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back to article Wake up, Uncle Fester! Huawei’s nattering about BUYING Nokia

Chinese dragon Huawei says it has “no plans” to buy Nokia, Europe’s biggest technology company – but it didn’t challenge reports that triggered the story. The FT found Huawei’s consumer electronics chief Richard Yu musing on a takeover of Nokia. If alarm bells aren’t ringing in Redmond, they should be. Yu may think that – but …

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The biggest obstacle to buying a winphone

is the win bit.

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Re: The biggest obstacle to buying a winphone

i'd say it's the "doze" part.

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I'm fairly impressed with their Ascend W1, which has a build quality belying it's extremely modest price point.

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Anonymous Coward

"I'm fairly impressed with their Ascend W1"

Shame it's a winphone. Is there an Android equivalent?

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Current events

And only minutes later, the WSJ announces that Microsoft is no longer interested in a takeover of Nokia.

Does this mean that, as far as Microsoft is concerned, they would not intervene when Huawei decides to put in an offer? If so, they must realise that under new ownership, Nokia is unlikely to remain a WP exclusive customer. If Nokia falls (one way or another), what future does WP have? I mean, it's one thing having an OS that people seem to like, quite another to not have any hardware to run it on.

So if MS is OK with NOK going AWOL, I guess it's FO for WP?

I remember hearing how Bill Gates was always paranoid about some competitor coming out of left-field and destroying Microsoft, at least in the early days. I guess he never saw phones as a risk until it was too late.

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Re: Current events

He never saw lots of things - the web, browsers, search engines, but to be fair they did a lot of work on early smartphones and tablets. Pocket PC was genuinely better I thought than the Palm (I could never take the monochrome over colour), but like IE 6, Windows Mobile and most of their established products, once they were in a dominant market leading position they left the product to stagnate and allowed the competition to easily pass them.

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Re: Current events

But there is no timestamp on that WSJ rumour. All it says that Microsoft were in talks with Nokia, talks broke down and hints at possible reasons but doesn't give anything substantial, every bit the rumour.

It could easily be the case that Microsoft did have talks but these talks were months ago, well before the Huawei news and that the Huawei news in fact might prompt Microsoft to do a 180. Currently keeping Nokia at arms length is the best thing for Microsoft and Nokia as it means they aren't sullied by the Surface debacle and still allows Microsoft to court other manufacturers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Current events

"I guess he never saw phones as a risk until it was too late."

"He never saw lots of things - the web, browsers, search engines"

Next fking obvious statement!

Of course everyone saw these things coming. Apparently everyone, except Bill Gates, can see into the future.

W O W!

Bloody Trolls. Stupid and stinky.

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Re: Current events

"Next fking obvious statement!

Of course everyone saw these things coming. Apparently everyone, except Bill Gates, can see into the future."

That's not fair.

When it was obvious to everyone else that the internet was going to take off, Gates still tried to push the closed MSN. Mosaic / Netscape had a big head start on the GUI browser due to that.

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Coat

So that NSA requested backdoors in Microsoft code will be backdoored by the Huawei bootloader?

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LDS
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There's no way an app can be written to run on any Windows device

That's what Apple had understood and never tried to merge OSX and iOS codebases and apps - a desktop system maybe with multiple large monitors is very different from a smartphone even with an 8" screen.

User expectation are very different. MS will just waste time trying to achieve it.

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Facepalm

Re: There's no way an app can be written to run on any Windows device

Err... They were not supposed to run on both Desktop and phone.

Microsoft's vision is that a tablet is a mini desktop screen, rather than an oversized phone. Thus you have Windows 8 running on tablets and desktops and Windows Phone 8 running on phones.

An iPad application is also different to an iPhone application. Just look at Facebook for the iPhone and for the iPad (I wish Android did this - Spotify and Facebook on my Infinity tablet are annoying as hell to use (to the extent that they are not used at all).

Whether it's better to treat a tablet as an oversized phone or an undersized desktop is open to discussion, but either way all companies know that there is a large difference between the desktop and the phone.

Maybe they will converge at some point, but no mater the OS it will rely on responsive design to get the interface flexible enough to work on all screen sizes (just like modern websites do...)

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Re: There's no way an app can be written to run on any Windows device

Which is why the UI on an iMac is not the same as the UI on an iPad and neither is the same as the UI on an iPhone. THREE classes of device, three different UIs. Not one size fits all, nor two sizes fit all. If Apple is smart, there's considerable amounts of common code underlying them, but the user doesn't care one way or the other. He just cares about having the right UI for the device and work to hand.

The mark for how badly MS has fscked up, is that I'm starting to sound like an Apple fanboi!

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Motorola isn't Nokia

The comparison between Google buying Motorola and the possibility of MS buying Nokia isn't really a true comparison. Whereas Motorola were at the time (and still are) a niche player on the Android scene, Nokia accounts for Samsung levels of sales of WP handsets. This is why none of the Android manufacturers were that fussed by Google's acquisition, but I'm guessing HTC would be a bit miffed if Ballmer bought a large chunk of Espo.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting contrast

Complete policy reversal with the XBox One which has serious competition, compared to a total contempt for desktop customers exhibited with Windows 8 which has almost no competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting contrast

it's called CAPITALISM - exploiting the market where you have leverage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: it's called CAPITALISM

I think you'll find that's called CAPITALISATION actually.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting contrast

"exploiting the market where you have leverage."

Actually I think you'll find in the case of Wintel desktops it was called corporate monopoly abuse. That's what various courts have said at various times anyway.

On the other hand, MS have little or no leverage to exploit in games machines, pocket computers, the server room, etc.

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Devil

"Unlike Android, he said, the Windows Phone mobile operating system requires a licence fee."

I thought that microsoft had managed to bully a few manufatures into signing licensing agreements?

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I thought that microsoft had managed to bully a few manufatures into signing licensing agreements?

I think there are certain features that require a license fee to include. (Long names on FAT32?) If so, you could leave these out on low end phones for markets where the licensing is needed.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Pity to see

In-artery vultures? Intriguing concept.

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Coat

Re: Pity to see

Yes… the vultures that get so under one's skin they enter the bloodstream and bite the hand that feeds IT … from within.

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Happy

Re: Pity to see

I hope that's not giving you guys dangerous ideas.

If the next SPB turns out to involve nanotechnology, or be a miniaturised submarine with Raquel Welch and a bunch of El Reg hacks on board, then we know there's trouble in store.

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Re: Pity to see

It's not a closed system, so they wouldn't be circulating. Circling perhaps?

If it wasn't for Microsoft, Nokia could well be toast already.

Did you ask Steve Ballmer out and he turned you down?

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If it wasn't for Microsoft, Nokia could well be toast already.

Not if they had carried on cleaning up Symbian and developing Meego, and actually offered the Pureview and N9 for sale.

I have seen no phone that would tempt me to replace my N8 (despite its flaws) from *any* manufacturer.

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Devil

Re: Pity to see

"Did you ask Steve Ballmer out and he turned you down?"

Nah. They went on the date. Steve had a wonderful time, Eadon did everything Steve wanted... and now Steve never writes, never calls, crosses the street when he sees Eadon coming, unfriended Eadon on FB, uncircled him on G+, blocked his Skype and Bing access...

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Real Applications Don't Run Everywhere

The thought that an app could be written to run on *any* Windows device is ludicrous.

It applies to pithy samples shown in Visual Studio demonstrations and really rubbish apps that want to be everywhere and don't work properly anywhere. For real applications, the entire U.I., at the very least, will have to be entirely redone.

You simply can't design an app for a phone and expect it to be useful on a desktop or vice versa.

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Re: Real Applications Don't Run Everywhere

Sure, have 3 different user interfaces to suit the form factors, but why does it need 3 different APIs?

What happens when someone comes out with a phone that can plug into a dock and become a tablet? Or a tablet that can plug into an external monitor, keyboard and mouse and become a desktop?

Do we install 3 different versions of the same application? Or just have one adapt its UI using a common palette of controls to the situation?

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Anonymous Coward

Really compelling devices like the Lumia 925 and perhaps the “Real PureView” 1000

None of them are compelling. Sorry.

Anything with a powered by windows phone sticker should be enough to run a mile. Especially when you can get better Android handsets for less.

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Re: Really compelling devices like the Lumia 925 and perhaps the “Real PureView” 1000

I agree with you on the high end devices but i recently purchased a Nokia 520 on a PAYG for £119, no android device would come close to the spec's of the 520 in camera ad screen size.

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Facepalm

Nokia's value is impaired

If somebody bought Nokia now they would find that on a "change of control" Microsoft got away with the value and they were left holding the obligations.

Nokia has value to nobody now.

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@ Mikel - Re: Nokia's value is impaired

>...

Nokia has value to nobody now.

<

I think that you might forget that Nokia isn't just mobile sales. There's a lot of mobile-relevant IP laying around in their filing cabinets.

A bit like Phillips, who aren't a big apparent CE player these days; they still live off Audio cassette licenses and, together with Sony, off anything remotely CD-related.

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Re: @ Mikel - Nokia's value is impaired

Nokia's patent portfolio has come up in some recent spats and doesn't look as compelling as it once was, especially as we move towards LTE. Obviously, there is still a lot there but much of the useful stuff is already FRAND so trying to hold the competition to ransom is not really an option as many recent court cases have illustrated.

The maps business is still worth something and they obviously still have some great product designers and engineers.

Markets are all a bit frothy at the moment due to the money printing (credit is cheap) and financial repression (bonds have negative real returns). All told Nokia should be worth more than Skype but could find itself bought for around the same price especially if cash is in involved. Definitely make or break year for Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Mikel - Nokia's value is impaired

"they still live off Audio cassette licenses "

Boy, they must be lean and mean then

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Mikel - Nokia's value is impaired

In case you didn't pay attention, Nokia has outsourced patents to patent-trolls like Intellectual Ventures and Mosaid who have no FRAND obligations towards anyone.

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Re: @ Mikel - Nokia's value is impaired

Nokia's patents they haven't let out to trolls are licensed to Microsoft on a binding, fully paid up perpetual license that survives a change in control of Nokia or the sale or transfer of the patent. In fact in a change of control Microsoft might get them outright as part of their partnership deal. Microsoft got that concession from Sendo, and with their own guy as signor on the Nokia side such a trivial term could be overlooked.

That means Microsoft doesn't have to buy Nokia to be safe from the patents, or maybe to get them. And since the point of buying them would be to sue Microsoft, Google or Apple, their value to any other buyer is nil. Google and Apple have enough patents to sue each other with unto the end of time - so much so that they're being told to reduce their patent claims to a few or get their whole suits thrown out, and nobody else has the kind of money for such a gamble, nor enough of a grudge.

Net/Net Nokia's patent portfolio is about as useful as teats on a boar.

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Unhappy

The Huawei/ Nokia situation

reminds me of the BenQ/ Siemens deal ~10 years ago.

Brand progression:

>Siemens

>BenQ-Siemens

>BenQ

>.

IP holding and trading seems to be the better way to do business than creating stuff.

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Urquhart?

"Yu may think that – but Microsoft couldn’t possibly comment."

Ho ho ho.

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Anonymous Coward

I hope so

Then we might see a decent phone OS put on Nokia hardware.

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Anonymous Coward

Strategy, Maybe Huawei is looking to force microsoft to sink a truck tonne of cash (they're probably quite aware that they'd never be able to buy Nokia due to Western Xenophobia/Paranoia/double standards [It's fine for America to spy on you, but not those Chinese])

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LPF

hmmm...

When all is said and done, I'd rather have the yanks spying on me than the chinese, at least in the USA there is outrage when people are caught spying on you, unlike chine where you get shot for talking and your organs sold on the black market!

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No legal ban possible

Nokia's in the EU and it is not possible to ban foreign takeovers the way they are done in the US. That said some kind of joint venture is more likely than an outright takeover. At the moment it's all just posturing and rumours from Wall Streeters hoping for fat commissions.

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Coat

Re: hmmm...

I don't want any of them f*&kers spying on me.

Mines the one with the FreedomBox in the pocket...

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Coat

"What Would Ballmer Do?"

Think I've seen that on a bumper sticker...

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Re: "What Would Ballmer Do?"

Did it have a picture of a flying chair?

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Happy

I'll probably get abuse for this but the Lumia 620 that I've just bought my daughter is a brilliant little phone. I tried many android based phones around the £150 mark and none of them could match the slickness and more importantly speed of the Lumia. My daughter loves it and like many people doesn't care what OS it runs as long as it can run Skype and a few other essential for life apps. I would like there to be a Movie Star Planet app, but at least because of this I always know where to find my Nexus, it's under her pillow.

More importantly for her it came in pink.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course you will be abused.

How could you do this to your child ?

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Anonymous Coward

Those nay sayers with no experience of the patform are the worst type to take advice from so are ignored.

However, winphone owners are not being supported properly and seeing as Apple wipes the arse of their iFolly owners, confidence in the winphnoe platform is diminished and sales will remain poor.

If MS want to play in the play ground, they need to go for it guns blazing and not dither around causing doubt. They need to get a broader range of apps to support other manufacturers products.

Until recently there was no iplayer for BEEB. And many apps are missing, (such as Philips TV Remote, Sky+, Sky Go,etc..)

Oi MS! Go hard or go home.

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