bring. Nothing like a little competition in the market place to really light a fire up under someone's posterior, right?