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back to article Marry Microsoft, analyst tells Nokia

In what looks suspiciously like part of a carefully-planned PR campaign, an investment analyst who follows Nokia has written to Microsoft and Nokia urging them to form a partnership. The memo, from Berenberg Bank's Adnaan Ahmad, recommends Nokia sign an exclusive partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7, and was obtained …

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Anonymous Coward

Arghhhh

Yes, we all know that Nokia needs an OS to match it's awesome hardware but Ahmad seems to be missing the point: Nokia needs a _good_ OS.

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Flame

Nokia has a great OS

... and it's called maemo ...

... and they dropped it after the N900, which is rather poor hardware and doesn't do justice to it ...

... leaving the field to Android, and maemo users in a cul-de-sac ...

Which is a tremendous shame, given how good Maemo could have been on hardware the quality of the top Symbian phones, like the E71.

Nokia looks like a company that's drifting, and is failing to make much of an impact in new growth markets. It already has an alliance with Intel, another fading giant. The last thing it needs is more drift and another backward-looking partnership.

Maybe the banker sees Nokia as the Dell of small wintel devices ...

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nokia + android = saving grace

Exactly. Many Nokia owners like me would prefer Nokia hardware running our Android phones.

Nokia make some great hardware that lasts and have great specs. But their OS sucks.

With Nokia being downgraded on their credit rating they might finally realise Android is their only option short term.

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Yes, Intel is fading in mobile space

"Erm, yes, if by fading you mean "record profits", and still holding a steady 80% of world PC processor marketshare:"

That's irrelevant. Nokia does not make PCs and servers where Intel is strong. Nokia only plays in mobile space where Intel became largely irrelevant when they sold their ARM-ish PXAxxx line to Marvel. Intel have hugely over-promised Atom in mobile space, but are never going to deliver on that.

Right now Nokia's cuddling up with Intel makes as much sense as an association with Stihl (who make chainsaws).

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RE: Nick Kew →

"Erm, yes, if by fading you mean "record profits", and still holding a steady 80% of world PC processor marketshare:"

Don't forget. When you're at the top, the only way to go is going down :-)

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It's the hardware NOT the OS

No it's the other way around. The OS is great but the hardware is uninspiring. They basically have 2 models. 1 with a 434Mhz ARM11 and one with a 680MHz ARM11. Both models come in a myriad of variants and types. The X8 (previous top of range) is basically the same as the 5800 (low-end) except it has a capacitive screen unlike the low-end model. Similarly with current models the C6-01 is the same as the N8. There are indeed minor differences but they share the same cpu, same resolution, same wifi, same bluetooth, same OS. THAT's what's wrong with Nokia. They want to make us believe that the N8 is a high-end model while it has the same heart as their low-end device. Consumers see that too. As for the design of their products. Don't tell me that N8 design is ugly. It ISN"T! It's a beautifull designed piece of electronics. It just would be fitting the "high-end"-label better with that 1GHz snapdragon or 1.2GHz Hummingbird CPU instead of that lowly 680MHz ARM11 (even when that's indeed "sufficient").

Everybody picking on the Symbian OS is a lame excuse. The OS is NOT bad. It has good functionality (from an endusers point of view unless you really want flashy animations). In fact with a Symbian phone you CAN do a lot more than with an iPhone when using the same technologies (like bluetooth or USB or HDMI-out etc...).

Of course, I'm talking from an end-users perspective. I'm talking about someone who wants a phone to call ppl and send SMS-messages. It might very well be that creating a program for a Symbian phone requires more effort than creating an app for iOS. But it's respectfull that Symbian doesn't require +434Mhz CPU's to become perfectly usable. Android on those 800Mhz Snapdragons (without gfx-accelerator) feel sluggish. Did you really expect that Symbian becames so fast on these lower-end cpu's because they have this shiny easy-use-visual studio click-and-drag-programming environment. No, it's fast on slower cpu's because of deep optimized code which unfortunately demands more (pregramming) efforts.

So all those ppl complaining about Symbian are simply wrong. You just don't want Nokia... period. You're all looking for excuses to shoot Nokia (one says it's the OS while someone else says it's the hardware). You simply want to hang out with the new kid on the block, Android. That's it. It's the same with Microsoft and their Windows Mobile vs. Windows Phone drama.

So let's be honest. A lot of you don't want Nokia's anymore, you want samoled-screens and swyping texts and flashy icons and wipes and quad core multi-GHz cpu's. Some of us however value these capable familiar-styled devices. Whom keep working years after years without a hassle. Who are fast enough while lasting more than a day on a single battery-charge.

So Nokia. KEEP working on Symbian. Keep the promised updates to S^4 and S^5. But please bring out some a real high-end devices too. With a real fast cpu (even though it doesn't need it) and gfx-accellerator and super-high resolution screen to shut those folks up!

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adv
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how original?

whose is the PR campaign?!?!?

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Gates Horns

Maybe he didn't return the call

Because *he* is the mythical Windows phone 7 user and it's drained all his allowance for this month?

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No WP7

Whoever that Berenberg is, is a moron... WP7 is a very weak platform.

Talk about going from bad to worse, atleast with Symbian and MeeGo Nokia has some identity.

WP7 has nothing to offer, it'll be a HUGE mistake if they go with WP7.

If they want to go with something, go with Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Always trust a banker

The memo, from Berenberg Bank's Adnaan Ahmad, recommends Nokia sign an exclusive partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7....

One wonders what LG HTC, Acer and Sony Ericsson have to say about that

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Bankers... aren't those these guys that put millions of ppl in missery last year :-(

As the former poster also mentioned. Marrying Microsoft is a really bad idea. Nokia would loose it's own identity. In this case choosing for Android is the least worse of all the bad options.

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WTF?

A marriage of losers? Shaving your face with a mace in the dark?

If Nokia is to finish off its investment into MeToo and merry anyone that should be HP, not Microsoft.

WebOS despite the spectacularly bad marketing and spectacularly bad execution has actually been a bigger success than WinMob7. Also Web-OS is not mandated by its manufacturer to sit in a particular niche where it will not cannibalise other products which is the case with WinMob7.

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WTF?

Ditch MeeGo?

Sure sound like a great idea.

If the number of votes in this survey* are anything to go by, the WeTab is giving the iPad a run for the money in Germany.

And that thing is still pretty rough around the etches, using the MeeGo 1.0 Netbook UX version with a custom Touch-Interface. Nothin near as polished as the handset UX.

* http://www.focus.de/digital/computer/user-ranking-wie-zufrieden-sind-sie-mit-ihrem-tablet-pc_aid_587041.html

Also keep in mind that the WeTab has only been on the market for half as long as the iPad.

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Troll

Not a valid point

If Germany were an opinion leader, we'll all be listening to David Hasselhoff and eating sauerkraut.

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Megaphone

Dont do it

Just dont. N900 is the best phone I ever had. The next OS needs to be even better. Android sucks donkey cock, its just too locked down.

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Anonymous Coward

So what we're saying

"Elop should be told in no uncertain terms to NEVER talk to the press or the public. He cannot make a simple declarative statement," one disappointed commenter noted last week. "Could you even imagine Steve Jobs engaging in this kind of jibberish?"

So what we're saying is that Nokia has hired a man who is, technically speaking, full of shit? I also have some advice for Nokia:

- Make the process of developing, buying and installing apps nice and easy

- Make some compelling apps of your own that compel owners of fancy new phones like N8 to get into the whole "app mindset" and fuel growth in that area

- Make Symbian consistent from here on (no more struggling to find settings from one phone to the next)

- Make your mail, contacts and calendar apps the best there is, both in terms of usability and interoperability

- Generally stop fucking about while Google, RIM and Apple slowly make you irrelevant.

I suspect many heads must be surgically removed from many arses before any of this happens.

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Go

mmm

sounds like that's why they are calling to adopt Windows Phone 7, for all the reasons that you correctly list here!

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Thumb Up

and read this...

article from el reg:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/28/running_with_the_also_rans/

R

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Anonymous Coward

"many heads must be surgically removed from many arses"

Well, in a word, yes, and oh irony, that's what Elop was brought in for. Or rather, OPK stepped down to enable. I don't know why Elop was brought in. Not inconceivably for dragging nokia to redmond. That, if true, would shed an entirely different light on the exodus going on there.

I'd be impressed, no flabberghasted and gobsmacked, if chief chair thrower proves to be that tricky. But I probably won't believe it even if I do see it unquestionably proven.

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Bring it on...

Glad this has resurfaced - seems like an obvious win-win for both companies. WIn 7 is a great mobile OS and Nokia have the hardware and an existing mobile consumer marketing machine that MSFT clearly lack.

Sadly Symbian failed years ago and nobody in their right mind - especially small dev teams - will devote any effort to supporting it. Crying shame but it was developed for a different time when hardware was much less functional.

Despite the normal anti-MSFT sentiment Win 7 is a great platform to develop for. Both Silverlight and XNA are very well structured with deep functionality and as a MSFT .NET developer I can leverage all my skills that I have spent the last 20 years developing.

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Anonymous Coward

keep talking

"and as a MSFT .NET developer I can leverage all my skills that I have spent the last 20 years developing"

I'm very happy for you. Keep on saying it and it might become true.

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RE:Bring it on...

"... WIn 7 is a great mobile OS ..."

Eh? Are you insane? WP7 is crippleware.

1) M$ conditioned windows users for decades to adopt Outlook as main PIM and yet proper outlook sync is the major omission on WP7.

2) Windows Mobile has a proper filemanager (you can even connect to windows 98/ME/XP/Vista/7 shares). Winphone 7 has NO filemanager at all I suspect that even using the browser to browse files (file://localhost) doesn't even work.

3) Multitasking. It's promissed. Funny since the old OS has multitasking since 2000?!? Why this strange behaviour?

4) No incall-recording.

5) No external storage (contrary the old OS nicely asked where to install apps etc...)

... there are probably a lot of other major and minor problemsRE: Bring it on...

"...nobody in their right mind - especially small dev teams - will devote any effort to supporting it. Crying shame but it was developed for a different time when hardware was much less functional..."

So the big corporations suddenly care about the "small dev teams"?

"Despite the normal anti-MSFT sentiment Win 7 is a great platform to develop for. Both Silverlight and XNA are very well structured with deep functionality and as a MSFT .NET developer I can leverage all my skills that I have spent the last 20 years developing."

First of all .NET and Silverlight didn't excists 20 years ago. Anyway, so it's all about being easy for the developper! Instead of putting a little effort to write and optimize code. You fashion boys want the easy way easy. Probably make a few quick bucks without with the least of hassle.

Well, then go to M$. I can tell you IF Nokia bend over to MSFT the they will loose their European stronghold in one move. But perhaps that's what this is about. To gently sell the last European technology-firm to the Americans.

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WTF?

WP7 really shit?

Evidently not based upon the generally good reviews it's generally recieved. El Reg rated as 80% generally whereas iPhone was 75%. similarly The Times rated it above all other smart phones. I could go on arguing the case. I would suggest that most folk who find it easy to slate WP7 operating system do so without having seen or used it.

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Memo to Nokia

If you want to continue operating with any credibility in the mobile market, avoid Redmond like the plague.

Ok, tnx, bye!

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Grenade

Meego - opinions sought

Is Meego going to die (in the face of Android's popularity)? Does this become certain if Nokia do as this moron suggests and goes with WinMo7?

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FAIL

For the search engines...

"Berenberg Bank's Adnaan Ahmad" is clearly yet another clueless analyst whose "analysis" only goes as far as "big name plus big name equals yes!" before abandoning any further "thinking" for the rest of the day.

Although it's tempting for clueless execs at Nokia to advocate Windows Phone 7 on Nokia hardware - after all, they do love their Microsoft products and probably think that everyone else loves them just as much ("Joe Sixpack is really missing out if he doesn't use Exchange and Sharepoint!") - they'd be positioning the company as yet another delivery vehicle for WP7 alongside LG, HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, which wouldn't exactly give them an edge. The execs would surely have to believe that the Nokia brand is only good for a widget conforming to a specification decided by Microsoft, like MSX for the 21st century.

And exclusive vendor? Is this "advice" part of Berenberg Bank's strategy to wipe out any remaining value in Nokia as a genuine business in order to have a patent clearance sale, Novell-style? If so, they're starting a bit too early for that: Nokia is still worth quite a bit more than Novell. Saying that WP7 is "now only available on Nokia" would, Microsoft strongarming of the US channels notwithstanding, consign both companies' offerings to obscurity and general "do not want".

All Elop really needs to do is to slash the layers of meeting-fanciers and stakeholder-surfing in management, clamp down on internal infighting and interference, and get the MeeGo people to focus on delivering something ready for use rather than putting it off all the time. None of the organisational excess is anything unique to Nokia - all big companies suffer from it - which makes the "Nokia and Microsoft together AT LAST!!1!" suggestion look like it came from someone who doesn't have the intellectual stamina to understand what such businesses really need.

Although I'm sure that such clueless analysts would trot out "cut 30% of the workforce and whip the rest harder" suggestions if their employer's dividend income from such a company was about to take a dip for a quarter. Thinking beyond that next quarterly statement is just far too taxing, however.

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Sound of Nokia realising it just committed suicide

So instead of fixing Symbian's UI and getting MeeGo out there, they're going to get steered by a lunatic into a partnership with MS.

Was it a trap all along?

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Re: Sound of Nokia realising it just committed suicide

Or it could just mean a better cooperation between the 2. Make sure Symbian connects better to Microsoft products and connect WinPhone7 to OVI (free turn-by-turn navigation anyone)

Speculating is drag, isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Meego+Dalvik

My prediction:

- for the high end, Meego. With possibly a port of Dalvik to run Android applications too;

- for the low end, maybe pure Android for the US if there's less need to differentiate. Symbian too, depending on markets.

WP7 is a joke. It's too little too late.

Android is good now, but limited for tomorrow. You've seen the future of high-end already: it's the Moto Atrix. But it also shows the limitation of Android: in netbook mode the Atrix just give you a web browser... Lame. ChromeOS? Too limited. Nothing to compare to a full linux distribution (and not only kernel).

Android was a good choice, as adapting a full linux distro to a handset with good results is not easy. We can see Meego takes time. So they could get a good result quickly. But it's very limited for a computer, and in 4 to 5 years you're handset connected to a bigger screen and keyboard will be your computer (if you're not in CAD / heavy simulations that is ;).

There are already rumors of RIM working on porting Dalvik to their new QNX OS. I have a really hard time with people saying WP7 when a Dalvik port would give them the best of both worlds for the high end, and fits with Elop (admitedly vague) comments. Dalvik is a JVM, and that was made initially to have PORTABLE applications. It would only be a return to Java roots. It's not a trivial effort, but entirely possible.

By the way, to target high-end smartphone as computers:

- Apple is ok already. iOS is derived from OS-X, they can scale if when needed;

- Android is not enough. ChromeOS is not enough. Will be ok for low end for a long time though;

- WP7 is not enough. You'll need a Win8 or 9 for portable device. Microsoft seems to understand this, but will be late;

- Nokia (and Intel) have the right stuff with Meego. And with Android application compatibility, it's a winner.

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Gates Halo

wrong company

I maintain that MSFT will -eventually- make a move on RIM; the enterprise aspect is a much better fit for them than Nokia (who should, obviously, go with Android).

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boe
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Exclusivity is a recipe for disaster

Nokia doesn't think outside their eurobox. Their opinion is you can have any car you want as long as it is black (Ford). Nokia thinks what works for Europe is what should work for the rest of the world. Nokia's phones have some nice designs but that is based on some really weak processors - probably not good for WP7.

Nokia doesn't seem to understand why CDMA phones in the US should be important since they use GSM over there and the CDMA market is "too small" to chase after.

I honestly wish Nokia would consider changing their OS, changing their attitude towards foreign markets, up their platform specs but that is about as likely as MS asking end users what features they want in Windows 8.

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Nokia never though CDMA is unimportant,...

they just had some differences with Qualcomm, the company that provides CDMA licenses. Because of the fight over CDMA licensing Nokia was unable to put more effort into CDMA phones for the NA market.

Nokia certainly never considered the CDMA market being unimportant.

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AB
Linux

AC @ 17:19

Your list would be great if it happened. I'm still waiting to see how the the Meego user experience works out (I will be buying the N9).

Other AC @ 17:13 - I also agree with you (this is weird, as I usually tend towards the opinion that the majority of AC comments are complete and utter bollocks). N900 is by far the best device I've ever had in my pocket.

Nokia: please no Winmo7 and please no Android (for the above-mentioned donkey-related reason).

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Go

Steven Elop Is One Of the Greatest

..comedians.

"As we’ve described the Symbian momentum that we have today; a consideration of shift of ecosystem, certainly you have to consider that potential of market share changes"

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Anonymous Coward

Of course this s a PR campaign

This what happens when you get softies into a company. All they know is PR. Try to innovate for a change. Oh, and MS's MoPho is sh*t.

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FAIL

Makes sense to me

Phones nobody wants with an OS nobody wants.

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Bronze badge

So what we're saying is that Nokia has hired a man who is, technically speaking, full of shit?

Not the first time.

Nokia, owner of Nokia Siemens Networks, hired an Auzzie/Brit, who - complete with buzzwords - managed to screw up a reasonably successful unit. I tried ozziegit@nsn.com, but it bounced. Maybe he's wisely moved on. Still, IIRC, the merger's only contractually got 2½ years left.

Windows? Not on MY 'phone. (Nokia N8-00)

Funnily enough I was having a chance chat with a bloke last night who is working with the MeeGo team. Coincidentally, hours after I'd bricked my Asus701 with loading it (v.1.1, worked on the stick, then didn't). Works sometimes, not-at -all others, and he reckoned the rival Android was the way to go.

He has a point.

Windows? Lockdown? Synonyms?? Think it'll be the final nail for Nokia's dominance if they go that route. Elop? Maybe not such a good choice after all.

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Gates Horns

Sad to reflect...

That Elop was, and probably still is, a Microsoft man. And once captured by The Beast, I suspect it's awfully hard to get away (you can run but you can't hide).

But if he makes Nokia go WP7-only on their smartphone range, as some are predicting and for sure this is what his speech reads like, I for one won't be buying any more Nokia smartphones (currently use an N95 and am going to N8) because WP7 sucks big-time.

February 11 might be Nokia's "day of infamy" if this occurs. I'm not much looking forward to hearing what Elop has to say...

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Flame

Oh hell no no

Years ago I was very happy and impressed that Ollila, the long time chief at Nokia, was able to fend off Microsoft.

Ballmer visited Helsinki three times without results.

The funny thing here is that both companies have similar problems, both paralysed to some extent and run bye happy people who fell a sleep years ago at work.

Still, mixing two failures together cannot solve any problems.

Nokia has lots of assets, like Qt, Meego and the know hove when it comes to produce quality

stuff at a profit.

I do hope Elop was not planted into Nokia to destroy it.

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Worst. Advice. Ever.

There was one smartphone maker that heeded that kind of advice some time ago. I think they called 'em Palm. Look what happened!

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Coat

I'll just leave this here

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/06/microsofts_masterplan_to_screw_phone/

Also, the pr campaign thing from adv ^

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Anonymous Coward

Lack of clarity

I've increasingly come to understand that it's really the techies' job to translate from techie-ese to normal-people-ese when appropriate. Some techies just can't do it, so you don't let them talk to non-techies. You can get away with that if their numbers remain limited because their core business isn't in the talking. The rest, well, they probably could use some practice and should make it a habit to find ever better ways to express what's going on so that it's both understandable and correct enough for the purpose.

This doesn't stop with the techies, of course. Each profession, even as vapid as sales and marketeering, needs to work at translating from their jargon to "normal". For management, this goes even more so, as organizing is impossible without communicating. You could make a case that managers that spout nothing but buzzwords ought to be fired on the spot.

That in turn must go doubly so for the top brass, responsible for strategic vision. If the direction they're proposing to take the company in isn't a vision but a wooly word salad designed to hide the fact that the company is going nowhere in a hurry, then you know they're not fit for purpose, unless that purpose is to take the company nowhere in a hurry.

It was clear that nokia managed to hang itself on its internal structure. To fix that you need more than just a vision. You need someone who understands structure and can renovate it.

I now certainly fail to see that Elop has what it takes to steer nokia out of this mess. Instead he appears to go for a repeat of the symbian debacle, except the entering conditions are a lot worse. Is that the silver bullet? This isn't hollywood, so I doubt it.

In fact, reading those 15 snippets, I see he's doing what they did earlier, and that's waffling about an "ecosystem", that I take to mean he's after what we usually call /mindshare/. Of course he's after that, but the thrust appears to be marketing-led, and lacking in enabling technology. Which stands to reason because of the massive failure to even create, nevermind steer, symbian as an open-source movement.

Thinking back to Andrew's analysis series, they didn't because they treated this to-be-community in exactly the same way they treated their symbian partners before that. Smile, smile, stab in the back.

That just doesn't work if you'd like to attract technically competent people to tinker with and share source code. Open Source works because everybody gets to reap the benefits of the extra value in summing the parts. nokia clearly wasn't interested in sharing in that sense. It means they inherently suck at this community building thing.

Now he's likely to be abandoning symbian but with the waffling he's doing he's not taking the lessons to heart. They haven't been understood. It's just, "that didn't work", not "it didn't work because we were too heavy handed about it". I see nothing that might spell recognition that gaining mindshare just doesn't work that way.

Ovi seems to've been much of the same. Though nokia certainly wasn't the only one to try and fill the "app store tick mark". But I don't think app stores work that way. Apple certainly didn't set it up for that. It set it up for its own reasons; because it plays a key role in their vision. Elop doesn't appear to have much of a vision, nevermind one he can communicate.

So instead this analyst tells them to "buy" mindshare by partnering with redmond. Who incidentally are just about the biggest "nih"-afflicted bunch on the planet, so bemoaning nokia for that is, er, interesting. Do I really need to mention Danger here again?

Frankly, I haven't the faintest if that'll work. From this analyst's perspective, it apparently makes sense. To me, it only makes sense in the sense that Elop is from there and therefore has the connections to try and make it happen. But it doesn't seem to offer that je ne sais quoi, that something extra that might give you the edge to take the lead and shape the market. But to me, nokia already tried its hand at this shaping thing, with symbian, and had a nice thing going right until it turned out they botched it. Their second string, meego, similarly but in a different fashion, remains shapeless.

To me that letter reads a bit like an unusually well-written letter by the lads from lagos. It will prove a hurdle to score again on what once was nokia's selling point, but has since been outdone by apple: A good or even great user experience on reasonably solid hardware. I don't think it can be bought by bandwagoneering on another mediocre and so far self-admittedly insignificant product.

It might all make perfect sense to a financial analyst. But much like the pension funds(!) of yore turned hostile take-over raiders, that made it a sport to dismantle companies to sell the parts for scrap because trading future growth for immediate gain made sense if you only looked at that immediate gain, I think he perhaps doesn't have the background to understand product differentiation on this scale. You know, the vision thing, that driving force that that other Steve regularly and seemingly effortlessly manages to distort reality with.

But he might just hit that brainwave with Steve and Stephen. I'm afraid that's a real possibility.

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Bronze badge

@AC

THAT message should be merged into the original article, somehow.

Well put, Sir.

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Black Helicopters

Uhmmm

This idea had been floated and if you look beyond the OS of the phone, there is some merit to the argument.

Its not a new argument and its interesting to see that its actually found some traction in the financial community.

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Silver badge

Jaysus....

Nokia were once the driver of the phone market. The only way to ever get back there is to start driving it again. For that they need maemo/meego.

It's that simple.

Signing up with MS would be the last straw for a lot of people. Nokia always did things their way, and their way was great. The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of models they sell, all very similar and all equaly behind the curve. Make something new, pretty, slim and meego based. Please.

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WTF?

No Win7 ! I like my memory card!

No Win7 ! I like my memory card! and a lot of other things that Win7 restricts. Nokia don't do it!

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