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back to article Robocars, backseat fun, satnav 2.0: Meet the bit of Nokia Microsoft didn't buy

Nokia has sold its phone-making wing to Microsoft, heaving off the division that made it one of the most recognised brands on the planet. But that doesn't mean it's out of the hardware game. Executive vice-president Michael Halbherr told El Reg what to expect, as well as commenting on the progress of Windows 8, Steve Ballmer's …

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JDX
Gold badge

"We will still surprise people with leading-edge hardware."

As in, it'll be a surprise if they produce anything leading-edge?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "We will still surprise people with leading-edge hardware."

Kind of a snarky comment.

While I don't care for the name HERE, they are the leaders in the map biz.

(You just don't know it...)

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Re: "We will still surprise people with leading-edge hardware."

Well Apple, Samsung and the others certainly aren't

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Anonymous Coward

Maps?

Mercedes are using Nokia maps, except in the video where they show the openstreet map editor JOSM used on Ubuntu.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maps?

Mercedes isn't the only one using Nokia HERE (Navteq) maps. ;-)

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Interesting

It looks as if Ballmer, in an attempt to keep trying to catch the boat he missed, has neglected to look at the yacht next door all set and ready to sail, just looking a bit unseaworthy and in need of some bodywork.

This is Ballmer's issue - he cannot see the future he can only keep trying the past. Sure this thingy of Nokia's is high risk, it could well fail, but it could well be The Next Big Thing(tm). Getting in at the beginning is how you win, but you have to take the chance to make it happen.

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Silver badge

Re: Interesting

There's a bit of a difference between replacing a dashboard with a few semi-smart Helvetica-ish widgets, making a self-driving car, and inventing a virtual personal assistant who can do useful work for you while you're driving.

If Nokia think the first is innovation, they're already behind the curve.

But maybe I'm biased - I think anyone who uses 'concept' as a verb should be removed from the gene pool.

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WTF?

Now I'm Completely Confused

You mean Nokia sold Nokia but is still Nokia and kept Nokia?

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Re: Now I'm Completely Confused

Nokia is like Rolls-Royce, some bits got spun off, some bits got sold off, a few bits carry the Rolls-Royce name even though it's not really Rolls-Royce.

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Re: Now I'm Completely Confused

It's Nokias all the way down!

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Pint

Re: Now I'm Completely Confused

Nokia sold its cell phone wing and is now Nokia without cell phones but with NSN with some 50-60.000 emplyees (http://nsn.com/), HERE and a fairly extensive number of patents. Who knows, perhaps it was as well to get rid of the cell phones. Time will tell, perhaps.

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Re: Now I'm Completely Confused

Rolls-Royce etc. etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Nokia, Nokia, who's there?

Nokia, Nokia, who's there?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia without cell phones

Is that even possible?

Time will tell.

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FAIL

Convergence

We will see convergence with smartphones, not some dedicated hardware. I imagine pluging my smartphone on a dock and the car interacting with it, not the way around.

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UnConvergence

I imagine pluging my smartphone on a dock and the car interacting with it, not the way around.

I don't want to imagine that, because then I would have to remember to fish the phone out of my trousers pocket every time I sit at the wheel. In fact, it is already very inconvenient if I have sat down and then find I need the phone. Squirming and twisting ensues.

Of course the car could communicate wirelessly with the phone, but then we have a battery life problem. Running the navigator etc. takes a lot of juice, and the GPS reception in my pocket while sitting at the wheel is probably not ideal.

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FAIL

Re: UnConvergence

You can always charge wirelessly your smartphone's battery but, like it did happen before, having something so close to your privates that can explode, I don't think its a good idea...

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Angel

Re: Convergence

I imagine pluging my smartphone on a dock and the car interacting with it, not the way around.

That's what we always used to do with car kits for mobiles, before everything became Bluetooth.

I had the very excellent Nokia 6310i with the CARK-91 car kit. That had a cradle that held the phone where it could be seen and provided not only hands-free audio but also and external antenna (excellent signal, even in a motorized faraday cage) and power (I hadly ever had to connect a charger to the phone because the drive to and from work kept it topped up, and the battery was good enough to last over the weekend).

A similar arrangement in which the phone provided enterntainment and navigation services as well as calls is easy to imagine, and should work very well.

It would be more convenient if everything could be done wirelessly, but connecting power and antenna signals (for the phone and for the GPS) by wire is going to be easier and more effective -- and I could live with the inconvenience.

I just hope that if something like this does happen the manufacturers will come up with a standard cradle/fitting so that all phones from all makers can use the same kit.

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Meh

Re: Convergence

Convergence for me will go well beyond the smartphone thing, the Cannonical idea of having your desktop on your smartphone along the usual features its the next mobile computing, IMHO.

"I just hope that if something like this does happen the manufacturers will come up with a standard cradle/fitting so that all phones from all makers can use the same kit."

Maybe, but right now they insist in having an Apple connector and ignore Android, providing an USB connector only...

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Boffin

Re: UnConvergence

Since I favor Bluetooth over Wi-Fi, maybe using the VDP profile (see https://developer.bluetooth.org/TechnologyOverview/Pages/GAVDP.aspx), streaming the display content to the car would allow the wireless operation that you want. If it was a Symbian phone I know that the battery would last longer but the OS it's now history...

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Windows

Re: Convergence

@dajames

"A similar arrangement in which the phone provided enterntainment and navigation services as well as calls is easy to imagine, and should work very well."

Then add a desk dock so when you plug the phone in at work or at home, it kicks up an Office style desktop UI and applications on a 1080p monitor. That'd sort me out completely.

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I for one...

Wish our new Finnish Nokia well!

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Apple and Android fanboi's are far too quick to dismiss Nokia. Nokia Maps is fantastic and don't forget the pureview camera tech in the Lumia 1020. That right there is leading edge.

Can you imagine a compact camera with that same pureview system? With a compact camera's much larger sensor in comparison to a phone sensor, the picture quality would rival that of an DSLR.

Also Nokia is leading the research into Graphene, which is supposed to transform the tech sector in a few years. Now that they've shed the financial black hole, they're in a position to be a highly profitable company that'll create a lot of desirable tech and patents.

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Which Nokia Maps is Fantastic? Brings out N95 with Nokia maps on it. It's not great. I've got Tomtom from the same era. Tomtom mostly got you there. N95 Mostly didn't.

I tried go recently, same thing.

Go would be ok if you could pay £2.99 and cache for example the UK maps for a year, with updates over Wifi.

This data on all the time maps are fine, except when you're not on an all you can eat data plan, or there is no data. Tunnels, planes, deserts....

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Silver badge

So, based on your experience of a five year old product, the current offering isn't any good?

" This data on all the time maps are fine, except when you're not on an all you can eat data plan, or there is no data. Tunnels, planes, deserts.. "

Yes, and that's why Nokia's mapping is the only one that works properly when you've no data connection. You download whole countries, including the navigation and routing information, into the phone so that you can use it when abroad, or out of signal.

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Size is important.

Can you imagine a compact camera with that same pureview system? With a compact camera's much larger sensor in comparison to a phone sensor, the picture quality would rival that of an DSLR.

Well, no ... because DSLRs have much better optics ... or, rather, can have much better optics than any smaller device built to sell in the same price range.

Lens design is tricky, and involves compromises at all levels. The more constraints you apply the less able a lens is to meet any one of them ... and physical size is a constraint (just like cost, the ability to zoom, the abilty to focus at different distances, the ability to focus different colours at the the same time, etc.).

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Normal Nokia, nothing to see here.. ;0)

The disposal of the no longer performing/no longer core phones business is what Nokia has done always.

Rubber boots? Out!

Cables? Out!

Tyres? Out! (Nokian Tyres)

Tellys? Out! (Sold to Viewsonic)

Firewall appliances and VPN? Out! (Sold to Check Point)

Phones? Out! (And you can have Ms. Harlow & Mr Elop too!)

Nokia has always renewed itself.

For real fun, watch the press conference about the phone sale to Microsoft.

--->Who is on stage smiling and running the show - the Finns :0)

---> Who is called onto the stage with his "prepared remarks" and looks a little sour? - Outgoing CEO.

Note to Michael Halbherr - you are flavour of the month now, this won't last.

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Re: Normal Nokia, nothing to see here.. ;0)

And remember they started off life as a paper manufacturer.

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