Feeds

back to article Stephen Elop: I was RIGHT to BURN the PLATFORMS

Stephen Elop’s favourite pizza is prosciutto ham, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes. That was the most concrete answer he gave in an Ask Me Anything session on the Nokia website. Speaking through the Nokia website's Conversations blog, Elop said that Microsoft won’t use the Nokia name for very much longer as the smartphone …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

His company was at a critical financial crossroads and he chose an untested, unproven, and at that time unseen Windows smart phone over an established Android marketplace and his own internally developed OS.

Weenie.

33
1

trojan horse

the only trojan horse was Elop himself, bringing Nokia to its knees so it was cheap steal for MS.

34
2
Silver badge

Elop is corporate malware

nuff sed

26
0
Silver badge

Re: trojan horse

Indeed.

I know Nokia did need a kick up the corporate arse, and a few layers of management culled, but Elop arrived from Microsoft, with a firm Microsoft mindset. I find it impossible to believe that what he did was for the good of the company he was supposed to be running, and not following a Microsoft directive to assimilate.

Nokia had a history of great hardware (which admittedly floundered on the later models like the N97), but they were hardly beyond rescue. They had various R&D projects on the go, including Android, a booming platform.

Instead they are told to dump all of those, and go with this new Microsoft vapourware.

Even so, HTC launched phones running on the platform before Nokia could!

All eggs placed firmly in one basket, and then that basket runs off and gives another company first choice... Niiiice...

Watch that share value tumble...

Watch Microsoft reach for the cheque book and grab the bits it wants.

So typically Microsoft, and so obvious to everyone, and we're not talking hindsight here! I can only assume the Nokia board members got an offer they couldn't refuse, they couldn't really have been that incompetent by accident.

13
1
Silver badge

What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

When it came out, it had a huge bug list. Nokia used to have strong customer loyalty, but 85% of Nokia owners bought something else, and most of the rest said they would not buy a Nokia again.

23
0
Silver badge

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

How else was Elop supposed to drive down the value of Nokia? Sure, Senior Executives and Board Members can really fuck up a company. But the easiest way is it get your customers to do it for you.

12
1
JDX
Gold badge

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

By the time Lumia came out Nokia didn't really have any customers left to speak of... getting new customers was more important.

I like WP8 and the Lumia phones but I will be rather sad not to see NOKIA on my next phone*. Cue downvotes for daring to like something that's not Android.

* well, my next next phone, I'm planning to get a 1020

6
15
Silver badge

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

"Cue downvotes for daring to like something that's not Android."

Nope, you're going to get down votes for liking WP8. Symbian, MeeGo and Harmattan had their appeal, and any of those three (even Symbian) could have made a far better competitor to the iOS/Android ecosystem than measly WP. That thing only succeeded in killing Nokia's market value and market share, from being the worldwide #1 smartphone market share platform to being the one in a neck to neck race with BlackBerry to be the one just above the "Others" category. And given the awful talk from actual WP owners vs. iOS/Android/BB/Symbian handset owners, I doubt they'll gain ground at all.

At least it seems we're finally watching the MS empire slide down. The Xbox1 is losing the next-gen console wars, Windows8 fails to gain traction, WP8 seems to stay stagnant and the Nokia X seems to be the hottest stuff in the now renamed "Microsoft Mobile" division has to offer...

18
4
Silver badge

@JDX

Elop wrote his burning platform memo in February 2011. The phone that was rushed to market in November 2011 ran Windows Phone 7. Nokia did not have a Windows Phone 8 phone until September 2012. Nokia had definitely destroyed its customer base by late 2012. The customers who had bought early had the choice of being stuck with all of '7s problems, or buying a new phone. Lumias could not be upgraded.

The really stupid thing was Nokia released the N9 (in a few small markets without the enormous advertising campaign that Lumia got) in September 2011. It outsold Lumia and got reviews with comments like "better than iPhone" and "it's worth crossing the border to get one".

Elop's real spectacular achievement was he did all that damage to Nokia without going to prison.

23
1
JDX
Gold badge

At least it seems we're finally watching the MS empire slide down

I'm pretty sure people said that when Vista and the XBox360 were released. It is far to early to say if this is an IBM-esque slide into consumer anonymity, or merely a dip. They certainly have the resources to weather quite a protracted stormy period and suffer numerous failures on the path to the next Big Thing, whatever that might be.

3
10
Silver badge

Re: At least it seems we're finally watching the MS empire slide down

In fairness, people STILL say that about Vista.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

> Nope, you're going to get down votes for liking WP8.

In this one sentence you have explained exactly how the majority of commentards are actually fucktards.

Downvoted for liking something.

I won't mock you with the latin (you won't understand it and are clearly too blinkered to look it up) but this kind of bullshit is a stain on our industry.

I am ashamed of you.

6
13

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

"...and any of those three (even Symbian) could have made a far better competitor to the iOS/Android ecosystem than measly WP."

Totally agree. Symbian with an improved interface from the guys at Qt Mobile would have nailed Android, iOS and especially WP. It was an OS developed purely for mobile not like the others that were either a Linux fork, a port from the desktop and a really bad port from the desktop. MeeGo would have been the icing on the cake.

All you had to do was look at the success, although limited due to Elop, of the N9, it was giving the iPhone grief in Europe.

As far as Elop is concerned he will survive, it always seems those that screw-up royally always do. One of the best guys to read on the Elop effect is Tommi Ahonen in his Communities Dominate Brands blog, he show Elop no mercy.

10
0
Silver badge

Re: @JDX

Destroyed its customer base?

I last used a Nokia back in 2007. Since them I've had a succession of htc, Apple and Samsung phones, I've now switched back to Nokia and it is an excellent device with a very nice UI.

3
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: At least it seems we're finally watching the MS empire slide down

Yeh, Xbox huge success...

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.833461-Microsoft-Loses-2-Billion-Per-Year-On-Xbox-Analyst-Says

Last every generation (despite launching first).

5
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: At least it seems we're finally watching the MS empire slide down

Well if an analysts says it, it must be true. They hardly ever spout utter tripe.

3
6
Silver badge

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

SpiderPig: "Totally agree. Symbian with an improved interface from the guys at Qt Mobile would have nailed Android, iOS and especially WP."

...and a well established inability to ship *any software or UI* internally developed on time. WP at least had the advantage (dubious as it is) of allowing very little OEM customisation and living on a tightly specified platform - for eternally late phone software developers a nearly ready-to-ship full phone stack and hardware design. Ideal for breaking out of development stasis. QT is nowhere near a full stack, not even a full mobile UI.

If Nokia had brought in a good manager they could have pulled off becoming an Android powerhouse, maybe even resurrected Symbian. They chose Elop instead and just gave up.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

You don't need to cue anything to get massive downvotes; just take a hard look at your posting history.

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: What was the point of getting Lumia out in record time?

Downvoted for liking something.

Happens all the time. Though it's usually harsher when the "liked" thing is rarely liked by people who aren't shills, or are outright splitting the world into X and Y brand. See the iZombies that dismiss non-iZombies as either "Windows fans" (on PCs) or "Android fans" (on Smartphones). The OP explicitly said "down voted for not praising Android" … where are the other mobile OSen?

0
0
JDX
Gold badge

"He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

Why the hell not, pizza and late-night R&D go together like nerds and over-earnest opinions on operating systems.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

>Why the hell not, pizza and late-night R&D go together like nerds and over-earnest opinions on operating systems.

But Elop and R&D go together like Max Clifford and...

Er, I can't finish that sentence on this site, can I?

10
1
Silver badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

Pizza and R&D do go together. But REAL nerd-food pizza.... with Jolt cola.

Not pretentious proscitto ham pizza. That's what marketing eat. Just one slice though... with mineral water.

4
0

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

Of course you can. Elop and R&D go together like Max Clifford and Rebekah Brooks. Never seen in the same room together.

3
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

Pepperoni Programming Pizza?

1
0
JDX
Gold badge

Never seen in the same room together.

Except that Nokia has been doing lots of innovation e.g. cameras, maps, etc.

1
1

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

I believe in actual fact as of today you legally can.

1
0

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

He only says that because his new boss is an R&D Nerd....

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

And vi vs. Emacs arguments.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

Baking prosciutto on a pizza - the man's a culinary philistine. Probably drinks single malt with Mountain Dew.

1
0
Meh

Re: Never seen in the same room together.

Nokia have been doing tons of innovations.

The Ovi store... The new relaunched Ovi store because the old one was pants. The canned Ovi store because that too was pants.

And the Meego and Meamo and the oh wait....

Sadly most of their innovation was prior to the Elop Trojan horse attack.

And I still maintain cameras on phones are not the reason people buy a phone, it is an added accessory, if it is the only selling point then your phone has problems.

...And I didn't once criticise MS and WP8 for being a pile of junk....

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

"But Elop and R&D go together like Max Clifford and...

Er, I can't finish that sentence on this site, can I?"

You can, the court case is over, he's been found guilty.

0
0
Silver badge

Traditional HR Problems

There have always been big risks associated with weaponizing Humans. You can go as far back as you like and anywhere that writing (of some sort) existed you've got stories of people being used as weapons designed for specific situations.

Those same stories/records/legends often come back to those people and the tragic problems associated with keeping them maintained. Microsoft is experiencing the continuation of a human resources problem that has led to much disaster.

What can you do with a guy like Elop? Traditionally the best way to deal with those weaponized Humans was to execute them or send them on an impossible quest far, far away, with big fanfare, fancy horse and treasure and let somebody else handle the execution. The horse and treasure are payment for the executioner; whoever that turns out to be. The Proles also get to see how well their leaders reward those who help the leaders, so you've always got a ready inventory of Human weapons.

Just like in the past, you couldn't dismiss the Human weapon from service, as they know too much. You're not supposed to execute people anymore (only good Christians from Texas do that). But you can't trust him if you keep him. He publicly strangled the company he was supposed to nurture, that's simply not something you can do unashamedly unless duplicity is so deeply embedded in ones thought processes that removing it would accomplish the same as execution but less cost effective.

I think I'll write up a proposal lobbying for him to become a politician at the national level. If you're going be duplicitous, underhanded and ethically deficient at least get into a role where those things are desirable.

9
1

Re: Traditional HR Problems

Having sharpened his lobbying skills in the intervening decade, not the least in the successful passage of the 34th Constitutional Amendment that allowed President Schwarzenegger his scandal-dogged single term of office, on Feb 9, 2025 President Elop abruptly exited his honeymoon period with his startling "Burning Continent" speech...

...after which we'll all be waiting to see what the bonus for sailing a superpower into the rocks is, who the lucky purchaser is, and whether they have the sense to follow Don Jefe's sage (if somewhat Game of Thronesque) on the safe disposal of weapons of cash destruction

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Traditional HR Problems

Weapons of Cash Destruction! I love that!

5
0
Bronze badge

Regret? Pah!

Why would he regret it? He got a massive fee for doing what he did and then got to go back to Microsoft after a few years.

I've said it a few times and I'll say it again. WP8 has potential but with Microsoft's glacial development pace it doesn't stand a chance. It can have Instagram, Skype, Twitter, BBM and any other apps but as long as it has stupid niggling issues it will never go anywhere. Niggling issues like a below par keyboard, one volume level for all sounds and a pretty limited notification system.

Yes I know these three in particular will be addressed by WP8.1 but how long after WP8's release will that arrive? They already had a trial run with WP7 and didn't learn. If you ignore WP7 it's still over 18 months before the first real chance of improvements and the chance of some WP8 launch phones being updated is slim to none. That leaves you potentially with people burned by WP7 and then WP8 with no upgrade paths. Do you think they'll return for a third shafting when a WP9 is likely to be incompatible with older devices?

5
1
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Regret? Pah!

TBH I don't really find day-to-day problems using even WP7.8. But then I'm not a high-end user so I don't expect my 610 to compete with an iPhone. I plan to get a 1020 and am curious how my views will change when running their newest OS on their flagship handset - clearly I WILL expect that to be pretty slick.

2
8
Silver badge

Re: Regret? Pah!

> Yes I know these three in particular will be addressed by WP8.1 but how long after WP8's release will that arrive?

You can install it right now? I know this because I did. Last week.

0
2
Bronze badge

Re: Regret? Pah!

You can install a non-final version that will likely leave you missing handset features that aren't part of MS code. I happen to have a handset with such features so I can't use it.

2
0
Meh

It's.. complicated.

Elop was right to kill MeeGo and replace it with Windows Mobile. Although Nokia's Maemo looked promising, trying to merge it with Moblin to create MeeGo was a complete waste of time which prevented Nokia coming up with a much-needed replacement for the N900. Sure, the Nokia N9 is a nice bit of kit, but it was two years too late.

Where Elop when wrong was shitcanning Symbian. Yeah.. I know it's not the greatest OS in the world, but at the time it was extremely popular. Sales collapsed, taking Nokia's profits with it. Nokia then had to retro-fit Series 40 to include some of the features that Symbian already had, and it even ended up using Android to fill the gaps.

So.. not the greatest decisions in the world, but not the worst either. It wasn't really Elop's fault that Nokia was in such a bad way.. and at least it probably won't follow the anticipated fate of BlackBerry either.

Nokia is one of those companies where people like to pretend to be armchair CEO. Elop didn't do too badly IMO. And we still need an Elop icon :)

2
9
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: It's.. complicated.

It's refreshing to see some balance in this thread.

So many people like to blame Elop for what happened to Nokia, but the facts on the record are that Nokia was in grim shape before he took over. Share price, market share and profitability were all in free-fall. Yes, share price fell by 40% in Elop's three-year tenure - but that's a lot better than the *75%* drop it took in the three years before he arrived.

Elop's job was never to save Nokia (nobody could have done that, unless maybe Steve Jobs, but he was busy and/or dead). And it wasn't to sink Nokia, either - that was happening just fine already. It was to salvage as much of the wreck as possible for Microsoft.

1
6
Silver badge

It's simple

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo took charge in October 2005 and was replaced by Elop in September 2010. During that time share prices rose the fell. Highest to lowest is a fall of about 75%, but over the full tenure, Kallasvuo and Elop are about equally bad.

http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/chart?symbol=NOK1V.HE

Elop did a Ratner and Kallasvuo didn't. Elop did an Osbourne and Kallasvuo didn't. Elop destroyed carrier relations which were top of the industry with Kallasvuo. Elop destroyed customer loyalty which was second only to Apple under Kallasvuo. Elop made a loss selling smartphones, which was a first for Nokia. Nokia had a top level credit rating until Elop's burning platform memo sent the credit rating to junk. Nokia had strong sales with Symbian, until Elop cancelled its future. The N9 was later than it should have been, but it could be manufactured in Nokia's (idle) factories, did not require a license fee and was wildly popular in the small markets it was restricted to.

I really do not understand why Elop keeps sticking to his revisionist history. He did what he set out to do: turned the biggest threat to Windows Phone into a Microsoft subsidiary. He turned a world leading company (twice the market share of its nearest rival) into a tenth place has-been in under 4 years. No one has done a more successful job of trashing a fortune 500 company with a single memo. I think Elop should put this unique achievement front and centre on his CV.

10
1
Silver badge

This debate always makes me laugh. Nokia were in serious trouble when Elop took over. To pretend otherwise is delusion. The one good thing about Nokia going with MS was that it picked a deep pocketed company with no choice but to keep supporting development. There was no such guarantee with Android.

3
10
Silver badge
Mushroom

>This debate always makes me laugh. Nokia were in serious trouble when Elop took over. To pretend otherwise is delusion.

It looks like you already got a down vote because of course this narrative of reality doesn't go with the common Euro fantasy of the Americans destroying everything including Nokia. European bureaucracy (even in corporations) is infallible after all. I always want to ask don't they have boards in Europe? Isn't it their job to prevent the so called Trojan horse CEO?

0
8
Silver badge

I find the degree of reality-denial is equally high on both sides of the pond.

2
1
Silver badge

>I find the degree of reality-denial is equally high on both sides of the pond.

Which is very true on many issues but honestly Europeans have more nostalgia about Nokia than Americans do of Microsoft who tends to think as little of the company as the rest of the world.

0
0
Devil

Elop spelled backwards is...

A good way of saying shafted from behind. Descriptive of what happened to Nokia.

5
0
Happy

so I used, and really liked, my Lumia 800. Sadly it didn't get the upgrade to the shiny goodness of later Windows Phone releases so I jumped ship (many of the apps I wanted were available on WP8, but all of those devices were bigger than I wanted). Now I'm using an Android device and while it's okay I still miss my Lumia (especially Here downloadable maps and decent Email/Calendar integration)

I did try the Nokia X - Android dressed up as Windows Phone in a package virtually identical in size to the Lumia 800 (thought the corners on this new thing are ridiculously sharp) and though I liked the form factor and the bits of the UI skin that worked the thing was horribly slow and the screen resolution kinda reminded me of playing Chuckie Egg.

I really hope the merger does well. Windows Phone is the underdog, and that's where Microsoft does best. It also stops Apple and the Android ecosystem from relaxing and that rising tide raises all ships

0
3

Nokia going to MS

Can we please finally get it correct that Nokia was not bought by Microsoft, it was the Devices and Services group of Nokia. Nokia still exists with HERE, the technology group and NSN. You can bet your life they will come up with new products that will only give more grief to MS which is why HERE was not on the table in the MS negotiations although they wanted it badly.

I think we'll all finally see that MS didn't take Nokia to the cleaners in getting the Devices & Services but it will be the other way around and the Nokia board is quietly smiling like Finns do.

0
1
Megaphone

Stay away from Microsoft

This tale shows that unless you don't care whatever happens to your company, never get involved with Microsoft, ever. All the good stuff will disappear from day 1. Nothing will replace it and real value is removed forever.

9
0
Silver badge

Nokia Name

I thought the deal is that MS doesn't actually get the option to use the Nokia name as long at it wants, but only a fixed period (is it a year or two?) and for existing models.

2
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.