Fear of Google drove Nokia-Microsoft partnership

The fear of Google drove most of the big parts---the billions of dollars, the decision to challenge Android and concerns about commoditization---of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Nokia will reportedly net billions of dollars from Microsoft. The software giant was happy to pay up to Nokia to grab share. And Nokia went with Microsoft's fledgling Windows Phone 7 over Android because it was concerned about a mobile OS duopoly.

In other words, fear of Google drove damn near everything about the  Microsoft-Nokia partnership.

Since Nokia and Microsoft unveiled their partnership last week the following details have surfaced.

  • Nokia CEO Stephen Elop defended the Microsoft deal in Barcelona Sunday at the Mobile World Congress. Elop had no choice: Nokia shares were hammered and the consensus view is that Microsoft got a great deal. Elop's reply: Microsoft is paying us billions of dollars. Why would Microsoft pay that much? Microsoft had no choice. If Nokia went with Android, Google would have controlled the mobile market.
  • Elop noted that going with Android would have solidified an Android-Apple iOS duopoly. With Nokia being a swing vote, it went with creating a third player.
  • Nokia was also concerned about being commoditized. There are multiple handset makers using Android. To Nokia, Android meant commodity devices.

It's your call whether you actually buy those points. You could argue that Nokia just followed the money. Chances are that the Nokia-Microsoft partnership is much more nuanced, but the driving force appears to be fear of Google domination.


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