Dear Nokia fans: you’re nuts!


Nokia-Microsoft concept phones

If you go over to Nokia’s announcement where they announced a sweeping deal with Microsoft and read all the comments you’ll see that most of the comments are in total despair mode.

It’s like a bunch of Google employees are astroturfing the comments there. “I’m gonna buy Android” they all say. Many others say “how can Elop (Nokia’s CEO) bet on a failed platform?” Other blogs are calling this note “a suicide note.”

You all are nuts.

So, let’s all take a deep breath together and calm down. I know it’s shocking to hear that your beloved Symbian sucks, but I’ve been saying it for years and you’ve been calling me names. I come from the future and I know you don’t like to be dragged into it.

You’ll soon come to see that Windows Phone 7 actually rocks and actually is a lot nicer to use than Android.

“So why has it sold so poorly then Smartass Scoble?”

Because it has no apps.

Nothing matters in this world more than apps. Write that on your forehead. Write that on the mirror on your bathroom wall. Write that on your car windshield. Whatever it will take so you remember it.

HP execs know this. Google’s execs know this. Everyone in Silicon Valley knows this.

Apps are the ONLY thing that matters now.

Why? Because when a customer, whether in Cape Town or San Francisco or Tel Aviv walks into a store to buy a smartphone they will NOT want to feel stupid.

What makes you feel stupid when buying a Smartphone? Buying one that doesn’t have the apps your friends are taunting you with.

Right now Nokia and Windows Phone 7 are out of the game. That’s why Google’s exec, Vic Gundotra, is calling them both “turkeys.”

Does this get both into the game? Yes!

Here’s why.

1. Nokia has distribution. Distribution Google doesn’t yet have. Nokia has dealers and stores in the weirdest places on earth. Places Apple won’t have stores in for decades, if ever.

2. MIcrosoft has a great OS. I like it better than Android. If you actually USED a Windows Phone 7 you’d see that to be true.

3. Microsoft has great developer tools.

4. Microsoft has Xbox. Which has just been rejuvenated with Kinect (hottest selling product in history, even hotter than the iPad!) IE, some parts of Microsoft ARE cool!

5. Nokia has great hardware design and supply chains. They always have great cameras, great screens. Supply chains matter. A lot more than anyone thinks (the stuff Apple never talks about, but works its ass off on is supply chain management — I got to see this first hand when I visited China).

You add that all up as a salad and now the smart developers have to take another look at Microsoft and Nokia. They can’t ignore them like they can RIM (we all know people won’t use a lot of cool apps on a Blackberry).

So, should Nokia have gone Android? No way. That takes them through a real commoditization (IE, non differentiated) minefield. One that Nokia execs aren’t smart enough to get through.

See, what you don’t know is Nokia just doesn’t have the right people to play in this new world. They needed to join the engineering teams at Nokia who know how to build great hardware with someone else who knows how to build services. That someone else is Microsoft. No one else was as strong a fit and if you think Google is it, well, sorry, no. That would be even worse for Nokia because Nokia needs to have something different than HTC has (Nokia can’t compete with China’s brightest minds).

So, sorry, Nokia fans, you just aren’t looking at this deal the right way.

This is the only way Stephen Elop could go in this war to get app developers excited again.

What you should be asking yourself is “can Elop really execute?” That I’m not so sure about and we’ll only know for sure six to 18 months from now. But the strategy is the right one.

You should buy a Windows Phone 7 before you run off your mouth. That’s why you all are nuts when you say you’re buying Android. What a hoot!

Photo credit: Iain Buchanan, Creative Commons licensed photo.

UPDATE: Engadget just released these Nokia/Microsoft concept phone photos.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

238 thoughts on “Dear Nokia fans: you’re nuts!

  1. Well i dont think nokia did anything wrong.

    If all phone have same Android Os than no body will purchase nokia. So i think this is very good move of nokia that it going with window and not choose Android.

    Even Local mobile phone company also has Android Os on thair Cheap Smartphones.

    By the way Meego also have very small market till now.

    But if nokie going with Window , so Nokia Qt will also support in Nokia’s Window phone. i dont think nokia wasted their time to make Qt Market and developers.

    So i hope Qt will support in Nokia’s Window Phone.

    Watch this what 3rd party developers have to say about the merger…

  2. Absolutely agree that Windows 7 OS is better than Android. I wonder if there are too many people who disagree?

  3. “Nokia can’t compete with China’s brightest minds”. Why not? Are you suggesting a genetic reason? Are you suggesting a reason for the Nokia demise; the Finns are just not as smart as the Chinese. If this were true then the transfer of the business management to the Americans should come as a great relief. Shame on you, this kind of racist logic does not belong in this discussion.

    1. Sorry, this came from a Nokia executive. They have too many committees, too much middle management and too many people who know hardware, but aren’t as fast moving as the Chinese.

  4. “Microsoft has Xbox. Which has just been rejuvenated with Kinect (hottest selling product in history, even hotter than the iPad!) IE, some parts of Microsoft ARE cool!”

    This is a joke, right? Kinect has failed to actually convert non-Xbox owners to Xbox owners. Bundles are not selling at all! All you have is a bunch of Xbox fans buying Kinect, but no one is buying games.

    Xbox and Kinect are failures.

  5. I’m one of those who really don’t like WP7. I’ve played with it, and all the swiping and the transitions just rub me the wrong way. I want something that can be operated more quickly, and WP7 just plain isn’t it. Add to that that there’s no multitasking, and WP7 is a no-go for me.
    That is my own opinion, however, and I realize that there are people out there who like this kind of thing. They can go out and buy WP7/Nokia phones, and I sincerely hope they’ll be happy with them. After all, they are sure to get great hardware.
    Personally, I’ll wait until my N8 no longer does the things I need it to do, and then take another look at the market. Maybe Android, maybe webOS, and, if there are changes that are entirely unanticipated, even WP7 on Nokia hardware. Never say never. I hope that I’ll be able to use the N8 for a while to come, though, since presently not just WP7, but all the other choices are also not really appealing.

  6. Sorry, don’t see what’s so special about WP7. It does nice animated transitions between screens and menus but, beyond that, functionality is fairly generic when compared against iOS, Android, WebOS, etc.

  7. Robert, I think you are correct when it comes to this topic but you need to remember that this won’t happen overnight. It is a marathon, not a sprint :) Both Nokia and Microsoft have deep pockets so this is going to go on for awhile.

    We also need to remember that today the market for apps / smartphones and data connectivity is for the HIGH-END. Most parts of the world just want a darn phone connection and aren’t willing to put a premium on data at this point. Their countries are too poor to afford data networks that can only be afforded by a small percentage of the population. Don’t get me wrong, cellular is the way most of the world connects these days (not wireline).

    As for your take on the high-end, smartphone market I agree 1000%. The power of today’s phones lies in the software and 24/7 connectivity. Many users increasingly use data at a 10-20/1 ratio vs. voice. The power clearly lies with the developers as their time is VERY valuable and they are only going to develop for large, installed bases of phones where they can monetize their application.

    A few years ago people questioned how Android would get traction but, given that it was free and practically given away, manufacturers lined up in droves to develop an Apple competitor. They got app developers on board as they wanted another alternative to Apple’s app policy makers who appeared quite Draconian in their approval / denial of apps.

    What will cause developers to develop for a 3rd platform given LIMITED time in this world? Most traditional markets have the #1 market share owner with 40%-60% market share, #2 with 25%-35% and the #3 competitor with 15% to 25% market share.

    One key element that a Microsoft / Nokia agreement would have is the ability to make it EASY to make in-app purchases and have a CONSISTENT product. If they could make the purchase process SMOOTH like Apple does with IOS they could get some traction from the perceived weakness in Android’s system (shopping cart) and the fact that there are so many different versions of apps/hardware, etc that developers have to take into account.

    I don’t think a #4 OS will ever survive.

    keep up the great work Robert!

    Dan Ross

  8. I think Google already has better distribution, If you through the list of manufacturer who makes Andriod phone, tell me their combined market reach is not bigger than Nokia?

  9. WP7 might have been the only way to go for Nokia, but in the time it’ll take to get to market (at least 6 months, probably more) WP7 will need to change massively if they don’t want to be even further behind Android or iOS.

    I work between China and France. Android and iOS support native Chinese characters. WP7 doesn’t. Windows has announced an upgrade for “second half 2011″ to support Chinese characters, but the time for it to roll out to carriers, to be pushed to the consumer and to see some development of apps in Chinese is going to make it at least 2012 before it’s anything more than a very, very basic level of support. Ergo, Nokia isn’t even in the running for my money. Nor for most of my co-workers.

    China is the elephant in the hall, but it’s not the only one. Japan? Indonesia? India (not everybody will want English as their smartphone’s native language, despite many people understanding it)? Brazil? Russia? Is Nokia’s strategy to wait for 2012 to even be mildly competitive in these markets? Sure, they’re still “developing”, but given how quickly the smartphone markets in these countries is growing, by 2012 they could already be playing catch-up to get developers interested.

    If Nokia is hoping to keep on pushing Symbian or MeeGo or something else in these countries when WP7 development schedules mean it’s only going to be 2013 by the time Hindi, Arabic or Russian are supported, they’re not going to be anything more than synonymous for outdated.

  10. Let me reply to your 5 points:
    1. [Global reach] If you live in one of what you call “weirdest places”, chance is you’d rather want a featurephone. Oh, wait: WP7 phones ARE featurephones. In any case, Nokia has nothing to gain from Microsoft here, on the contrary Symbian runs on cheaper hardware and is less power-hungry.
    2. [Microsoft's good things] Microsoft has indeed a great OS: it’s called Windows 7. Windows Phone 7 lacks features Symbian had in 2002 and it’s just about visual effects. Is that what you liked?
    3. [Great dev tools] Nokia also has, it’s called Qt Creator. Why throw it away?
    4. [MS has cool things] The cool parts of Microsoft you mention are for non-portable computers. Planning to port Kinect to the front facing cameras? Glad you did not mention MS Office: syncing with Outlook anyone?
    5. [Nokia's great hw] True, that’s why I am so sad that Nokia ditched Symbian. This was foul play, as even Intel knew nothing about Nokia disrupting their MeeGo strategy. Who will Nokia partner with at next MWC?
    So, summing up, I feel that Nokia choose the easy way to cut costs. In return, they lost their identity and became a mere hardware manufacturer. Let’s see how far they will want to “customize everything” after they close OVI: Maps is the only valuable software asset they’ve left, I hope they make good use of it. They will have to compete with other WP7 phone makers in a battle where every penny counts. Are they ready to compete in this market? If they’d become exclusive WP7 phone makers, that would have been another story.

  11. Marketa are reacting to Nokia announcement that during the transition there will be lower dividends. Stock traders or investment fund handlers do not understand the differences of the OS. They understand the phrase “lower dividend for 12 mo” due investment.

  12. Bullshit. You see those WP7/Nokia concept phones? You see how they look exactly like every other WP7 phone – that’s commoditization.

    Had they gone Android, they could have built their own empire. They could have created their own UI, with their Ovi services on top. They could have done what HTC has done with Sense. They could continue with their hardware innovation, free from Microsoft restrictions. Heck, they could have put Bing on the things.

    But no, in an allthingsd video, Elop mentions that he was afraid if they went Android, then Android would definitely win. And he’d prefer the OS wars to continue, because it puts hardware manufacturers in a stronger position if the OS guys were constantly duking it out.

    Nokia had the distribution might to build their future. Instead, they’re now reliant on Microsoft. Because Redmond is the only thing Elop knows.

  13. Nokia smartphones running WindowsPhone7 are gonna be the same as LG, HTC, Samsung phones running WindowsPhone7.
    As good as WindowsPhone7 is, no one is buying it.
    I guess Microsoft and Nokia are 2 companies that missed the smartphone and tablet revolution and they are joining their forces to try get in the revolution.
    The future will talk but I’m pretty sure WindowsPhone7 won’t succeed and Nokia smartphones market share will continue to go down.

  14. Dear Scobleizer

    You don’t seem to talk technology or have an understanding of the fundamentals of a good operating system/platform and ecosystem. You purely are having some wild fantasy and thinking that this is a great idea. Please look at historical facts and use your brain before writing such trash. Did MS pay you for this? You sound like an airhead American lobbyist to me. Maybe you should be the Nokia CEO. roflmao.

    MS has screwed Nokia over in this deal. This is not good for Nokia by any standard. Nokia has a far superior platform and Stephen is being very pessimistic. He isn’t managing the company he is damaging it. By introducing one more platform he is creating more problems. If you cannot manage three how are you going to manage a closed source MS platform which is years behind and the market has REJECTED IT?

    Nokia should have a visionary leader like Steve Jobs who can capitalize on the company’s technologies and strengths instead of looking to someone else.

    First lets talk historical facts and business.

    MS has failed to conquer the mobile market in the last 10 years with Windows Mobile. Can you tell me what innovation has been there? The UI sucked wasn’t usable for a mobile and just mimiced the desktop UI. WP7 is even more sucky where you have to swipe and navigate through stupid USELESS TILES. Wow! Great differentiating unusable UX again! Also WP7 hasn’t achieved any significant dent or mind share in the last 4-6 months it’s been out. That’s what I call SUCCESS! 2% market share with many phones. Palm with just one phone has a comparative market share. LOL.

    Stephen and Steve think people want to use Bing as their search platform. Ask a five year old and they will tell you Google is the best search engine. So much for being neutral, objective and giving customers choice. Stephen is moving his bias towards MS shitty services with a dwindling user base and forcing customers to use MS services. Wow! Was this the culture at Nokia? Wasn’t it about being open and choosing the best service? With this announcement he has also killed Nokia’s Ovi services division which was coming up with fantastic services. If you ask internal employees you will know how he has been sabotaging everything from the time he has arrived. And now he chooses an inferior platform. This guy is very smart I must say.

    MS also has a stellar reputation for software delivery. They delivered Windows 7 at the end of the decade which is just a more bloated version of XP. Till then it was just XP. Windows 7 doesn’t have any improvement or real innovation over XP. It’s just got eye candy on the UI which has been brought to compete with OSX at the last minute. Wow! Look at the time MS takes to deliver it’s products. So competitive! Nokia only delayed it’s N8 by two quarters. MS delays their products by years. So much for efficiency. Wonder what Stephen is thinking about speed and execution. LOL. Now Nokia will get even slower and less innovative. This deal will kill all R&D and drive MS interests alone. Nokia cannot function independently now.

    Lets talk technology.

    Sandboxing applications is the security solution? Wow!!! So this limits so many other things. Limited APIs. Excellent. Wow! We are back in the stone ages for mobile development.

    On the kernel level WP7 doesn’t support true multi tasking like Linux. Worse WP7 was so busy copying the iPhone they forgot Copy and Paste!!! WOW! Their security sandbox is terrific. What intelligence to choose such an innovative platform. Now Nokia will have to figure out using it’s employees how to implement such basic features.

    You talk about apps being important. WP7 has a non existent ecosystem. How will they build one now? Obviously by MS feeding it’s money to developers. Wow this is such a win win situation for everyone! Now MS will pay people to make apps by making them buy Visual Studio and have developers slog with their primitive bloated technology which is pathetically slow.

    What happens to the Qt story that Nokia has been building all these days? Do you know what a fantastic cross platform C++ library it is? The performance is far superior than .NET. Is the MS .NET runtime full fledged on any other Non MS platform? Also with free development tools Qt would have a much wider reach to developers on all platforms. Do you know Google Earth is written in Qt? It was a winning story.

    Now Nokia has isolated all it’s developers with this new strategy. Third party application developers would rather jump to Android or iPhone where they have better chance. No one will write apps after this debacle. Nokia will not have the reach it had earlier. So much for building ecosystems. He just screwed it up big time. Who will develop the apps which you consider so important? We will again have low quality apps like on Windows desktop.

    Sorry Stephen better jump off the Nokia burning platform on which you poured the gasoline and head elsewhere. Nokia doesn’t need you or MS. You have been unethical in bringing MS interests into Nokia. You are not a software leader. You have lost the trust of the world and tarnished the Nokia brand.

    PS: I wonder who will buy the Nokia E7 now with this announcement? R.I.P. Nokia.

    1. >>You have lost the trust of the world and tarnished the Nokia brand.

      First of all, I’m not paid by anyone but Rackspace.

      Second of all, you sound like one of those developers who thinks that technical superiority is all that matters. I remember meeting people like you in college (back in 1991). They told me “why does anyone need a mouse and windows?” After all, they were so smart they didn’t need one. Later they told me that NeXT was so superior it was going to take over the world. Or FreeBSD would. Or Linux would. Etc etc etc.

      I’ve heard these arguments from arrogant developers before. They usually are wrong and can easily be ignored.

      As far as Windows Phone 7, yeah, you are right. They are behind. Keep in mind I’m still an iPhone fan.

      But, really, just listen to a real developer (not an arrogant one) who tonight told me why he’s only building for Android and iPhone:

      That’s pretty much what should be listened to, not your brand of arrogance.

      1. Nokia’s differentiator from LG, HTC, etc. is their hardware. Before Apple was in the cell phone game, Nokia was able to wow the gadget nerd crowd with lust/drool worthy hardware (Matrix phone, 8800 series, Scirocco, etc.) The shortcoming was always Symbian, which didn’t matter so much when they were only competing with RIM and Windows Mobile.

        Obviously the world has changed. I think Windows Phone 7 was the only decent card they could play. At least they now have a modern OS to compliment their hardware design. I for 1 can’t wait for a Nokia with Carl Zeiss optics running Windows Phone. I LOVE my HD7, but loathe the camera. A Nokia solves that problem for me.

        As for apps, remains to be seen. I will listen to your Cinchcast, but I do know gains are being made every day. I use an Android phone and my HD7 and the gap is closing, albeit slowly. My Windows Phone now can do Dropbox, TripIt, Yelp, Rdio, Kindle, and a couple of other of the core apps that are important to me. Apple and Android will be the leaders in apps, but I do foresee a day when Windows Phone can have a credible arsenal of choices from an app standpoint.

  15. Is that including the first year when iOS didn’t do apps?

    Also Blackberry World has more than 7000 apps sorry.

  16. Man, I really loved Nokia!

    Two years ago I did not even think about ever using something else then Nokia. 2008 I started working at Nokia R&D in Ulm, Germany. A great job: prototype testing… a year later I left Nokia!

    Why did I leave and give away the chance to get an interessting and well paid job at one of the worlds most successful companies? Because I realized Nokia is a struggling giant.

    Nobody said it loud, but we all knew this iPhone is going to get a big problem. The execs in Espoo pushed Tube through the pipe. Success? No! Well, N-Series could still be sold in Europe. Then Android appeared…

    At this point Nokia’s execs should have taken the emergency break. But they did’nt. Numbers on the markets got worse and worse. And so did the climate within the company. This was the time I decided to leave.

    Today I see a Symbian OS, that did not make any interessting improvements and that lost its community. The decisions made in these days are the final use of the emergency break. But its too late.

    And finally looking at Microsoft: Phone 7 might look good,it might be a great OS – but they don’t have the apps. iPhoner and Androider can share, work and play together without any workarounds. Trying to get in touch with a Phone 7 user is pain in the ass.

    While Microsoft has an ecosystem, that might fit to Nokia hardware they both are sitting behind a huge wall, separated from the winners of this game.

    Today I’m a happy Android user and everyone who asks me gets the same answer: no, no more Nokias – get an Android, or an iPhone! And please don’t even think about Windows on a Phone!

  17. Again… Sorry Robert, you’re just an Android hater. You say Win 7 is better than Android? LOL ROTFL … man… It’s not even the same league.

  18. If they wanted Windows phones, these Nokia customers would have bought Windows phones.

    Kinect is not applicable because it’s original (not typical Microsoft) and it’s hardware (Nokia is getting software) and the comparison to iPad is lame because Kinect is a $150 accessory for an existing product with a 5 plus year user base, not a $500-$800 new kind of computer nobody understands.

    > execute

    Adding Microsoft is not going to help execution. Elop also said Nokia was too slow. Adding Microsoft won’t speed it up. Ballmer’s Microsoft is sloooooooow and can’t execute out of a paper bag.

    Nokia is the second-most profitable phone maker (after Apple) and makes almost double the profit of RIM and over 5 times the profit of all Android and Windows licensees put together. Where are the profits going to come from?

    Nokia would have been better if they had bought Palm (with what they lost in market cap today) and put Rubenstein in charge instead of Elop? It is really frustrating to me as a European who lives in Silicon Valley to see Europeans who think Microsoft is a Silicon Valley company. People here don’t even use Microsoft Office, let alone Windows. That HP presentation about TouchPad was made with Keynote on a Mac.

    RIP Nokia. You have to be high on business jargon to think otherwise.

  19. I really think that a blanket statement that apps are the most important thing in this market is misguided. Overall I think apps are really all just a bit gimmicky. Useful occasionally and fun to show off to friends.

    iPhone which has the biggest app marketplace has the very limited app functionality that I have seen – by which I mean the things that apps can do on the iPhone is limited very much to the app model. There is no way for instance on an iPhone to change the keyboard, etc. The apps are all very segregated without any real multitasking capabilities.

    Most people want a phone that works more than one that will do things they don’t need / want. I think HP’s range looks good for this.

  20. I really think that a blanket statement that apps are the most important thing in this market is misguided. Overall I think apps are really all just a bit gimmicky. Useful occasionally and fun to show off to friends.

    iPhone which has the biggest app marketplace has the very limited app functionality that I have seen – by which I mean the things that apps can do on the iPhone is limited very much to the app model. There is no way for instance on an iPhone to change the keyboard, etc. The apps are all very segregated without any real multitasking capabilities.

    Most people want a phone that works more than one that will do things they don’t need / want. I think HP’s range looks good for this.

  21. It surprises me (vaguely) how quickly people forget…

    This is why Windows sucks

    You may disagree with one or two of these – but you can’t get past them all. It isn’t a question of being “easy to use”… it’s a question of being treated like a criminal… of being locked in and spied on.

    and while you’re at it, this is why apple sucks

    That is why Android wins. It has the “Intel Inside” of not being top-down controlled.

  22. One reason I really hate nokia for doing this is accessibility. Now, I am totally blind. Symbian had a well established screen reader. Microsoft ignored disabled people completely, since they built in totally no accessibility API’s to windows phone seven. So right now, as it stands, if you don’t want an iPhone or can’t get one then going with symbian was a good alternative… but now it’s like… yeah.

    1. And what about for people that want to be able to do everything from their phone (manage their phone, do work, do updates, everything).
      I thought Android was my alternative lined up but I was updating a friends Xperia X10 today and found you need to use a computer (no OTA) for the 2.1 update. Further, the Sony software kept saying installation error so I had to use a ‘flasher’ in the same way custom firmwares are installed on other devices. But this was official firmware.
      So I’m not sure anymore. I don’t think there is anything to replace Symbian. I’ll have to keep up stuff no matter what.

        1. Swype.

          That’s an example of a restriction enforced by Apple (which is the same as WP7 restriction).
          Really there’s hundreds of things actually. Even small little details like keeping previous web pages in RAM in case I press back.

          1. Ahh, I love Swype too but I got used to life without it. But that is one thing I really loved about Android and wish Apple would get over it. I know why they don’t allow it, though. Steve Jobs wants everyone to have a common experience and doesn’t want anyone to destroy that experience. Overall I’d say he’s right.

  23. While a radical change in strategy was expected, it is not aggressive enough.

    On a previous post on my blog I shared some thoughts on what Nokia should be doing; some implemented on this new strategy (such as transitioning out of Symbian), but more is needed. And while the new relationship with Microsoft is a start, it is the wrong kind of start IMO, and it points to the fact that Nokia is not understanding its real threats. Nokia’s real threats are:

    1) Apple with its iPhone, and,

    2) The manufacturers of Android devices; this is, HCT, Samsung and the the like. Note that I didn’t say Google or Android. Google is the enabler and indirect beneficiary (in big ways).

    Relationship with Microsoft will help fence off HCT and similar just on the WP7 front, but that is a tiny front. If Nokia thinks that Microsoft is going to take Nokia to the next level, they are not.


    Perhaps this is only the beginning of a series of changes that will expand across Mobile platforms, including the complete strategy for high-end smartphones I prev mentioned that puts emphasis on the app layer and services, in addition to spreading their HW design across mobile OSes; that is the differentiation Nokia must execute.

    For low-end phone, S40 is fine. MeeGo should not be dropped as it gives Nokia an opportunity to innovate and differentiate on the mobile OS area; and it should be kept as an “R&D” effort; which means, continue investing on it while waiting what happens next.


    Read the whole things here if you care:


  24. What we don’t know is what did Microsoft have to give up in order to be on Nokia handsets?

    Everybody is focusing too much on Microsoft being the winner on this deal. I doubt that Nokia is that stupid, they are not! WP7 could end up being the largest mobile OS in a couple of years especially if Nokia manages to push down a version of WP7 to lower end handsets.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal includes a free license of WP7 for Nokia in exchange for search revenue ect. and perhaps some kind of exclusivity.

    1. Even if WP7 was free it doesn’t help much.
      Microsoft was paying Nokia to use its maps (Navteq) and now it doesn’t need to.
      Microsoft gets money from every Nokia WP with Marketplace and Bing search anyway.

  25. Kinect hotter than iPad … what stats is that statement based on? It’s stated like it’s a fact … any room for debate there? Kinect is the Wii, very hot (and really cool) but the “what’s next” question is tough – revenue will flatten and then decrease.

    In my opinion, it’s not that WP7 will continue to not matter. It’s that it will never matter as much as iOS or Android. Most people just don’t go out and buy smart phones for fun. It’s a major purchase and expense. Right now WP7 is a novelty – nice or not, it doesn’t matter. Mr. Elop should have considered the tablet question in the frame of 12-18 months, I think he’s looking at it more like a 3 -5 year question – Nokia and MSFT execs fail to realize how fast markets are moving today. Windows 7 on tablets while Apple and Google both use mobile OS platforms? Who is in those MSFT meetings? Check your ego at the door – the top 2 and HP have already shown you the way. Windows 7 will never be a major player in tablets.

    iOS is barely staying out in front of Android and it has a 1 year head start and WP7 is going to catch up? That’s not happening. Nokia has distribution, so we’ll get a lot more of those WP7 “sales numbers” but people ultimately buy phones, this is about the consumer. MSFT has enough money to make WP7 the Bing of smart phone operating systems. Great because it keeps Apple and Google on their toes, but most people are extremely satisfied with the best two options. You just can’t buy market share with TV commercials like you could 10 years ago. Before you get to “why not” buy a WP7, you need a “why”.

    Nokia’s platform is on fire. MSFT makes all their money from client/server – isn’t that burning as well? Interesting debate if you’re over 35. Non sensical for everyone else.

    1. What do you mean iOS is barely staying out in front of Android?
      iOS has been behind Android most of last year.
      Android would have just overtaken Symbian for the first time last month.
      29% marketshare (Android) vs 17% (iOS)

      1. Um, read the LA Times from January 10, 2011:

        In US:

        Blackberry-maker Research In Motion continues to lead in market share, with 33.5% of U.S. smart phone subscribers for the three months ending in November 2010. But it lost market share to Google’s Android platform, which was up from 19.6% to 26% in the period.

        Google narrowly beat Apple for second place. Apple took 25% of the market.

        1. Sorry, I thought we were talking about worldwide marketshare. I don’t really care about the US and it’s a shame that Elop *only* cares about US.

  26. Windows marketing power may work in the U.S. – the ex-Microsoft CEO of Nokia seems to think it will. Hopefully they don’t smother MeeGo in the process, because the rest of the world seems to think that Open software is preferable to Microsoft.

  27. That is so true: The fucked their loyal developers. Meego would have been the better choice for customers and developers – but maybe cariers played an important role and the money from Microsoft.

      1. It’s been available for 4 moths. How it could possibly be the leading os? But if we compere it giving it a same time frame as competition, then: It has same number of apps as Apple had and way more what Android had when it shipped. I’d say that this deal just created a another Apple in smart phone business = Nokia. They just gained overnight the online services capabilities they were lacking, connections to both consumers, on-line players and corporate users – the whole Microsoft ecosystem. And they have HW and one of the best manufacturing capabilities in the world.

  28. Nobody has mentioned India in this so far. I think it forms a crucial element in this considering it is Nokia’s largest market.

    From what I understand, Nokia has split the company into two divisons, ‘smart devices’ with WP7 (aimed at North America) and ‘mobile phones’ with S40/S60/Symbian (aimed at India).

    The partnership is a great idea but if it fails, then it will be because Nokia did not think about extending its Indian ‘cash cow’ to build a new ‘rising star’. In fact, it has ignored it completely and now appears to be focused on the iphone/android sector in a geography it is currently largely absent from (US).

    This strategic error is even more significant because Nokia and Microsoft expect to ship large volumes only starting 2012. India is going to become even more attractive by then. It is the world’s fastest growing mobile market (and the 2nd largest) with 752 million subscribers in Feb 2011. It also has the youngest population. More of these guys are going to want better phones and they already love Nokia. Sure, its smaller in dollar terms now, but 2015 could be a totally different story right?

    Phones developed for western markets do not work in India – they never will. This is partly the reason Apple has been a non-winner in India, other being import duties and lack of local knowledge.

    Nokia has a manufacturing plant in India. It has tons of local knowledge. It could have leveraged its experience in India by shipping WP7 smartphones tailored to the market. This could have happened if it was able to define an integrated strategy. However, as the new Smart division is not focused on India, this is not going to happen as much as it should have.

    Big failure for Nokia. The biggest winner out of today’s announcement is going to be Samsung – but the markets don’t think. At least not yet!

    [There, I just wrote a whole blog post in a single comment!]

  29. “3. Microsoft has great developer tools.”

    Nokia *had* great developer tools. Qt Quick was a pretty neat way to make native applications using webapp style development.

    Additionally, many app developers were from the open source crowd just because Nokia was leveraging Linux. How many of those Linux developers are going to jump at the chance to switch to Windows-only tools? Nokia has to attract a new developer-base now.

  30. What I’m not getting is why they felt the need to lock themselves into one OS? Samsung, LG and HTC is developing phones for both Android and W7 why not Nokia? You make some good points about why W7 makes sense for them, but all those points would still be valid if they made phones for both systems and they would have the added bonus of getting all the Android fanatics loving them as well.

  31. I would agree that Nokia shouldn’t go Android way. But not because “Windows Phone 7 actually rocks and actually is a lot nicer to use than Android.”
    Robert Scoble, do you actually believe in that?

    “Microsoft has great developer tools”

    I know you didn’t try to work with those tools, Robert. Are you aware, that they take an enormous amount of computer resources, so you need a super-powerful machine to actually develop.
    Do you know that it can only work under Windows 7 or latest Win Server 2008 incarnation?
    Do you know it cannot work inside Microsoft’s own Virtual Server hosted VM?

    1. Any serious developer has nice machines with Windows 7 on them anyway. Unless you’re developing for iOS, in which case you have a Mac. THAT actually +is+ a huge impediment to getting developers excited by Windows Phone 7. Microsoft should have cut the Windows OS “strategy tax” a long time ago.

  32. i think my first comment on this topic was a little bit harsh today:

    “the Nokia/MS partnership feels like watching a sexscene with Joan Collins & Hugh Hefner. It might work but it will take forever”

    Robert, i am really getting your points but the problem is, when you add two units of mobile computing valium (Nokia and Microsoft), you won’t get mobile ecstacy.

    I hope that i am wrong cause i adore Nokia for it’s build quality and the strongest distribution channel in the world but this seems to me like a very desperated move. Even though they can exclusively change the GUI of WP7 (can’t wait to hear the complains of all those other WP7 manufacturers), they are not unique at all. WP7 is dragging them down on a level, where they will face a tough competition from all these asian companies, even though Nokia still has this amazing brand equity.

    WP7 isn’t bad Robert, not at all. Same with the Xbox, i have 2 of them. But they just have no chance against the app and revision avalanche of Android and iOS. No chance, nada!
    Consoles are becoming obsolete, by the end of the year we will have smartphone platforms with way more performance than any console. Hook it up to your TV-set and you can not only share your media content but also play your games on the big screens (well you can already do that with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 phones but i am talking about the next generation quadcore Cortex-A9 and beyond).

    Consoles are a dying species and interconnections between a console and a smartphone are just… well, they make no sense.

    Robert, i dunno anyone who can make a prediction over 6, 9 or 12 months right now. 2011 is the year of the real mobile revolution (even though we are talking about it for ages)and i know one thing for sure: If Nokia and Microsoft are going to screw this one up, they have a problem.

    P.S. I have to add that i am a huge fan of Elop! Finally someone who doesn’t seem to have this typical Nokia arrogancy (“we are Nokia. We deserve to have our own OS”)and who can kick some butts. They needed it!

      1. I would even love to see a competitve webOS and BlackBerry ecosystem. Competition always drives innovation! I am just doubting that Microsoft can be innovative when it comes to mobile platforms but i have no doubt, that Nokia is capable of building great phones.

        and by the way, we are all nuts, that’s why we are so excited about technology ;)

  33. You seem to have no idea or knowledge of the possibilities that were just coming with Qt, while speaking about your Apps, Apps, Apps. Qt could have become the next platform, with webOS, even Android and iOS, if executed well.

    Why don’t you jump over to the dev site of Nokia and have a look at the developers’ comments under today’s announcement of killing Qt and MeeGo.

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