I enjoy using all mobile operating systems and even liked using Windows Mobile back in the day. I became a fan of Nokia products back in 2001. Thus, when I heard Stephen Elop announce that Nokia was going to use Windows Phone for future smartphones, back in February 2011, I was pretty excited. I never thought Nokia would fall so far over the last 18 months though and after reading the extensive 29,000+ word article by Tomi Ahonen I have to say my feelings are mixed over Nokia and Windows Phone.
I cannot summarize such a long article and recommend you set aside some time to read it. In addition to discussions about details of Elop's decisions over the last couple of years you will likely learn a lot about military history. FYI, I used the Pocket application to read it during a few train commute sessions since there is a ton in there to digest. Tomi is a former Nokia executive and author who dives into the subject at hand and tends to go off into some wild tangents. His blog posts can often be a bit over-the-top and controversial. I am not endorsing all of his facts and figures since I haven't done enough research myself to verify all the claims, but I thought this post was an interesting read that raised some questions we should be talking about.
It's quite clear that Nokia had to do something to stay competitive with iOS and Android manufacturers, but issuing a memo killing off existing businesses was likely not the best strategy. Windows Phone cannot seem to gain any traction and there is a LOT pinned on the success of Windows Phone 8. As you all know, I am a huge fan of Windows Phone, but I am using Android a lot more lately because of the advanced features and technology that really show me how smart a phone can be. Windows Phone is simple, fresh, fast, and fun, but the more I use advanced versions of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean) the more I see how far Windows Phone still has to go. Actually, Tomi brings up some glaring faults in Windows Phone that I didn't pay enough attention to before (no draft SMS or backup) and now I am starting to get a bit disillusioned with the platform since many basics, seen previously on Symbian, are missing.
I completely agree that MeeGo should have been pursued by Nokia parallel to the Windows Phone efforts since the N9 is a great device with a very modern MeeGo operating system. If Nokia could have continued development then there may not have been such a lack of applications and I think MeeGo could have competed with iOS and Android. MeeGo is similar to the fantastic webOS system and with that going away MeeGo could have moved right in and been a great choice. Thankfully, we see the new Jolla folks picking up the MeeGo torch.
I don't know what Nokia can do at this point to turn things around, but it sure is not encouraging to see such a worldwide leader in phones fall so far so quickly. Should Nokia make changes in leadership? What strategy do you think they should employ?
Related ZDNet coverage
- Nokia announces leadership changes, possible cuts of up to 10,000 jobs
- Nokia loses global cellphone lead to Samsung for first time since 1998
- The mobile space is hot, so what is wrong with Nokia and RIM?
- Another ZDNet Great Debate lost, still not giving up on Windows Phone
- Finnish startup breathes new life into MeeGo
- Jolla folks escape burning platform, revealing new MeeGo smartphone this year
- Here's the Nokia N9 MeeGo phone and you can't have it (review)