Feeds

back to article What can Microsoft learn from 'discontinued operations' at Nokia?

"Nokia has commenced reporting substantially all of its Devices & Services business as discontinued operations", the company noted dryly in its earnings report last week. The numbers didn't paint a picture Microsoft would have wanted. Lumia sales fell back after four consecutive quarters of growth, having doubled in the past …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

It's difficult to see what Microsoft can do with the Nokia brand. They have a glacial rate of progress with the OS, to the point where the recent Black update implemented features Nokia have been complaining were lacking. They don’t have the R&D team coming up with stuff like pureview and as Elop in his eternal wisdom dismissed the R&D teams at Nokia, they’ll have a hard time bringing together the kind of talent they are going to need. Microsoft are trying to do everything but I can’t help but feel their internal politics could see this wither on the vine.

The one hope might be that Microsoft can keep development going and put out handsets with thin margins to claw back some market space and mind share. But they desperately need to kick things into at least first gear.

14
1
Silver badge

For me the rot set in even before Elop.

Nokia were never really bleeding edge, but they made good reliable phones for most of the 10+ years I owned them, right up until the last couple of years when the lack of updates to known bugs (or allowing the carriers to customise, and in effect blocking bug fixes) crippled Symbian phones. The N95 for example, was actually a good phone if you jumped through all the hoops to reflash the model number to generic Euro so you could get the updates direct from Nokia. Unfortunately Joe Public didn't know (or what to know) this, so he was stuck with the carrier branded firmware the phone arrived with. Unfortunately the OTA update ability of the N95 seemed to coincide with Nokia developing a "It's okay, we know it's got bug, we can ship it, we'll fix it OTA later"... Which of course they couldn't if you had a carrier branded phone. For some reason, even non UK carrier branded handsets had a weird UK firmware, which caused any firmware updates to be delayed just getting over the border.

Things were not learnt (by them or me!), so when the N97 arrived with a touch screen lashed onto Symbian, and an incredibly generous 32gig of storage plus microSD, it had horrendous bugs. Unfortunately even flashing to generic Euro didn't help this time as Nokia had got your money, and didn't seem to give a hoot about the bugs any more. One of the more major ones for me was the terrible GPS. Various hardware modifications to the antenna failed to improve things, leaving the conclusion that there were serious hardware/software problems deeper inside.. Support dried up before the mobile contract finished, and I even managed to get censored on the Nokia support forums for "disrespecting Nokia" for pointing out that if they didn't support customers they would soon have nobody to support, and therefore no job!

Oh how I laughed 6 months down the line when Elop arrived and proceeded to dismantle the company from the inside.

The N97 was the last phone I bought in a contract bundle, and also the first I abandoned before the contract was over. It was replaced by a phone purchased outright..

It was Android, and so was my next one, and so is my tablet, and my old tablet which has been handed down to my mother. Both my brothers now have Nexus 5's... My mother is still using an old Nokia N70 I gave her many years ago, but she wants a better camera for the grand kids... Not 100% sure which one I'll buy her, but it'll be running the same OS as the tablet she has got used to.

"Treat them mean and keep them keen" is not a good motto for business.

2
0
Silver badge

The n900 is the last nokia phone I bought (well I did get a 100 recently but that's an emergancy phone). the new jolla looks interesting....

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

WP is an albatross

It doesn't pull in the customers who are interested in the OS (it actually pushes them away) and it pushes up the hardware specs and therefore the price. Elop chose to lose money on each 520 to get it into customers' hands so at least he could claim some market share.

The vast majority of people who buy a 520 would probably just be just as happy with an S40 Touch or Asha model which would be profitable at that price point, but of course they hardly know that these phones exist in the UK market, thanks once again to Elop.

Unsurprisingly Nokia put Microkia under a 'stick a fork in it, it's done' heading as soon as they could.

13
11
Bronze badge

Re: WP is an albatross @Dan55

"Microkia" ?

Mokia, surely ?

13
0

Re: WP is an albatross @Dan55

Nokisoft?

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: WP is an albatross @Dan55

Is it me or does Nokisoft sound slightly rude...?

0
0

Re: WP is an albatross @Dan55

Mi-CROAK-ia...

4
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: WP is an albatross @Dan55

NoSoft?

1
0
Bronze badge
Coat

Dead Platform

That it should can Windows Phone asap or else will have to cough up heavily.

Selling phones at a very low margin in great numbers means you are an elcheapo company ... people who have a budget to choose a phone, like myself, would never even consider the abortion that is Windows Phone.

11
13
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

Windows Phone has it's space - especially in the corporate / enterprise market - it's far more secure and efficent than Andoid and without any of the associated malware problems (99% of all Mobile malware is on Android - none on Windows Phone!) - and WP has a much better UI - with great social network integration.

Now that Windows Phone market share growth has taken it ahead of iPhone market share in several countries and over 10% share in the EU big 5, It's getting the application support that was previously lacking. There is very little missing now from the most commonly used apps. I expect that growth will continue - the next big step up will be the release of the 'Enterprise Feature Pack' in Q2 2014 which will enable functionality like VPNs aimed at large corporates...

12
28

Re: Re: Dead Platform

Windows Phone has it's space - especially in the corporate / enterprise market

Hah! Allow me to laugh at you bitterly. Where is the promised VPN? It's been promised since the beginning. Where is some good 1st party application suite? Option to un-sandbox some/all applications and adding a file explorer? Installing applications outside of the store is pain in the back, not to mention the necessity to have a live.com account to use the smartphone features, few as they are, which immediately starts uploading all your contacts, calendar and all that to Microsoft's power-of-the-cloud servers. I still have a very long list of shortcomings of WP8, some of them are pretty major.

The OS is trying to look like an enterprise OS, at the same time it's trying to look like "cool" OS and manages to do neither well enough to say that it's better than Windows Mobile. You can guess why it's WM being used in some handheld terminals, not WP. The system is incomplete (or immature) and considering the current update speed, it will take Microsoft about 5 years to make it at least as feature-rich as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile or Symbian.

You talk exactly as every WP fan. "It looks pretty and look at the Fecesbook! More WP than iOS in Uzbekistan!" Sickening.

16
6

Re: Dead Platform

Selling phones at a very low margin in great numbers means you are an elcheapo company

Negative margin, in fact - each Lumia sale generated an operating loss of €50 (€400mn loss, 8mn device sales). Nokia would have been in better shape by selling not a single WP device in the last quarter - chasing higher volume is commercial suicide when each sake is losing money. Reducing volume and raising prices is the only sane solution unless you have money to burn (Nokia doesn't, Microsoft does).

Or swap WP out for Android, and call time on the failed WP experiment - I guess Nokia have at least acknowledged the latter by dumping the D&S business.

11
4
Bod

Re: Dead Platform

Windows 8 on the desktop may be an abortion, but Windows Phone is hardly that.

If anything it's got the most pleasing and idiot proof while intuitive UI out there for a mobile, a more secure mobile OS, and very reliable.

Combine that with Nokia's hardware quality, makes a damn good phone. Recommended to the folks and they love it.

While myself, I do love Android despite it's many frustrations, but I much prefer the UX of Windows Phone. For me though it lacks some critical apps. Not many as most apps in the various stores are complete bollox, but there are a number of essentials by big names that just aren't there. For many who just really want a phone that makes calls, sends texts and can browse the odd web site, receive emails, Windows Phone is perfect. More so when something like a 520 doesn't need charging up every couple of hours like certain Droids.

10
10
Facepalm

Re: Dead Platform

"and WP has a much better UI [than Android]"

Then, we're not from the same planet ...

I got a Lumia 520 with WP 8 for one week, and it raised up my desire for human murder significantly.

What a load of <bip> this software was. I never was even able to create any contact ... I mean, it is (and has to be) straight forward on any Android or IOS platform, but is apparently a dark mystery you have to solve on WP !

Sorry, but if this fails, then the UI fails, and the platform fails, and the rest goes to the flush, where WP is currently. <sound of flushing the toilet>

14
9

Re: Dead Platform

> What a load of <bip> this software was. I never was even able to create any contact ... I mean, it is (and has to be) straight forward on any Android or IOS platform, but is apparently a dark mystery you have to solve on WP !

People Hub > Click "+" button > select "New Contact" > enter details. Done.

If that's a dark mystery then I'm surprised you can operate a keyboard in order to type this waffle.

12
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

"99% of all Mobile malware is on Android - none on Windows Phone!"

Yes: No-one uses it. There are even less for Symbian.

On the other hand anyone can do malware for Android, it's totally trivial and WP has learned something from relatives on PC.

- and WP has a much better UI -

Frankly, it's horrible. I don't like much Android UI either: Obviously neither has no idea how to design a usable UI. Symbian guys have practiced it a bit longer so at least it's usable, just odd.

" with great social network integration."

You mean outlook and lync? Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Irc?

No, I haven't checked but "great blaablaa" needs explanation: What kind of great and what networks? Does it have a native irc-client?

It's the social network I use and others, frankly, are quite irrelevant.

5
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

", it will take Microsoft about 5 years to make it at least as feature-rich as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile or Symbian."

Yes. Funny thing is I'm running Symbian Belle II on my phone now and I see the latest & greatest WP _is still_ missing the features mine had 1,5 years ago.

8
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

"If anything it's got the most pleasing and idiot proof while intuitive UI out there for a mobile, a more secure mobile OS, and very reliable"

Except compared to Symbian it's anything else but pleasing or intuitive. I don't really believe the secure or reliability either: Anything that sends everything you do to mothership in Redmont, isn't secure by any means.

Some people in company liked WP 7 so they might like the 8 too, but most people didn't as it's very quirky to use and seems to have no logic whatsoever.

7
3
Silver badge

Re: Dead Platform

> especially in the corporate / enterprise market ... with great social network integration.

That is _really_ important for the enterprise.

> ahead of iPhone market share in several countries

The 'several' being the ones that Apple doesn't ship to.

> I expect that growth will continue

Then you failed to see the Q4 figures where market share dropped.

9
0
Silver badge

Re: Dead Platform

> and idiot proof ... UI

There is a saying: "If you make something fool proof, then only fools will want to use it".

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Dead Platform

"99% of all Mobile malware is on Android - none on Windows Phone!"

Just like saying that Mac/Linux has no malware. It's not because it's super secure, it's just that not enough people use it for the bad guys to bother.

3
1
Silver badge

"Windows Phone has it's space"

No. Windows Phone HAD its space. Past tense. Its, not it's. Fixed both of those for you.

"market share growth" etc... Tosh! Microsoft has been playing this phone game for a very long time. Since 2001. Longer than Google or Apple. The "give them a chance to get warmed up" excuse does not work!

MS pretty much had the corporate market sewn up if they wanted it and could have shoulder-charged Blackberry out of existence in 2004 or so.

Those older MS phones were the preferred "corporate" phone in many countries and the MS corporate end-to-end storyline was quite compelling.

Then they bought the Danger Kin phone with its consumer-oriented and no longer corporate-oriented UI. The sensible thing would have been to run two phone brands: Kin for kids, Windows Phone for the existing corporate customers.

But no, not MS. They kill their corporate phone platform and replace it with the kiddie phone.

This is a fundamental violation of market management: Always look after your bread and butter customers first. If you want to try new markets, then do so with parallel products.

It all comes down to MS arrogance. They have had so long telling corporate customers which hoops to jump through they thought they could just command the corporate customers to take on the new phone even though it lacks many corporate features.

Shock!! Horror!! Customers have choices now and found alternatives.

7
5

Re: Dead Platform

"WP has a much better UI - with great social network integration" --- It does? How is that now?Because you say so?

6
4
Bronze badge

Re: Dead Platform

I had never used a WP device before, but a while ago I was in my local where the landlady (with a Lumia) and a rather the worse for wear customer (with a Series 40 Nokia) were trying to exchange phone numbers. I got asked to do it for them, and I will confess that it took me a while to work out how on the Lumia (about 5 seconds on the Nokia including typing the name). There was a number already in the received calls list, so I thought OK create a contact. Riiiight... took several minutes of fiddling to achieve that.

I have never before had that much trouble with any other phone using any other OS. It should just happen without the user needing to think, rather than needing a lot of poking about.

9
3

Re: Dead Platform

I happen to be the unhappy wner of a Lumia 520. So let's say I want to send a picture I've just taken to a friend's cell phone, via Bluetooth. Oops, I can't.

Also when using a map I like to hold my devices horizontally. With Android, Google Maps will detect the position of the phone and adjust the screen accordingly. Nokia's HERE Maps does not do that. Probably because it is an idiot proof UI, and I am an idiot. For having bought a Lumia, at the very least.

7
3
Bronze badge

Re: Dead Platform

"Except compared to Symbian it's anything else but pleasing or intuitive"

Rubbish. Symbian drove me away from Nokia. I came back with WinMo.

3
6

Re: Dead Platform

OK so the contact thing is true - just tried it on mine (hadn't ever noticed as I've never thought of doing it that way...)

Anyhow, whilst that is a silly thing they could fix, WP has many other features... like "show my caller ID to existing contacts only" - something I've not seen on any other device but find handy. Calling someone I know - send them ID, calling someone while on-call and don't want them to have my mobile number... done.

Horses and courses of course. Personally (and I own several phones, including a Blackberry Z10 (easily and hands down the best for heavy e-mail users, the touchscreen keyboard is incredibly good), and a Note 2 (easily the nicest to use for browsing). I love the Lumia 1020 camera, the incredible speed it runs at, and importantly the excellent battery life ... something Android in particular seems to struggle like hell with.

2
2

Re: Dead Platform

Why can't you - in the native camera app, hold down your finger on said photo, choose "share" and then "Bluetooth".

3
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

"Where is the promised VPN?"

Details here: https://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2013/07/10/making-windows-phone-an-even-better-choice-for-business.aspx?Redirected=true

That was the first time Microsoft committed to it, and they have not slipped the date so far.

"Where is some good 1st party application suite"

The vast majority of the top 100 are now on Windows Phone - and Windows Phoen has the best support of Office - a major feature for corporates of course...

"Option to un-sandbox some/all applications"

Never going to happen - it's a secure platform. You can install a corporate cert and sign / install your own apps without the Microsoft Store if you need to,

"adding a file explorer"

Already exists: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-gb/store/app/file-explorer/8d87e9b9-6e03-4585-a947-339ff038dd3b

"Installing applications outside of the store is pain in the back,"

Actually it's far simpler than any other mobile platform that hasn't been rooted - and is fully automated via SCCM.

"not to mention the necessity to have a live.com account to use the smartphone features"

No different from needing a Borg Mail account for the Borg Store, and similar for Apple / Blackberry...

"which immediately starts uploading all your contacts, calendar and all that to Microsoft's power-of-the-cloud servers"

That can be disabled whilst you adjust your tin foil hat - again - no different from the other platforms above.

"The OS is trying to look like an enterprise OS"

And succeeds rather well - certainly better than the competition in this regard....

"it will take Microsoft about 5 years to make it at least as feature-rich as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile or Symbian."

I doubt it will take that long - progress has been good to date - and many early feature gaps have already been filled - WP is highly functional, efficient and very secure - it might take Microsoft a long time and a lot of money, but they will almost certainly get to the top of the pile in the end...

3
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

"That is _really_ important for the enterprise."

It is these days.

"The 'several' being the ones that Apple doesn't ship to."

Nope - WP is ahead in 24 countries that Apple ship to:

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/windows-phone-devices-outselling-apples-iphone-in-24-markets-microsoft-468119

"Then you failed to see the Q4 figures where market share dropped."

Nokia's sales to the channel are what dropped. Activations increased every month - and market share increased in every month but 1...

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Dead Platform

QUOTE : "especially in the corporate / enterprise market ... with great social network integration."

"That is _really_ important for the enterprise"

>> Actually, it is more and more as workforces spread out and need ways to communicate social networking is playing more of a part (OK maybe not facebook and twitter, but yammer and the like are widely used)

0
3
Pint

Re: Dead Platform

" There was a number already in the received calls list, so I thought OK create a contact. Riiiight... took several minutes of fiddling to achieve that."

So you didn't think that the save button at the bottom of the screen might have done it?

Steps:

1. tap number to save

2. tap save button

3. (optional based on how phone is set up) select storage (Mine is hotmail/skydrive)

4. Enter Name.

5. Tap

So thats 4 steps (5 if you have multiple accounts set up to sync contacts as I do) all available from the call list, and this passes the "My mum has managed this unaided test" so perhaps you had been in the pub a little too long yourself? ;)

Just tried this on an iPhone (ios6) and its 4 steps on there too.. with no option for alternate contact storage!

2
2

Re: Dead Platform

OOooohhhh...I'm SOOOO 'LEET!

0
0

Re: Dead Platform

You hit the share button and then click the appropriate method of sharing or saving. Pretty simple and very comprehensive.

1
1

Re: Dead Platform

Posted Monday 27th January 2014 21:46 GMT

2/10

However

- Arguing about VPN support with you is useless as you use words like "commit". Good marketing talk.

- You seem to lack understanding of the meaning of "1st party"

- I'm not interested in "not going to happen FUR SECUERITE!" . I can take care of my own security, provided the tools, and no idiotic company can force me to limit functions in my device in the name of so-called security.

- And this point, file explorer, merely proves what a complete troll you are. Or just a filthy liar. It's not 1st party application (i.e. security and privacy risks), it has access only to its own limited (sandboxed) space so the user can't open the files there. Oh, and it's basically useless without an SD card (hello Lumia 920) and even then its isolation makes it further useless. Oh, and did you know that you can't download just any file you want? Drivers for your notebook, for example? Of course you didn't, you think "enterprise" is Facebook and Twitter.

- I don't need to root my PureView 808 to install anything outside from the store. I don't need to do any of that crap you call "fully automated".

- Again, I don't care it's similar to Android or iOS. I don't care about the two OSes at all. I only care about WP8 because I used it for several months and I dedicated some of my online time to fighting the deluded fanboys and trolls/liars/lesser minds like you. It's mildly entertaining.

- No, it cannot, actually, be disabled. "tin foil hat" argument, really? Pathetic.

- The competition (Android) can sort files into folders. That's a pretty key feature for using a device for work. Windows phone doesn't even know the word "sort" or "folder". Recently released"App Folder" application is merely a proof how wrong and dumb Microsoft is.

- I bet you doubt it. Too bad your doubts aren't relevant to anything and you that talk like an MS marketing employee. "Functional" and "efficient" says nothing about real functionality. And anything would be secure if it was sandboxed, that's just lazy approach so that simpletons like yourself have at least one real argument to throw. Then again, the security isn't exactly great considering the user can't set application's rights. Fail.

There. 10 minutes spent on replying to an antiEadon, oh well...

3
0
Facepalm

Re: Dead Platform

Are you a computer user, non technical?

Press, people.

Press the plus sign.

Enter details.

Not rocket surgery fella!

0
1
Anonymous Coward

"Lumia sales fell back after four consecutive quarters of growth"

Windows Phone activations have increased steadily though through the last quarter month on month - which implies this a a channel stocking drop or similar blip - not any real slow down in Windows Phone's growth...

6
12

The drop in Lumia sales might also be linked to seasonality (there has been channel stuffing in the past), upcoming product launches and clearing the distribution channel generally.

I can envision a scenario where Nokia reduces inventory in channel prior to disposing of the business, all to improve the financial numbers in the Q4 report. Lowering the stock by producing less means less "work in progress" on the books.

This would explain the activations still increasing but Nokia sellout decreasing.

0
2
Bronze badge

From 13.3 million units in 2012 to 30 million last year.

Doesn't look good compared to over 100 million the year before anyone talked about throwing their existing popular system and it's planned phased replacement in the bin.

I suspect the profit per unit was better then, too.

I also suspect that a fair chunk of the cheaper sales are at the expense of S40 feature phones. My parents almost got talked into getting a pair to replace their S40s.

Apart from the lack of a physical keyboard (a showstopper for me personally) and a reduced battery life, I don't think anyone could seriously say they were inferior to a featurephone.

I suspect this is the market Microsoft will go for. Replace the Ashas with dirt cheap windows phones. (Maybe keeping the name, if it comes in the deal).

The only real fly in the ointment would be if someone brings out a similar priced range with keyboards.

6
2
Silver badge

"Replace the Ashas with dirt cheap windows phones"?

Surely not, MS must hold on to some kind of brand image if they want to continue milking the OS gravy train.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: From 13.3 million units in 2012 to 30 million last year.

"The only real fly in the ointment would be if someone brings out a similar priced range with keyboards."

Oh you mean like ummmmm Blackberry ?

5
0
Silver badge

My old man is in the market for a new phone, his previous small-screened Android phone having irritated him - especially the keyboard and the battery life. A fair few of his friends have iPhones, and they have a reputation as being easy to use, yet my father's chief complaints with his current phone is that the keyboard is too small. I was just about to suggest he get a Google Nexus 5 (good value, big screen, good battery life, virtual keyboard can be swapped out for another one).

However, on Saturday his friend showed us her Nokia 1020, specifically the messaging app in which she had bumped up the font size. Clean, legible, large... it looked very good (Actually, it looked like Rockbox on my old iRiver H320).

So, beyond the lack of apps compared to Android and iOS (which doesn't bother my old man a bit), is there any reason I shouldn't recommend he get one?

9
2
Silver badge

The reason to go for a 1020 is the camera. If you don't want to pay the premium for that, a 920 or 925 would probably do.

5
1
Def
Bronze badge

...is there any reason I shouldn't recommend he get one?

No. If you can live with the size and weight (a bit too large and heavy for my liking), they're great phones, and that camera is just outstanding.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

"No. If you can live with the size and weight (a bit too large and heavy for my liking), they're great phones, and that camera is just outstanding."

The 925 is about the same size and weight as an iPhone...

0
2
Silver badge

Cheers guys! The weight won't bother him too much, and in any case he usually carries a Panasonic travel zoom camera - for landscapes and pub sessions.

0
1

Reason?

I can name a lot of reasons (same with any other platform), but I don't know what do you (or your old man) care about. Though I guess if you're OK with completely closed OS, mandatory Live and Bing services and TIFKAM, it should be fine.

4
6
Bronze badge

Personally I'd prefer it if they released the 41MP camera tech on an otherwise dumb phone. I'd like that camera + week long battery. Tablet for other tasks. Tried to get the first pureview a year or so ago, but was a pricey to import.

4
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.