Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

Summary: Nokia makes its last strategic mistake and moves to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

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Well, I guess you can take the Microsoft executive out of Microsoft but you can't take the Microsoft out of the executive. In what will prove Nokia's final strategic blunder, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft senior executive, announced, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer grinning over his shoulder, that Nokia would be using Windows Phone 7 (WP7) for its smartphones.

If you looked closely, you could almost say Ballmer's lips moving as Elop mouthed, "The game has changed from a war of devices to a war of ecosystems. We have an opportunity to disrupt the trajectory in the mobile ecosystem. Together we will deliver great mobile products."

Yeah. Right. Sure. Once upon a time Nokia delivered great products. In technology years that's decades ago. Since then, first RIM's BlackBerries, then Apple's iPhones, and now a variety of Google's Android phones have left Nokia eating their dust.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has always been a mobile operating system failure. Unable to squeeze out its enemies on phones with the strong-arm tactics that proved so successful on the desktop, it was forced to compete on features and quality on phones and Microsoft failed, and then failed again, and it's still failing today with Windows Phone 7.

The sad thing is that Windows Phone 7 is, I think, easily the best of all of Microsoft's attempts to create a mobile operating system. It would have been great in say 2007 when Apple released the iPhone. It would have had a shot if has showed up in 2008 when Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) were still struggling to get Android-powered smartphones out the door. But today? Microsoft and Nokia are toast.

We won't see a shipping Nokia WP7 until the fourth quarter of 2011. By that time, the iPhone 5 will have been out for months; dozens of Android 2.4 phones will be out, and even HP's webOS phones will be out before Nokia WP7 phones appear. Oh, and some company named Research-in-Motion (RIM) will have its next generation BlackBerry PlayBook out by then too.

Nokia could have done the smart thing and bit the bullet and gone with Android, which would have been much easier to port to Nokia's hardware. Nokia could have done the brave thing and persisted with trying to make MeeGo into a viable smartphone system. Instead, Nokia's Microsoft CEO did the Microsoft thing. I'm sure that will help him and his buddies in Redmond, Washington, but it won't help Nokia at all.

Oh, in theory, MeeGo, like Android a Linux-based mobile operating system is still alive and kicking. It's not. Even before Nokia announced its Microsoft partnership, the company had killed off its N9-00 MeeGo phone even before launching it. MeeGo, unless Intel decides to keep it going, is dead. Nokia will close the coffin lid on it later this year.

Look at this way though, thanks to this Microsoft deal, since MeeGo is an open-source project, it may very well live longer than Nokia will.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, Telcos, Windows

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  • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

    ppl @zdnet are clearly fragmented. Everyone saying different thoughts about nokiasoft.
    one says its good, one say its bad...lol
    one thing i can say for sure, android fans are all crying for not having nokia :D
    bnlf
    • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

      @bnlf
      one thing is definetly clear and everybody agrees on:
      [i]Nokia could have done the smart thing and bit the bullet and gone with Android, which would have been much easier to port to Nokia?s hardware. [/i]
      picking windoze over Android is a fatal mistake by Nokia.
      Linux Geek
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @Linux Geek <br>No guarantee either way. Sure, Samsung is making some money on Android but LG is losing money on Android. The only guarantee with Android is that Nokia would be one more Android OEM. <br>Yes, Android's market share is rising, but not the profitability of it's OEMs. They are all faced with the same profitability issues they had before Android, they've simply swapped OSes, be it Symbian, WinMo, Meego, whatever.<br><br>The real question is what has Elop done to fix the corporate culture at Nokia? Clearly there have been serious issues there for years in how they develop products. If Elop hasn't fixed those fundamental issues, a shiny new OS won't do squat.

        In fact, switching to another OS--without fixing the management issues--will only pour gasoline on their current platform and the new platform.
        Synthmeister
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @Linux Geek

        Yep picking a fragmented phone OS based on that open source darling of the 1990s would be better than a sophisticated, elegant and more importantly, researched and designed OS like WP7.

        I suggest you print out this blog and posts and put it up on the wall, so that in a year or two when Nokia offers everyone a smartphone (not just geeks or fasholes) you can be reminded that wishing for something doesn't make it so.
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @Linux Geek

        And why should we care what a Creationist has to say on the matter?
        Lester Young
    • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

      @bnlf

      Android fans aren't even noticing. Nokia never produced an Android phone, never even made a phone that could be a good Android phone. for smart phones, Nokia is a non-entity. This is really just an admission that their smart phone operating system is a failure. Steven is right about the chances for success. It will be last years features against next years features. OUCH!!!

      But, Steven is also wrong. This won't really hurt Nokia. They make their money on dumb phones. That will continue to be their bread and butter. What this really means is that Apple won't have to worry about Nokia.

      It also means that Microsoft has purchased a sales number for it's Win7 Phone line. Oh well, it's not like this is the first time. Or even the second.
      YetAnotherBob
  • A rather biased opinion

    A rather cynical view on a non open sourced company's efforts from a massive advocate of open source/linux. Can hardly say i was shocked reading the article.

    If things stay the way they are for WP7 over next 18-24 months then i'll be with you but right now saying its a burning platform is just a very shortsighted view.

    At least that's what i'm taking away from this article.
    Alansonit
    • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

      @Alansonit

      Exactly right. Steven is nothing more than a Microsoft hating idiot. Why? Because he's in love with open source. Nobody should take anything he says about Microsoft seriously.
      JoeHTH
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @JoeHTH - agreed. And let's be honest here ... the mobile device industry is very much in its infancy. EARLY in it's infancy at that.

        Discounting any player as out for the count before they actually put up the shutters is a foolish act of those too blinkered for their own good.

        Alas, as pointed out, one can expect little in the way of thoughtful, objective, balanced journalism from such an extremist blogger.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @JoeHTH <br><br>Nokia's shares were 14% down at closing today and were at one time as much as 16% down. It would be safe to say that there is concern in the market as to whether this alliance is good for Nokia.
        stfs@...
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @JoeHTH @Alansonit - there's nothing to be shocked about from his article, he is just seeing the truth some people don't want to see - it's like the fable of the king going naked... - what is more shocking is the decades-long abuses from proprietary developers like Microsoft, and from these abuses comes our passion to the software-libre cause
        nitrofurano
      • Agreed. Most blogger here are narrow-minded

        @JoeHTH
        Ten years ago, zdnet was really good for technology oriented insight. Now is like cnet- more consumer products centered-but with biased view.
        FADS_z
    • Yep, and Zune is about to take off

      The author outlines it as it is today. Dreamers paint a opportunistic future. Anyone that disagree is then called cynical (or "Microsoft hating idiot"). <br><br>The MS apologists awakening to reality is so much fun to watch:-)
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @Richard Flude

        If this was the usual Linux castles in the air, we could debate angels on the head of a pin all night. However, I have a WP7 phone and it's not a fashion accessory. Android is a mess both in fragmentation, updates and the same tired UI as the iPhone and iPad. WP7 is currently the best phone OS on the market, the easiest to use and also has the best development system.

        In the end, Nokia chose a professional software development company over an advertising company and a marketing one and that will make all the difference.
        tonymcs@...
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @tonymcs

        You are fooling yourself. I have an Android phone, and there is no noticable fragmentation. I think you have eaten too many questionable mushrooms.

        Steven's point is that Nokia will have windows phone 7 out late, just before next year starts. Microsoft will not have updated WinPhone 7 by then, while both Apple and Android will have. It's really about too little too late.

        I'm glad you like your phone, but Apple users and Android users are happy with theirs too. You should chill a little.

        And don't worry about Nokia, They don't make any of their money on smart phones anyway.

        BTW, do you get better reception than the Apple phone users are reporting? I do. But, that is a hardware issue, not software.
        YetAnotherBob
  • Way to be a Psychic.......

    Windows Phone 7 is what, 4 months old and you are already writing it off and "all knowing" about the future. I would hope that you would have a Android article stating the same things since it didn't really pick up steam until after a year of being out and offered on more devices. Not everyone is a subscriber of T-mobile and ATT, and I won't be switching to those networks to buy a phone so I can't even get one right now. I currently have a Droid Incredible and I love it, but I also have a Zune HD that I love too, just sad there is not many apps for it, but the UI is excellent and its alot different than the "me too" devices out there now. I think you are just upset that Microsoft actually put out a product that is different and poses a real threat, especially now that Nokia is onboard with a massive world market.
    OhTheHumanity
    • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

      @OhTheHumanity No, I'm writing if off because it's too darn late to the party. Now, if Nokia & MS had jointly announced this four months ago and had done the homework needed to get it out by say 'now,' then I'd be more inclined to think it had a shot. Too little, too late.<br><br>Steven
      sjvn
      • Did you say that with netbooks, too?

        @sjvn, you may be missing the bigger picture: whether you want to admit it or not, a good portion of Android sales where that of people that wern't willing to jump ship from Verizon to AT&T for a phone.

        With the iPhone on Verizon, expect to see alot of those Android sales dry up. Even the phone manufactures admit as much.

        But they could have anounced this in Jan 2010 and you would have likely said the same thing.

        IMHO (which is all it is) is that you see WP7 as a [i]better[/i] platform then Android, or are upset that a company liek Nokia believes that it is, and they do have a couple of people at Nokia that know a thing or two about cell phones, I imagine.

        Lets wait and see where Android is in 6 months before making claim to anything.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @sjvn@...
        To me, I just view the world as a pretty large place with billions upon billions of people. Now I know that the U.S. market is a big market, the biggest as of now, but there is a whole world outside of the U.S. so even if Nokia doesn't do that well in the U.S. I think there is a big chance they will be successful outside the U.S. and maybe that will spill over and give their phones some notice that just may turn into U.S. sales. I just think your article was pretty "know all" and that as we all know the tech world can change in just a few years time and that is even more evident as we go into the future. You may be right, but in my view the market is still young for smartphones and is just not saturated at all yet.
        OhTheHumanity
      • RE: Nokia jumps from one burning platform to another with Windows Phone 7

        @sjvn@...

        Late? Late for what? 70% of the smartphone market is up for grabs. That is, only 30% of potential smartphone users have a smartphone in their hands. IS this what you consider "late"? LOL! Look, there's plenty of smartphone market for Nokia, Microsoft, Apple, HPalm... for YEARS to come. And you call yourself a journalist?

        What's next, proclaim that everybody is "late" to the slate market because of good iPad sales, even though only about 1% of the target market has been tapped?
        sh1sh1