Nokia's Android X: Madness or Genius for Microsoft?

Moderated by Larry Dignan | March 3, 2014 -- 07:00 GMT (23:00 PST)

Summary: Will Microsoft keep or kill Nokia's new Android phones?

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Madness

or

Genius

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Best Argument: Genius

43%
57%

Audience Favored: Genius (57%)

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

Windows Phone finally gaining momentum

I've been using Windows Phone since the beginning and while I may currently be frustrated with Microsoft I do think that Nokia and Microsoft offer a compelling low cost solution and there is no need to jump into the highly competitive and over saturated Android market.

Windows Phone is gaining market share in select areas around the globe. At MWC 2014 Microsoft talked about their steady growth and pointed to the IDC report recognizing Windows Phone as the fastest growing OS with a 91 percent year-over-year growth. It has taken people time to try Windows Phone, but with a few nice Nokia devices available for less than $100 with no contract I would like to see Nokia and Microsoft give it a go without Android for another six months.

With Windows Phone finally gaining some real momentum, Nokia soon becoming a part of Microsoft, and both offering compelling services on devices at low entry prices I think it is madness for Nokia to now be spending resources on Android. Nokia tried supporting several operating systems in the past and they soon won't even be Nokia so we know how well that worked out.

The future of Microsoft's smartphones

I have little hope for Windows 8.x on tablets or PCs. I think Windows 7 will continue to be Microsoft's best-selling operating system for years to come And, I am dead certain that Android, and not Windows Phone, represents Microsoft's real mobile operating system future.

Why? Because Windows Phone is going nowhere fast while Androids owns the smartphone market.  At best, Windows Phone will be the distant number three in the smartphone operating system. Is that where Microsoft really wants to be?

Or, wouldn't Microsoft be happier continuing its move into being a services and hardware company? I mean, if Microsoft can get the billion plus Android users to use Outlook, Office 365, and OneDrive instead of Gmail, Google Apps, and Google Drive isn't that a net win for Microsoft? It sure sounds like one to me.

Who would Microsoft rather be? The software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider for hundreds of millions or the operating system provider for millions?  I know which one my stockholders would appreciate more.

 

Talkback

49 comments
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  • Meh to stockholders.

    "Who would Microsoft rather be? The software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider for hundreds of millions or the operating system provider for millions? I know which one my stockholders would appreciate more."

    Meh to stockholders. Microsoft should be a business, not a money handout.

    Besides, they likely will always be an OS provider. Otherwise, what's the point of their business anyways?

    If all you want is money, invest in the money market.
    CobraA1
    Reply 83 Votes I'm Undecided
    • Whats the point?

      Applications of course. Service.

      Thats how Red Hat reached a billion/year - service contracts.
      jessepollard
      Reply 89 Votes I'm Undecided
      • A billion a year?

        Doesn't MS make billions per quarter?

        Which would be the most profitable direction for them, then?
        William.Farrel
        Reply 60 Votes I'm Undecided
        • They are loosing customers as it is.

          And CLAIMING to be transforming int a devices and SERVICE company.

          So yeah - it looks like that is the direction they will be going.
          jessepollard
          Reply 61 Votes I'm Undecided
    • "Meh to stockholders?"

      Um, newsflash. The core duty of a corporate officer is to manage the company in a way that maximizes return on shareholder equity. This usually works best, of course, with happy customers but the duty is to the shareholder, not the customer. The BOD is, in theory, the voice of the shareholders. They hire and fire the CEO and, again in theory, set the strategy for the corporation. In practice, the CEO usually has a significant voice but in the end the BOD is in charge. Meaning the shareholders are in charge. This simple core truth of the publicly held corporation drives a lot of bad (short term) behavior but cannot be dismissed with a "meh".
      codougd
      Reply 45 Votes I'm Undecided
      • MEH TO THE MAX!

        "The core duty of a corporate officer is to manage the company in a way that maximizes return on shareholder equity."

        So basically you want a society run by people who go around playing with numbers, rather than actually selling products and services, got it.

        "but the duty is to the shareholder, not the customer."

        If that's true, that needs to change. I do not want to live in that society. So I will do everything in my power to make known that I do not want that society, and change it if it ever becomes possible for me to change it.

        "but cannot be dismissed with a 'meh'."

        MEH TO THE MAX!
        CobraA1
        Reply 85 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Get used to disappointment

          Why do you think that Michael Dell was so keen to take that company private? The company needed to make big changes to get out of the low margin PC hardware business and that would mean, probably, loosing money for a while as the company got remade. Shareholders are an impatient lot. Michael Dell's answer was to replace the shareholders with a smaller, presumably more patient group of owner/investors.

          When you read or hear a business story about this or that company not meeting analyst expectations, what do you think that means? Shareholder expectations of return are influenced by those "analyst expectations" and if the company misses those targets the stock is usually punished. It is just the way the system works.

          And it is not "just playing around with numbers." Ideally, corporate management creates value for shareholders by the virtuous duo of happy customers and good margins. But the bottom line is always the shareholders. Takeover artists like Carl Icahn exist because shareholders become impatient and sometimes selling a company in pieces returns more money to them than waiting around for a business strategy to work. They own the company. They are in control.

          Buy a book on economics.
          codougd
          Reply 41 Votes I'm Undecided
          • typo

            "losing" money, not "loosing".... can't edit replies...
            codougd
            Reply 73 Votes I'm Undecided
          • meh.

            "Get used to disappointment"

            Meh. ;)

            "Michael Dell's answer was to replace the shareholders with a smaller, presumably more patient group of owner/investors."

            Who are presumably inside the company, are actual employees of the company, and have a vested interest in customers, rather than stock prices.

            "When you read or hear a business story about this or that company not meeting analyst expectations, what do you think that means? "

            It means some bag of bones is whining about a set of numbers.

            "It is just the way the system works."

            The system is broken.

            "And it is not 'just playing around with numbers.'"

            Sure it is.

            "Ideally, corporate management creates value for shareholders"

            One set of numbers.

            ". . . by the virtuous duo of happy customers . . ."

            The only thing that they should be paying attention to, and don't need shareholders for.

            " . . . and good margins."

            Another set of numbers.

            Yup, I was right.

            "But the bottom line is always the shareholders."

            Needs to be changed.

            "Takeover artists like Carl Icahn exist because . . ."

            . . . because some humans invented this broken system.

            "They own the company."

            Yes and no. To some degree, they "own" the company in some purely abstract sense. However, I can't put $60 into a company, walk to its offices, and grab one of the office chairs from a random office because "I own that chair." It's not really a concrete ownership.

            Nah. They decided that "ownership" is really "decision making," which is really where the fundamental brokenness lies. The idea that decision making should be "some random person who happens to give you a lot of money" is broken.
            CobraA1
            Reply 84 Votes I'm Undecided
          • No objection to decision making

            But the detachment of shareholders from the company's actual operations, and the speculative nature of the stock market drive all manner of bad behavior. That and the fact that shareholders have no legal responsibility for the company's behavior and can't lose more than they invested.
            John L. Ries
            Reply 58 Votes I'm Undecided