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back to article Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

It's two years since the "Elopocalypse". This week in 2011 Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop set Europe's biggest technology company off in a radical new direction. Nokia would license its flagship phone software from Microsoft, rather than develop its own, set fire to three of its own mobile platforms, and eventually shed thousands …

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Silver badge

Re: ELOP FAIL

"Incidentally, post a valid criticism of the Zune beyond market share, if you can."

The Zune HD has a 480 x 272 screen. Hardly HD, it would be considered kind of crap on a phone and for a dedicated media player?

But in reality you don't really need any criticism beyond market share. Even after years of Microsoft trying to sell them, I have only ever seen one in the wild. No one wants one.

And then name Zune sounds really stupid too.

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Joke

Re: ELOP FAIL

Plato said that we can know truth if we 'sublimate our minds to their original purity' I think Eadon's evangelism has taken him somewhat passed that point.

Guessing you're not a Blackadder fan either.....

Cheer up, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean Microsoft isn't after you ;)

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Re: ELOP FAIL

Eadon, where does your analysis end and your opinion start I wonder?

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Windows

Re: ELOP FAIL

seconded.

+1

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Linux

Re: ELOP FAIL

Actually the only thing that hold linux on the desktop back is the lack of a copy of M$ office(of whatever flavour it is this year)

Put out a Linux distro with M$ office included and you'll get run over in the stampede

But then you'll never see that.. because that would be like M$ shooting itself in the head

Although to be fair.... 90% of all office workers use about 5% of the capability of M$ office and thats on a good day.

But back to the phones....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

> WP phone sales are still climbing steeply

Mac Sales have been growing quarter on quarter for over 5 years, out growing the wider PC market each quarter too - but the platform is still a comparative minnow. Dislodging established embedded platforms is nigh on impossible.

For MS to succeed (and I think success in this case would be to simply survive in the mobile market) will take huge balls and nerves of steel.

As an complete outside observer, following current trends,assuming no game changers etc. in 5 Years, I'd See market shares as:

Android - 60%

IOS - 20%

BB - 15%

Other (inc. WP) - 5%

and Profits:

IOS - 50%

Android 35%

BB 15%

Other (inc. WP) - trivial

I can see Apple, Samsung or BB producing game changing moments, but sadly not MS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

So did I.

Nokia right on target for immersion into Microsoft

Dweeb

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Re: ELOP FAIL

Actually Linux has a lot more problems than just a good Office(2):

+ Unstable API and ABI making good quality support for many devices a problem

+ <n+1> not fully compatible distributions with a near guarantee that if you need two commercial software packages (say Oracle and an App-Server) they will be based on different and incompatible distributions(1)

+ <n+1> diffenrent UIs making user support a problem and apps written for one may look funny on another

+ Short support times. Long Term Stable means "Maximum 5 years from the day it comes out". Compare that to MS "At least 3 years after the follow up is out" (Actually it is close to 8 years for Vista and Win7)

The main reason that Linux is found on many low end servers is price. If you get a few interns/studends building the images it is really cheap. It is not really good but good costs nothing while SOLARIS/x86 costs 1600€/year. And certified admins want a tad more than interns as well. Nevertheless most companies that need long term (10+ years) reliable/stable servers still go with one of the commercial grade platforms (SOLARIS, AIX, HPUX) and if you ask for "commercial grade hosting" you get one of those not Linux.

(1) And no, there is no Open Source DB that can replace a fully used ORACLE DB. And few commercials that can

(2) OO IS useable if you have not integraded MS-Office in your workflow(s) like many companies and cities have. IF you have then "Linux on the Workplace" involves using a lot of Citrix (see Munich)

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

Blackberry are now a niche player at best - if they survive. Swap Blackberry and Windows Phone and you might be right with Windows Phone on 15%. The global Windows Phone role out to new and massive markets like Africa, india and China has only just started, so clearly the market share is going to keep growing at least in the medium term.

But likely with Microsoft resources and that they already have a product that in many ways is better than the competition and has a larger eco-system I think it might well be more than that....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

They are mostly poor copies of commercial Windows applications.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

http://www.neowin.net/news/gartner-windows-phone-sales-increased-1242-percent-in-q4-2102

"Microsoft's overall market share of the smartphone business went up to three percent for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to just 1.8 percent a year ago."

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Re: ELOP FAIL

Cute conspiracy theory but nothing more.

I am into software since the 1980s, likely programmed UNIX software when most Penguinistas still where in danger of ending as a wet spot in daddies pants. And doing so for some branches that care little for the OS (Automation/Process Control and Banking - and we are talking BIG companies here, 5.000+ computer workplaces). These companies use everything from IBM mainframes to Solaris (Sparc and x86) to classic PCs. And they have all choosen the NT-line of windows.

Siemens (who did build their own boxes AND has a UNIX system of it's own) did so for the systems used to program their S5/S7 programable logic controllers. They also used it when they replaces the Sicom-Series and their smart terminals with COTS hardware in the mid-late 1990s choosing NT for both. An FSC at that time was a SUN partner doing SPARC based hardware.

Banks run a mix with AS/400, IBM System z and - Windows. They ditched OS/2 on the clients well before IBM put it down. And those companies did NOT buy their pc units with an OS preinstalled. Since we wrote software for them we got involved each time they changed hardware and os version to check if we still run with the standard image. The computers came by the euro-pallet and without software. Using Windows was a deliberat choice by IT departments that use Solaris based app-servers or AS/400 minis just as well

They choose Windows because

+ Mac hardware is to costly

+ OS/X lacks some of the server-side capabilities

+ Windows simply works on the hardware. One less hassle, one less problem

+ Software distribution under Windows is simple in a Windows-environment.

+ Windows allows easy control of PCs (and notebooks) through server based policies

+ The same Windows version is available 5 years from now

Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing. And the quality has never been "superior". It was equal back in the days of NT4. But those days are long gone.

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Happy

Re: ELOP FAIL

And while you're at it, why does Microsoft-owned Skype work well on every mobile platform except Microsoft-owned Windows Phone?

Works just fine. Made a video call from a 920 to a 4S just last week

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

'3) ... Show a finance director the documentation for desktop linux ...'

Who has ever read documentation for a desktop?

A finance director?

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Mushroom

Re: ELOP FAIL

Skype works fine on WP for me too...

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Windows

Re: ELOP FAIL

@dogged. Can't really agree about the documentation. I find Linux fanbois can do a good job.

On the other side of the coin, I tried to watch a video from Microsoft's Academy (usually excellent) about WinServer 2012. It was supposed to be 'introductory'. Almost immediately, the presenter starts wobbling on about 'Cloud Conputing' , which we don't need in our NPO organisation. I wanted to know about IIS, MS-SQL. I almost dozed off. No. Bugger that for a game of soldiers, I'm sticking Debian Squeeze, and a LAMPP stack on it. Lots of documentation, don't have to pay for the info.

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Re: ELOP FAIL

Anonymous coward theorized: "Actually the latest Gartner figures show that WP phone sales are still climbing steeply and that they just went over 3% of market share....Whilst it hass taken a long time, they are on course to gain a substantial chunk of the market..."

Your "on course" assertion is a unwarranted and highly optimistic extrapolation from a very small data set. Looking through the other end of the telescope, 3% has to be seen as a puny achievement. It shows that WinPhone has entirely failed to set the market on fire. And at this point in history, nothing less will suffice.

Getting from, say, 1% to 3% required nothing more than sweeping up a few adventurous geeks and die-hard fanbois. Making a serious dent in Apple or Google's 30-40% shares is quite a different matter. It would mean wooing strongly-committed customers away from platforms they already know they like.

The various comparisons to Zune in this thread are apt. The fact that Zune wasn't a terrible product is exactly the point. As with WinPhone, Microsoft was very late to the party, and offered very little new benefit to shift customers who'd already had time to establish strong allegiances. And on top of all that, Microsoft did a terrible job building the ecosystem, demonstrated monumental ineptitude in its marketing, and generally confused and alienated everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ELOP FAIL

> Actually the latest Gartner figures show that WP phone sales are still climbing steeply

Rounding errors do tend to climb steeper than real sales figures.

> and that they just went over 3% of market share... Whilst it hass taken a long time, they are on course to gain a substantial chunk of the market...

So, based on the fact that they've taken forever to make no impact on the market, they are on course to gain a substantial chunk of it?

Twit. Remind me never to lend you any money.

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Thumb Up

The PAYG Nokias are quite cheap indeed (at least if you use 3's prices as a guide) compared to comparable phones from Samsung or Apple. It seems a good way of checking if people buy the brand or the price.

It should be interesting to see where this goes and I am a big fan of there being more competition in the mobile phone space.

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Metro light touch makeover?

Nokia could be on the right track when even El Reg is going for a light touch Metroish-style makeover.

Square corners, big typefaces, grid layout. Looks much more, modern...

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Anonymous Coward

'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

The market would appear to strongly disagree.

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Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

The jury is still out on that, and we'll only know in a year or two's time.

But what if MS see retail buyers as secondary to business users? IN MS shoes, yes I'd want to have something shiney to put in the shops to sell retail, but the real long term value is not through shop sales to individuals, but through getting business users on board. Eat the lunch that RIM used to enjoy, take back business users from Android, sell related services, reduce the corporate traction of other platforms.

Most corporate IT buyers don't care about apps. They want a decent mobility solution based on phone, email, text, maybe IM. A few built in fripperies like mobile internet and navigation are welcome, but third party apps count for nothing. They want t it to be secure, play nicely with the existing IT infrastructure.

A mid to low end smartphone with MS software really ought to do that, and if few retail users buy it, does that matter? I wouldn't buy a WP8 phone, but of far more importance to MS is whether my employers would buy 10,000 of them.

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Thumb Down

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

Does it?

How many Androids were sold in the first two years of the OS's life?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

The market would appear to strongly disagree.

Hardly had time to do that yet, or do you mean it wasnt an overnight sell out means the market has utterly rejected it for all time?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

"Most corporate IT buyers don't care about apps."

What testicles, a lot of corporate services are moving app based. Have you been living under a stone the last 2 years ?

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Pint

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

@ dogged - "How many Androids were sold in the first two years of the OS's life?"

The original G1 sold pretty well, IIRC, though not barnstormingly so. However this is not the first year of Windows Phone is it?

"Coming soon, new awseome phone OS! Look, all these bloggers say its the best thing ever for users and developers even though there's no way anyone has got one yet and we just announced it yesterday! And it's got so many apps! Look! Shiny! No of course the last one didn't sell very well, it was crap. But this new one is revolutionary"

Which then turns to - "Well yes, of course all these features you like from iOS and Android are missing, it's a new OS, give it time, Windows Phone has only been out a few months hasn't it? And of course the sales are slow, duh, new platform!"

Are we going to have to watch the same pattern with Win Phone 9?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

Erm, but the Lumia's WERE a sell out initially.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'Nokia has started to deliver very attractive products again'

> The jury is still out on that, and we'll only know in a year or two's time.

No it isn't. We've already had a year or two. We already know.

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Linux

Still using my faithful old N900

And still very happy with it.

The platform is just about staying alive DESPITE being dumped by nokia two years ago.. Applications like Yappari (a Whatsapp client) are still making releases.

It strikes me that if Nokia had stuck with their Maemo platform instead of sacrificing it to the gods of Redmond, it could have been a game-changer for the whole industry.

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Re: Still using my faithful old N900

I *really* like my Lumia 920, but still have and use my old N900. Resistive touch feels pretty dated now, but the OS is built like the Lumia 920's hardware - it's a tank. I love that N900. My all-time favourite Nokia was the E90 though. Still have it, but don't use it.

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Bronze badge

Re: Still using my faithful old N900

I had the N770 and N800. Nice units but software development was a PITA. Never understood why Nokia did not enable the JAVA features in the CPU and / or produced a Java(ME) VM. Would have been a boost for the little units and back than ME was still a contender.

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Re: Still using my faithful old N900

I use my N9 every day

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Re: Still using my faithful old N900

> N800. ... software development was a PITA.

Then you were doing it wrong. I wrote using Python, SQLite3 and Glade (UI design software) and the applications ran unchanged on Linux, N800 and Windows.

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Re: Still using my faithful old N900

No - just not with a snake, I am mainly a JAVA developer these days. Could offer C/C++, 68k assembler and Fortran77 (as well as VB, VB.NET, DICOL, Step5, C# and some SQL dialects). Java was totally out and C would required a rather complex sandbox setup IIRC.

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I think it was worth a shot

I think the 'get into bed with MS' strategy was the best alternative at the time. Remember, their products were not great and their technical bureaucracy was incapable of producing but internal fights were easier. The alternatives were to go android and fight toe to row with HTC et al ( not an inviting prospect) or try and carry on with the internally developed new tech which was stuck in the mud.

MS have a reputation for throwing money and resources at things until they get them right, and that must have been attractive to Nokia at the time - first mover advantage and better integration on a platform that MS will just keep throwing money at until it succeeds.

It may not be working yet (and MS may yet fail) but it gave them breathing space (especially from investors ) to get their engineering depts back in a good place and be in a better position to slug it out on android should MS fail.

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Silver badge

Re: I think it was worth a shot

If you've ever seen an N9 in action you'd have a different opinion. BlackBerry have taken a year and a half since it was released to come up with something very similar.

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Re: I think it was worth a shot

> to get their engineering depts back in a good place

Only if you define "good place" as "the street, looking for a job"...

Actually, startups have been increasing in Finland recently due to talented people having been kicked out of Nokia. That may yet turn out to be a blessing: the tech sector is no longer so dependent on one big company.

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Vic
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Re: I think it was worth a shot

> MS have a reputation for throwing money and resources at things until they get them right

DialsForSure?

Vic.

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Re: I think it was worth a shot

Office? Windows? Xbox? Servers?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think it was worth a shot

> MS have a reputation for throwing money and resources at things until they get them right

*cough*sendo*cough*

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Hmm...

looks more like an iphone than the galaxy s does.

how long before apple sue i wonder?

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Pint

Re: Hmm...

Apple will only sue if it becomes a threat. To become a threat they would have to sell some!

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Re: Hmm...

Nokia have a strong patent portfolio. Apple actually pay money to Nokia for every iPhone sold.

I expect Apple will not sue Nokia.

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Re: Hmm...

...and apple buy the majority of their electronicy parts from samsung - that wont stop em

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm...

I expect Nokia will not copy Apple and therefore Apple will not sue Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm...

> Nokia have a strong patent portfolio.

Which they are already selling off to trolls.

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WTF?

That's no "power user"

I've been using my WinPhone for almost one year now and quite frankly I don't quite agree that the blogwriter is "on the money". In fact; if you call yourself a "hardcore user" and eventually give up with the installation of your previous apps. because its too tedious then you're basically showing your own ignorance.

I'd expect any "power user" who (I quote): "Yep, that wouldn’t be me - as a “hardcore” smartphone users – I need all the new apps, new features, timely updates, good support and the list goes on."

I'm by -far- a power user, merely a casual business / techfreak user yet even I managed to come across ReInstaller. A free app which does just that: re-install everything in your purchased list. Its also not that hard to find: simply search for "reinstaller" and you'll find it.

A "power user" giving up on a task while there's an app for it ?

And when it comes to his endless list of shortcomings I can't help wonder why he got a WinPhone in the first place. I can understand the desire for a notification centre, I don't agree with it because the live tiles work fine for me, but I can see where he's coming from. However... He claims to be a power user yet gives us: "Fair enough but am I supposed to sit blankly at the screen every second of the day or wait 30 minutes for a tile to be updated or better yet wait for a push notification to come and decide to pick between a sip of coffee or clicking on the notification before it goes to a never to be discovered black hole?".

What black hole? That's totally bogus; the notifications only disappear when you activated 'm. When I see "5" on my e-mail tile I know there are 5 unread messages. When I click it the 5 disappears. Which by itself is something which annoys some real power users: they want an option to make it so that the 5 only disappears when they actually read (or handled) all 5 new messages.

Well; and quite frankly its about there when I gave up reading on that rant blog. I mean really; VPN is a mandatory feature on a smartphone ? Heck, I wonder if he actually knows that you can adjust the interval in which the phone checks for new e-mail.

Doesn't mean I disagree with his points perse; there are quite a few things which should be fixed on the WP platform. But there is a difference between constructive criticism or a rant which makes some people wonder why you'd got that phone in the first place. Sounds like the "I gave into the hype, bought a phone, now I hate it" kind of thing.

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Pie

Re: That's no "power user"

Unfortunately the Reinstall app is no longer working.

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