Re: Microsoft with knife in hand
@"I ain't Spartacus" you know nothing if you think Microsoft have not used their trojan horse, Elop, to destroy Nokia in order to pick the corpse of its patents, whilst removing a competitor.
I don't buy into conspiracy theories without some actual evidence. Nokia have a board of directors, who appointed Elop. Presumably they asked him what his plans were going to be? If not, he presumably asked them if they were happy before going public? HP's board sacked Apotheker for saying that he was going to destroy their PC business. That option was open to Nokia's board. They didn't take it, they aren't Microsoft appointees - so at this point your conspiracy theory falls apart. Unless you believe Microsoft have invented the mind control ray. In which case how come they've failed to use it on the people who hate Windows 8...
Symbian was thriving and growing until Elop killed it with his suicidal "Burning Platform" memo. It's a myth that Nokia were doing badly, they were doing pretty well, far better than Microsoft ever did in mobile.
Microsoft did pretty bloody well in mobile back in the day. They did the same as Apple, going from nothing to around half of smartphone sales in just a few years. If they hadn't sat on their laurels and stopped improving Windows Mobile they might have still been a main contender. Rather like Nokia with Symbian.
It's too much to go into here, but I saw a piece by an analyst who was a fan of Symbian (and not of Elop) and even his figures made Symbian look bad. Sure it was growing in sales terms, as its share of the fast growing smartphone market dropped - admittedly very slowly. But, whilst Symbian sales were growing, profits per handset were dropping. And they weren't that good to start with. They were only making a few euros profit per handset. Samsung and Apple make huge margins on their high-end phones. If you sell 50 million handsets at €10 profit each your business is much riskier than someone selling 5 million at €100 profit.
It may be that Nokia were actually selling a few, high margin, top-end phones, and then a ton of Symbian 'feature phones' at break-even.
Nokia's other problem has been that Chinese dumbphone manufacturers have finally managed to to beat Nokia on price - something Nokia had managed to avoid for years by brilliant manufacturing and supply chain management - even though their labour costs were much higher. Given this, it was sensible to assume that the €100-€200 feature-phone/cheap smartphone market might be about to go the same way. At which point manufacturing 50 million loss-making handsets becomes a horrible liability.
they [Nokia] are a humiliated hardware arm of Microsoft's Win 8 division. If you do not think Microsoft did that, you are weird in what you think, like most Microsoft apologists here.
No, not weird in what I think. I've just thought about it with as little prejudice as I can manage. If new evidence turns up to show MS have executed a brilliant 'Manchurian Candidate' strategy, I'll change my mind. Given how un-brilliant their current management appear to be, I'll stick to the cock-up (rather than conspiracy) theory. Particularly given how piss-poor Nokia's management have shown themselves to be over the last decade. Yes, they've had some great technology. But they've failed to even bring most of it to market, let alone make profits from it.
Whether Elop was right is impossible to say. But the idea that he took a successful company and ruined it is ridiculous. Nokia had been under-performing for years, and the market was finally catching up on their lead in all areas. Something had to change. Given they had nothing 'market ready' to show for all their huge R&D spending, it was either Android or Win Pho. Neither very attractive choices, but that's all they had left.
As for Surface, who knows? MS OEM partners don't seem to be able to innovate their way out of a wet paper bag, so MS need to either prod them or replace them. You might even argue they've stabbed Microsoft in the back, by their continual failure. If they can't keep MS happy, they'll deserve it if MS can outcompete them. They can't say they've not been warned. If it does happen, they can't claim that MS stabbed them in the back. And a knife in the chest is perfectly fair play, this is business...