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




Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Best Argument: Genius


Audience Favored: Genius (57%)

Closing Statements

Quit confusing customers - drop Android

Matthew Miller

There are plenty of low-priced Android devices already in the marketplace and most of them suck. Nokia's low priced Windows Phones, available today for around just $50, offer a stabile, responsive experience with a full suite of apps and services that cannot be matched by the same device running Android.

Windows Phone is an OS that must be tried to be appreciated. Nokia's recent ability to offer low-priced devices is having an impact as people are finally using Windows Phone and enjoying the experience. Now is not the time to confuse buyers with yet another mobile operating system on Nokia hardware. Microsoft has confused enough consumers with Windows 8 and RT, they don't need to now do it with Android and Windows Phone.

Hopefully Microsoft kills this Nokia Android idea as quickly as it did the Kin since it is not the right strategy as they prepare to roll out a major update with Windows Phone 8.1.

Another word for third place? Loser

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

To quote Gordon Gekko, the protagonist villian from the movie Wall Street, "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation." While Gekko's a bad, bad man, he's not wrong.

If Microsoft really wants to make money from the mobile market, it's time for them to cut their Windows Phone losses and ride a Microsoft cloud-services powered Android for all its worth.

You can talk all you want about how Windows Phone is now a viable third place runner in the mobile operating system races. You know what's another word for third place? Loser.

Android has the sheer numbers of users and applications. Apple iOS has the most profitable application developers. Windows Phone? Please.

Nokia has shown the way for Microsoft to gain a real shot at profiting from the smartphone market. They'd be fools to turn their backs on it, and I don't think the new generation of Microsoft leadership are fools.

Maybe Nokia's move is genius

Larry Dignan

When Nokia launched an Android phone ahead of being acquired by Microsoft, I thought the idea was nutty. In many respects, I still do think the idea is a bit wacky. However, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols made a compelling case in his rebuttal and swayed me from the "madness" argument made by Matthew Miller. Toss in the crowd vote and maybe Nokia's move is genius. Of course, Nokia and Microsoft need to execute.


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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.
    Reply 83 Votes I'm Undecided
    • Whats the point?

      Applications of course. Service.

      Thats how Red Hat reached a billion/year - service contracts.
      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?
        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.
          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".
      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!
        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.
          Reply 41 Votes I'm Undecided
          • typo

            "losing" money, not "loosing".... can't edit replies...
            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.
            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