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back to article It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones

Nokia will adopt Windows Mobile as its main smartphone platform in a wide-ranging agreement with Microsoft. But it's not as wide-ranging as it might have been: the two giants won't formalise the relationship by forming a joint venture or spin-out, and there's no mention of exclusivity on any of the many areas touched on by the …

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FAIL

Oh dear!

This needs 2 Fail! icons.

Nokia: too many handsets, too little development of Symbian

MS: Struggling since Windows CE to produce a decent mobile OS. 14 years and its still not right!

Fail, meet Fail.

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Joke

or..

"Operation 'Trojan Horse' complete Mr Ballmer. When do i return to the mothership?"

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Happy

What are you on about?

Go away troll. Nokia’s distribution will make Windows Phone 7 a top 3 platform. Also Nokia diversifies with WP7 as an OS. It's a win-win.

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no diversification

nokia killed symbian&meego. how can this be called diversification?

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Anonymous Coward

It's not a joke.

Or if it is, not the usual funny kind. Though I'd be surprised if anyone expected it would be.

I don't really have much to say on this; I've said most of it in the oversized comment in the last episode.

I really don't see how running back to the roost is to be visionary. Yes, nokia is pretty much aflame. But these aren't the doings of a decisive crisis manager. It's not salvaging what you have and kicking out the rot. It's a panicked knee-jerk and I don't think nokia will reap much from this. It's more of a placeholder kind of deal, but not one that does anything for nokia brand loyalty. At all.

Ballmer is happy because he just got promised some 50 million handsets.

And Elop? He's happy he can shake Ballmer's hand "as an equal".

I would've expected a shakeup in the UI/UX department, and, hm, the phone design dept. could use some refocusing too. It's not happening. What also isn't happening is a shakeup of the superstructure that caused nokia to mostly wage inter-department wars on each other, instead of doing what they used to be good at, before the restructuring.

Yet MeeGo (I've always thought that sounded suspiciously as if written with a T in there) gets to experience yet another leadership shakeup; I recall seeing a lot of job adverts for senior management and architecture positions in that division. Well, that didn't last long.

The irony of open sourcing meego on the heels of failing to open then closing symbian again -- to use it as a "licencing organisation" milking cow AFTER every other user of the system has bailed, wonderful timing that -- doesn't fill me with confidence.

If the nokians (not counting the brass) have any sense, they'll plaster Qt over wp7 as fast as can be, do all of the UI/UX stuff on that, then fix either or both of symbian and meego to run really really well under Qt, and basically make wp7 obsolete. I'm saying that as someone who loathes Qt because it's so big and bloated to compile on a desktop; it just means it's more work, but right now the only way out of the three OSes, no UX conundrum they're stuck in.

They can do that, but they'll have to pull a "two engineers in a corner" type trick. Like unix' early days, or even the heroics of the pacific tech graphing calculator. The people who have to do it don't get paid enough for it, as the people who do get paid enough aren't doing it.

So why would they? I don't see it. In fact, as pointed out here (sendo) it's much more likely nokia will cease to be this way or that way, with some juicy morsels ending up in redmond somehow. They're as destructive as yesteryear's pension funds, only differently so. I much sooner expect an exodus.

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Gates Halo

@hyartep

It can because Nokia was going down the drain with Symbian and Meego. Simples.

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FAIL

Bad Idea

Palm's failure is precisely why Nokia shouldn't have gone down this route. This is infinitely stupid and Elop should be fired before this has a chance to break Nokia!

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Anonymous Coward

Apples and Oranges

Palm was failing quite a long time before the switched their MS to Windows.

Unfortunately they switched to MS too late in my view, coupled with the fact that MS were not innovating enough with Win Mobile after an initial push. But it is different now and Win Mobile is a great OS, with an easy as pie interface for the dumbed down masses in our society whilst still having enough play and tweak in the engine room for the rest of us.

Also Nokia has failed badly with their software development. I have used both the E71 and E72 after coming off Win 6.1 and athough the handset is great the OS is cr@p and buggy and the sync with the new Ovi software permanently sucks 50% CPU and still they refuse to fix it for over y year.

Bottom line is that two negatives will make a positive in this case.

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FAIL

Try again

It took 7 weeks for 1.5 million WP7 handsets to be sold. With those numbers, they will sell 11 million handsets in 2011. Nokia sold 100 million smartphones in 2010; mostly running Symbian (Maemo is included in these numbers.) That means every week they sell over 13 million Symbian powered smartphones. That is more than WP7 will sell in all of 2011 at their current numbers. So Nokia goes from 100 million to battling for a piece of 11 million.

Investors are not happy with this announcement. When this fails, Elop will be known as Elop. I have a feeling that MeeGo is being kept as a backup plan. I have used Symbian phone exclusively for the past decade, the N8 will be my last and will migrate to Android. So the very thing that Elop is trying to compete with, his actions have caused me to defect. Great business plan there, alienate the current 100 million + customers you have.

I wonder when the investors will demand his ouster?

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Anonymous Coward

Down the drain?

In 2009 Nokia sold 67 million smartphones, in 2010 they sold over 100 million. Apple sold an additional 25 million from 2009 to 2010. It sure seems like Nokia was holding their own, their increase was higher than Apple. Q2 to Q3, Apple had 24.3 and 25% of the US market share, they pretty much peaked. After a few quarters with Verizon, they will be back to their peak again. Nokia could have held onto the #2 spot with ease, but not now with WP7 and that Symbian is gone. Who would even buy a Symbian powered device unless they got it for free with a contract?

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WTF?

Unhand the pipe!

You are a crack smoker. What lazy thinking. This turns a once amazing company like Nokia, renown for it's research, into just another commoditised hardware play. Cowardice, fear and a long drink of Koolaid have now placed Nokia 3 to 5 years behind and possibly cemented their future in all Business School Use case studies. someone has spent too much time worshipping Redmond.

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Flame

Re: @hyartep

"It can because Nokia was going down the drain with Symbian and Meego."

Do you even know what diversification means?

"Simples."

Evidently not.

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Jah
Unhappy

Shame Nokia wasted investment in the past

Nokia killed Hildon & their Series S90 line a while ago - these today would have given fruit to competitive media devices. Symbian is a capable platform but Nokia have not managed to exploit it and therefore its all too late now. Win Phone 7 won't give Nokia a differentiation in the long term. If I were CEO, I would keep Symbian and keep developing it and dig out some of the older developers and engineers that were the visionary types that gave us S80 and S90.

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FAIL

Shame Nokia Wasted Everything!

It's all just a crying shame.

Nokia could have had the world if only they had developed Symbian AND a great UI to go with it.

Instead, after that visionary collaboration with Psion, Motorola and Ericsson, Nokia pissed about for years, in the process pissing off their other partners.

Psion was just as bad, getting into bed with Motorola...

Year 2011: Remember Psion, that once great British company. Once lean and visionary, they used to produce hand helds way ahead of their time. They dared to take on (and should have won against) MS. Now they're just a MS bitch.

Year 2015: Remember Nokia, that once great global company. Once lean and visionary, they used to produce mobiles way ahead of their time. They dared to take on (and should have won against) MS. Now they're just a MS bitch.

Management consultancies being employed by incompetent committee style boardrooms who then listen to their recommendations = FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!

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WTF?

Should have been android

Seriously, is it some mark of status in the IT world to regard Google as your competitor ?

I think Nokia hardware is great, let down by their OS. An android N97 would be fantastic. But no, "Google is our competitor." says Nokia. Rubbish. HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony - they're the competition.

This will turn into a coalition of losers.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Odd decision as this is (and I'm a former life-long Nokia user who has defected to Winphone) but why would they go to Android? Particularly when it's a giant lawsuit about to explode in Google's face.

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FAIL

"let down by their OS"

No, it wasn't their OS that let them down, it was their lack of focus on UX and that has let them down. Far too concerned with transitioning to an 'internet services company'. Whatever the hell one of those is. Rampant complacency, silo mentality, and lack of a single coherent vision is where the problem lies.

"An android N97 would be fantastic" You think Android would've run any better on the N97 HW? It's some way short of even the now antique G1

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Terminator

The trouble with Nokia making Android phones...

...is that Smasung and HTC have been in that game a lot longer, and have an established user-base. For Nokia to compete against HTC and Smasung on their home turf would be economic suicide. WP7, on the other hand, is only a couple of months old (and already has a larger marketplace than Android had at this point in its own development). No manufacturer has a particularly well-established user base yet, so Nokia has a really good opportunity to make its own mark.

From Nokia's perspective, it makes sense to pick the OS ecosystem that they can best compete in - and Android simply isn't it; not because of any failings in Android, but because there are too many players who are too well established in the Android ecosystem.

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Won't happen

Stephen Elop is still on Microsofts payroll. It was inevitable that he would steer Nokia into Microsofts arms! All I can say is 'Bye bye Nokia. Was nice knowing you!'.

Microsoft will either eventually buy them or destroy them and then buy them! Or maybe just destroy them because it won't be the first time they have written into the contract that if the partner goes bust all their IP belongs to Microsoft (Sendo anyone?).

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Silver badge

The funny part

Is why Nokia perceived Android as the enemy. They could have taken the source and moulded it in their own image. They could have skinned it to look Symbian-ish for ease of migration, they could have made Ovi pervasive through all the whole experience, they could have made handsets in any way, shape or form they cared,

By chumming up with Microsoft now they just become one more provider of virtually identical handsets. I'm sure the OS allows moderate customization but nothing like the cart blanche they had at their disposal. I think the partnership will result in a serious loss of identity for Nokia which is probably not the best thing to be contemplating for a company that relies on it so much.

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Market Differentiation

If they use Android, it is harder to differentiate their product from the rest, their brand also becomes dialuted. Thats why they attempted to produce their own OS, which is not easy despite what all the techies on The Reg seem to believe.

Nokia using Windows Phone is a way for them to sell Smart Phones in the growing smart phone market and be competitive in the long run Meego/symbian might pull something magical out (the next phase). Where Nokia hjas been strongest is in mobile phone sales and that's why they have decided to separate the business into two sections.

It is quite a savvy business strategy move which may pay off, if it doesnt then they can just dissolve that half of the business and it will have little impact on its stronger section the mobile phone one.

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Wow - short sighted

Android is a competitor, open source and free doesnt mean that there isnt any drawbacks. All it would take is a new CEo at google or a major court ruling that would mean Google have to find revenue elsewhere and then there is a lot of people who would have tied their lively hoods to them. The only likely survior would be HTC who have diversified their portfolio.

This is very similar to the rise of China, they make cheap items which everyone can benefit from and a lot of countries have banked their businesses on getting manufacturing done there. Now China have got them by balls and very soon (with all the new international Chinese students studying around the world) they will learn from their 'competitors' and eventually cut them out. Do their own R&D and design (Nexus One).

Im not saying don't use Android, I'm just saying don't act they are the holy grail

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Dead Vulture

New Icon

Can you replace "REG" on the gravestone with NOKIA ?

Of course, this might not be necessary if Microsoft can provide funding for Nokia until 2013 - about the time when they will have a stable processor (hence energy) efficient OS for smartphones...

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Thumb Down

Two has-beens going down together...

Their boat'll probably probably float on for for a while but I can't really see two companies with obvious bureaucracy issues improving matter by combining said bureaucracies. That they couldn't agree on exclusivity is both a sign of and a precursor to more bureaucracy. Shame really, both companies have achieved a lot over the years.

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Such a pity

Nokia used to make such good phones, but they failed to modernise them, such a pity. Now they plan to join up with one of the dinosaurs of the computer industry - which seems a terrible mistake. I don't think I could bring myself to buy a Nokia phone knowing that it had Windows inside.

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Jobs Halo

Pregnant Pause

MS have only been having a pregnant pause, and so have Nokia. Just wait a while and their children will be born and will grow and blossom into little darlings finally. It's so exciting, I am almost wetting my knickers!

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Caveat emptor

I was working at Ericsson when a similar tie up was announced with Microsoft. That went no where, basically because the philosophies of the two companies were miles apart(i.e co-operation vs infiltrate, assimilate, destroy).

Of course things have changed a bit since then,. the ego's of both Nokia and Microsoft have taken a battering in recent years. Also with the top man in Nokia now being headed by a Microsoft man then maybe they will work together better.

However companies like Nokia are funny beasts, they are more like extensions of national culture a.k.a Finnish than multi-national companies and I can't see this going down well in the halls of Helsinki or Oulu. No wonder the CEO wants to move the head quarters to the states.

The biggest danger to Nokia is that they will become just another phone clone company, beholden to an alien operating system which they have limited control over but without the low cost base of some SE asia companies. Somehow I can't see this ending well

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Really?

I've been quite a fan of Microsoft over the years having based my career around them and their OSs. However this really smacks of desperation on the part of Nokia. A once innovative company has been reduced to making allegiances with the also ran of the smart phone world.

What a shame.

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So Nokia are now a design studio

Their product runs somebody else's OS, their product is (mostly?) made abroad, all they do is tweak and sketch.

Lovely.

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FAIL

No..

All they do is have endless re-orgs and planning meetings. That has been the problem all along. Now at least, the don't have to worry about product development eating into their precious meetings time.

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FAIL

Design Studio...

...with a recent history of poor designs.

There was a time where I'd have bought *nothing* but a Nokia - now I'd pretty much by anything but.

For me the high point was the 6310i - every step since has been backwards and they're a long long way behind now.

I use an iPhone now, and have just bought my son an Android HTC handset. The iPhone is superb, the HTC isn't bad but neither Nokia or WP7 even figured on my "ones to consider" list. :-(

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Silver badge

Somebody else's OS is better than their own

Problem with Nokia is the left hand doesn't appear to know or care what the right hand is doing. They've got mouldy old Symbian chugging along in one range of handsets while they have modern but doomed-to-fail Meego on the other.

Neither is going to work for Nokia, and Windows Phone is a superior OS. On the other hand, Nokia is now in the same boat as HTC & Samsung churning out generic WP7 phones. They're Microsoft's bitch jumping to the user experience and specifications that MS dictate. Where is the brand identity in that strategy? Where is the money in that strategy when HTC & Samsung probably have lower cost bases?

I seriously think if Nokia were to partner up with anyone it should have been HP. Failing that, go with Android where the the OS acts more as a framework to hang their own identity and they have enormous latitude to do whatever they like in software and hardware.

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Happy

Almost perfectly correct

Except the highpoint was either the 6310 or even more probably the 6210, in both cases without the 'i'.

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Unhappy

Re: So Nokia are now a design studio

I'm afraid so, GrumpyJoe.

I still have my old 6670, with "Made in Finland" printed on it. My best smartphone ever, I think.

Daniel

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Go

HP not an option?

They bought Palm, You really think they want to take that and fragment it by adding a third name to the list? HP|Palm|Nokia?? I don't think so!

This is the best move they could have made, Nokia was historically a favorite because of user experience and ease of use, that kindof got lost as phones got smarter and more and more features were desired by customers, Windows Phone 7 enables them to go back to their roots, remember the NaviKey? The WinPho7 interface is simplicity itself and a joy to use, I am a little tempted by the Pre3 but I have BTDT with the Pre and it doesn't look different enough to warrant me going back from a platform I really like!

Tried android, wasn't keen, even with HTC Sense, and I have NEVER like iOS so this move is music to my ears, at least gives me hope that my next phone can be a WinPho7 one too!!

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FAIL

Extra-Super-Duper-Mega FAIL!

Uhm... Symbian, then Maemo and also Symbian, then they said "no more Symbian", then a single Maemo phone, then more Symbian, then Meego (the "Duke Nukem Forever" of phone operating systems) , and now Win7?

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with F. **CAPITAL FAIL**

So now we have the two losers of the phone market, one of which has been the leader for years, that think that joining their forces they can fly again. I bet they will simply sink faster.

Even if my icon does not show a coat, mine is the one with a new Android phone in the pocket.

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FAIL

Nokia R.I.P

You just did a Motorola, and killed your smartphone business. You went from a burning platform to another burning platform.

No doubt your ex-Microsoft CEO had something to do with this decision, I wonder where his priorities were...

Microsoft only look after Microsoft, they don't give a rats ass what happens to Nokia, who by the end of this will be an empty shell of their former selves. Microsoft will have gotten what they wanted out of it (WP7 not sinking without a trace) and Nokia will be scrabbling around as a bottom-feeder picking up the pieces.

I'm betting 3 years from now, they will be desperate to join OHA (if they shareholders haven't revolted by then)

This decision will be seen as the key demise of Nokia several years from now.

Congratulations Stephen Elop , your true masters back in Redmond will be most pleased.

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RIP Nokia

Microsoft infiltrates and destroys another great company.

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Anonymous Coward

fixed

Microsoft infiltrates and destroys another (once) great company.

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Gates Halo

Re: RIP Nokia

Err? Nokia seemed to be doing that anyway...

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FAIL

Stockmarket reaction

As I speak, on the Euronext Nokia is down about 9% and Microsoft up 3%, which is what anyone would expect: Nokia finally admitting defeat and Microsoft's mobile division getting supercharged.

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FAIL

Good News For Me!

This is great news for me...no point me waiting to see if the MeeGo N9 actually gets announced as a Communicator replacement (yes, I'm still using my 4 year-old E90) I can just wait for the E7 to come out and compare it with the HTC Desire Z, the only other Communicator-like device on the market!

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E90

I too gave up waiting for a decent replacement for my E90 and bought a Motorola Milestone instead. And I'm certainly not the only ex-Symbian user to move that way...

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After this announcement I think I am going to join you

I will probably keep my current E71 as an "embedded SAT NAV".

However, for proper phone use it looks like I will be surrendering to the inevitable "Have a no, but yes, but no "Little Britain Java (TM)" phone. Probably from the company which already got burned on one MSFT alliance once upon a time - Sony/Ericson.

R.I.P. for a once great European company which was showing to the world that it is possible to do great stuff even if your employees are on a "lifetime, I will never get fired" payroll.

It is a pity the consultants which have designed its current management structure, current innovation (or lack of) strategy, current HR and performance management to support it will not be the ones to foot the bill for this. It is also a given that the many "declining market share once-been" blue chips which have taken the advice of the same consulting shops will not take any lessons from this either.

Sigh... While expected and anticipated this is an utterly depressing day...

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bought a milestone for the missus

now it's either the dezireZ or milestone2 that i'm considering to replace my 6 year old 9300.

as a long time nokia user, i'm disgusted.

the n900 will remain the "smartest" phone that nokia ever built.

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Silver badge
FAIL

R.I.P. Qt

One day telling devs this is the one framework you need, next day it's in the thrash...

You can only hope Meego with Qt and FOSS behind it can come up with a good platform, but you need a big company and a whole ecosystem behind it.

FAIL it is :/

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Qt still alive - though why would you use it now?

Forum Nokia has a letter to developers about the future of Qt...

"Qt will continue to be the development framework for Symbian and Nokia will use Symbian for further devices; continuing to develop strategic applications in Qt for Symbian platform and encouraging application developers to do the same."

"Extending the scope of Qt further will be our first MeeGo-related open source device, which we plan to ship later this year."

So Nokia's single, unified development platform that means developers only need to write once for all Nokia/other adopter phones...means just the low-end Symbian and probably a single MeeGo iPad clone (followed by a swift death for MeeGo).

And this will make people adopt Qt because...?

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Zombie framework on a zombie OS...

Fantastic idea...

Unless it is picked up by one of the many companies which have their business strategy built around webkit and qt-embedded this means that it needs a RIP stone as well.

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Dead Vulture

Qt is dead

... on Symbian, because Symbian is moving to that segment of the market where people do not or cannot spend money on phone hardware. How much money are these people going to spend on software?

... on MeeGo because MeeGo is dead

... and on all other platforms too because Qt is now not essential anymore to Nokia's core business. Nokia will keep paying for Open Source software on PC platforms?

... and because it now cannot make the transition to mobile.

Qt is dead.

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