back to article Microsoft, Nokia and the sound of colliding garbage trucks

History, it is said, doesn't repeat itself – there are merely echoes through time. Listening to Microsoft's $7.1bn purchase of Nokia's phone and services, you'd have certainly heard an echo – the distant grinding noise of two colliding garbage trucks reverberating down the years. The phrase "the sound of two garbage trucks …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Rupert Stubbs

    One unified brand...

    Unfortunately, in the mobile world, they chose the wrong brand out of two.

    Nokia - as many commentators have noted - has huge respect around the world for its phone hardware. Robust, well-designed, works for years, great signal and sound quality.

    Microsoft - no respect in the mobile world at all.

    Yet MS are junking the Nokia brand. And for those who say they can use "Lumia" - that has virtually no recognition around the world either, apart from being mistaken for Panasonic's Lumix.

    1. HollyHopDrive
      Linux

      Re: One unified brand...

      This is I suspect, as the article suggests, MS trying to stop Nokia trying to get out of the awful decision they made to be WP exclusive and thus loosing money hand over fist - we all know an android nokia would sell (in europe) like hot cakes.

      Nokia need to make a profit, and the MS partnership is not helping them achieve that goal and return to the old days that that everybody (corporate and personal) used to by a nokia if you had any sense.

      At least now MS are guaranteed that not everybody will pull out the windows phone market - though ironically I feel it will accelerate the exits of the other OEM's.

      Penguin - because its what Nokia should have done.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One unified brand...

        Nokia could have just as easily failed with Android. It's a crowded market dominated by Samsung and they might still have only sold the same number of phones they did with Windows Phone.

        They simply can't produce the volume of phones they used to and bad supply issues would have caused havoc.

        1. Kunari
          Linux

          Re: One unified brand...

          Sure there is no guarantee that Nokia would have done better going exclusively Android over Windows Phone. However, there was no need for them to go exclusive at all! They could have developed for both platforms as Android & Windows Phone both run on the same processors and hardware, Nokia had experience with Linux and was well known for creating good innovative hardware.

          I'm 99% sure that a 1020 running Android would have tripled the sales of the actual Lumia 1020 running Windows Phone. I know I'd rather have a Nokia android phone over a Samsung.

    2. Ramazan

      Re: One unified brand...

      Nokia is plural of Nokuim, the same's true for Lumia (cf. delirium/deliria)

      1. ChrisG13

        Re: One unified brand...

        Nokia is a town in Finland, near the Nokianvirta river and the city of Tampere, where Fredrik Idestam built a pulp mill in 1868. This was incorporated as the Nokia company in 1871.

        The word is Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language which has no relation to Latin, and is not a plural of anything. Your comment seems to be the result of delirium.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One unified brand...

          Nokia is the plural of nokium which an animal called the sable which is coloured black and can be seen on the coat of arms of the town of Nokia if you look that up.

          There is a school of thought that the animals in question were not actually sables but rather beavers which would be an appropriate name for a river with beaver's dams on it in the middle ages.

          Translating into English the town Nokia could be rendered as Beverley which has a similar etymology.

          1. Bob Vistakin
            Linux

            Re: One unified brand...

            This unified brand was coined "NoWin" when Blamers puppet was first sent over there.

          2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

            Re: One unified brand...

            "Nokia is the plural of nokium which an animal called the sable which is coloured black and can be seen on the coat of arms of the town of Nokia if you look that up."

            From the non-encyclopedia, on the Finnish town of Nokia:

            "The origin of the name "Nokia" is obscure. In modern Finnish, noki means soot and nokia is its inflected plural, although this form of the word is rarely if ever used. The most common theory claims the name actually originates from the archaic Finnish word nois (pl. nokia) or nokinäätä ("soot marten"), meaning sable.[6] After sable was hunted to extinction in Finland, the word was applied to any dark-coated fur animal, such as the marten, which are found in the area to this day. The sable is enshrined on the Nokia coat of arms. However, later research has appeared to indicate that sables never inhabited Finland in the first place, and the name nois may actually refer to the beaver.[7]"

            So the stuff about sables and beavers is more or less on the mark, but "nokia" is not the plural of "nokium".

        2. That Awful Puppy
          Headmaster

          Re: One unified brand...

          "The word is Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language which has no relation to Latin"

          True to a certain extent, but considering how long Finnish has been surrounded by Indo-European languages, there are (comparatively) very few words left that are truly Finno-Ugric in origin. That being said, toponyms are usually amongst the last to go, so your point is probably still valid.

          Finnish still has the distinction of being the angriest sounding language I've ever heard, apart from Scots.

  2. Real Ale is Best
    Linux

    Android

    I think there's Nokia phones running Android right now in their labs. Microsoft are afraid that if Nokia starts selling Android, it will stop selling WP. It's probably correct. A Nokia modified Android phone to enhance it's low power and hardware would be a top selling point.

    The buyout is to prevent this happening. What Microsoft still don't realise is that not many people like WP, whoever makes the hardware. It's an expensive way to do business...

    1. illiad
      Trollface

      Re: Android

      I remind you that due to look and feel lawsuits, MS **gets lots of money** for *every* android sold!!!!

      - so why waste time doing 'MSphone running android' when that is the same as bringing your own beer to a 'free beer' hotel bar????

      1. Steve Todd
        Stop

        Re: Android

        Microsoft has patents on things like the FAT32 file system, THATs what it is getting payments from Android manufacturers for (and before you start FAT32 is a fundamental part of SD/MicroSD so no, they can't do without it), not "look and feel". They are being paid for very real technology that the other manufacturers and their lawyers looked at before coughing up.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Android

          The patent is to do with reading/writing long filenames to FAT32 disks, not FAT32 itself which is incredibly simple and even the USPTO wouldn't patent.

          I can format SD cards as ext4 or UDF if I want, it's just they come pre-formatted to FAT32 by convention as all OSes will read them. However formatting SD cards as UDF is good enough, most OSes from XP onwards will read them.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Android

          Phones now use MTP to syncronise mp3s and other files.

          With such file system abstraction there's no need to use FAT or FAT32 in phones. The only reason to use it is if you wanted to provide USB mass storage support or be able to interchange SD cards between phones and Windows.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @illiad - Re: Android

        What lawsuits ? Where ? When ? Care to name two or three of them ? All I know if that all the patent deals were for unspecified patents so please enlighten us here.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: @illiad - Android

          The vast majority of legal wrangling over patents, copyrights and trademarks never sees the inside of a courtroom. For that reason, you will only see the vanishingly small sub .00001% of cases ever get into the news. Most of the time it's more likely to hear about new "strategic partnerships" forged between the two companies that form the sticking plaster and Neosporin to the festering scars left behind after the lawyers have had their little chat.

      3. Charles Manning

        Re: Android

        "so why waste time doing 'MSphone running android' when that is the same as bringing your own beer to a 'free beer' hotel bar????"

        Because the free beer is only a sip from every glass, but with your own you get to chug the whole glassful.

        Besides, the real issue is this: to get good licensing agreements it helps to show that MS's business interests are being harmed. For this to happen. MS needs there to be a solid brand selling Wphones. The only way to keep Nokia on-side was to buy them.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. tentimes

        Re: Android - EFLOP - Yes!

        I believe the plan from the start was to embrace Nokia, run it into the ground, then buy it cheap. Plan executed now.

        The trouble is, they won't sell any more Windows Phones.

    3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Android

      "Nokia, meanwhile, was often reported to be open to shipping a phone running Android – the market's current number one mobile OS"

      That's only half the story, and it's slightly disingenuous to state it like that. Nokia were open to Android, yes, but wanted to preserve their considerable investment in mapping and location services at the same time (a division they'll keep after the sale of the handset business to MS). Nokia asked to use their mapping as the default location service on their phones, Google wouldn't consider it, and didn't negotiate any further beyond offering Nokia a pittance for Navteq.

      Nokia always had the opportunity of a generic Android, but it wouldn't have given them anything they needed. They needed that horrible word, an "ecosystem": a set of services that people already used on their PCs or laptops or at work. gMail, gTalk and gCalendar are the best examples of these around, and a they're a major reason to use Android - without these services, Android is just another application framework on another Linux OS. Nokia already had one of those, and with a better framework too.

      1. Arctic fox
        Trollface

        @Kristian Careful, any suggestion that Mountain View...........

        .............screwed any chance of Nokia coming onboard will not be taken kindly by the usual suspects.

      2. asdf Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Android

        > They needed that horrible word, an "ecosystem"

        And two years ago they would have went on how wonderful Ovi was and how it was the future. Cue trombone wah wah.

      3. W. Anderson

        Re: Android

        These statements about Nokia not being successful without "all" the Google Services in Android are not absolutely true, since Amazon have done exactly well with core Android and their own services.

  3. DrStrangeLug

    Meanwhile....

    Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, the android powered Lumia 940 is taking market share away from the Samsung Galaxy.

    Sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile....

      And that's what so criminal about all of this.

      Microsoft put their shill into Nokia to force them onto their burning platform, rather than the obvious Android road ahead.

      Had Nokia gone Android two years ago, they would be jostling for 2nd place, not picking up scraps off the floor....

      1. tentimes

        Re: Meanwhile....

        But we all knew this. Every sane human with any techincal experience knew it. People borrowed millions to short sell Nokia when they heard.

        I think it was a setup, run Nokia into the ground then buy it.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile....

      Yes, and an Android powered Communicator would have wiped Blackberry of the face of the earth.

  4. stu 4
    Joke

    Analogies

    Ok, if we are doing analogies/similies how about:

    Elop = Jobs (both steves so that bit is easy)

    Jobs/Elop leaves apple/MS, starts nextstep/nokia(ok..breaks down at that bit)

    Apple/MS goes down shitter with crap machines/windows8

    Jobs/Elop returns and does reverse take over of Apple/MS

    Jobs/Elop moves Apple/MS to completely new operating system (OSX/symbian)

    Yes... I predict we will all be using symbianOS in 5 years time.....

    1. Julian Taylor Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Analogies

      Except that Jobs dramatically increased his company's sales, profits, product quality and just about every other aspect of Apple upon his return. Elop however was pretty much always the Trojan horse brought in to lower Nokia's stock to make way for a cheap purchase by Microsoft. Bear in mind that it was only last May that Nokia shareholders called him to account over the disaster he was presiding over and the 85% drop in share value.

      As for that awful Ballmer-speak "Stephen Elop will run the group and will take the appropriate steps with Julie, working with Stephen, to figure out appropriate integrations." I do feel sorry for Elop now: Julie Larson-Green will make him wish he was stuck between the 2 charging garbage trucks, which, I hazard, is where the rest of MSFT will want him to be in 2 years time.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Where Microsoft need Elop

        Elop delivered a massive coup for Microsoft. The day he Trojanned, Nokia were selling more phones than Apple and Samsung combined - at a hefty profit - with their market share increasing. Nokia had a Linux phone in development that later beat Apple for ease of use and features. Elop destroyed all that. If it were not for Elop's outstanding efforts, Nokia would be in first place, and all their phones would be Linux. The place Microsoft really need to put Elop is CEO of Samsung. Elop has demonstrated the abilities required to turn Samsung around and regain the bulk of the Windows Phone market from Nokia.

        1. Schultz

          "Elop delivered a massive coup for Microsoft."

          Indeed, he managed to radically shrink a world-class company, crash the company earnings and profit and to deliver the brand to his former masters. But he didn't do it cheaply, he burned through billions of Nokia cash reserves and additional billions of cash supplied by MS. How he can be considered as a good manager is beyond me, it would be interesting to see how he would burn the even greater cash pile of MS if he ever got the opportunity....

          Burning platform ... somebody should remove all those burning paper bills.

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            Re: "Elop delivered a massive coup for Microsoft."

            Possibly, as was speculated when Nokia switched to Windows Phone, he was an outstanding manager, and met all the goals he brought from his previous job.

          2. Charles Manning

            Re: "Elop delivered a massive coup for Microsoft."

            "How he can be considered as a good manager is beyond me,"

            That's because you are looking at it from the wrong set of eyeballs. It is about power, not money.

            Ballmer has a Google obsession. Ballmer wanted to give Google a bloody nose, no matter what the cost. Though Elop failed at that, he gave it a good try. Elop is one of Ballmers elite hitmen/lieutenants.

            But now that Ballmer's got his pink slip, MS will likely be changing back towards looking at money again. Elop will no longer enjoy the protection of Ballmer and, no doubt, his days are numbered.

  5. Tim 11

    This could be the best thing MS has done all year

    Not that that's much of an achievement mind you :-)

    But Nokia is still a good corporate brand. If the combination of MS and Nokia can produce the kind of handsets and tablets that enterprises want and have them seamlessly integrated with windows apps, domains, group policy, and that kind of stuff, they could quite easily become the default choice for enterprises if not consumers.

    Compared to recent MS screw-ups, this one looks eminently sensible for both organizations

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

      if the MS and Nokia engineering teams are allowed to get together you could be right. Unfortunately I expect MS will let the Marketing and Sales droids in on the act and flush it all down the crapper.

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

      I'm not convinced pandering to enterprise is in the long term going to save Noksoft (or Microia). Mobile phones are now such personal devices there is strong pressure to either choose their own or work with BYOD.

      The days of running two phones, one for work and one for home is behind us. Now even work phones are chosen on the same criteria as any other device. Beefing up the enterprise without improving the user experience is not going to help.

      (Nokia should know this. In the days of yore, Ericsoon went after the corporate market with it's very good but conservative T28. Nokia introduced a phone with replaceable covers and a in-built aerial and wiped the floor with it. As the song says "Whatever may come, the world keeps revolving, That it's all just a little bit of history repeating")

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

        I'm not going to put my personal phone in the hands of my company sysadmins who can decide what I'm allowed to do with it and wipe my company data and mine at their will.

        And if your company lets you use your phone with its data without taking control of your phone they are fool.

        Unless phones allow for two wholly separated storages, and ensure the wrong data can't go to the wrong storage, the whole BYOD is just a smart way for foolish company to save some money on hardware.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

          I had an an engineering job at a company that had to go BYOD from under capitalization. When I left, taking my computer with me, I also had a hard drive full of proprietary software, hardware designs, test data and other company information. Whooops. This wan't a fishmonger's shop but a proper high-tech company where intellectual property IS the value of the company.

          I did delete nearly all of the data only saving the work that I did. The whole BYOD concept makes it quite easy to leave a company with a Snowden load of their data. While the employment contract had me make promises about keeping company data private, they would have to PROVE that is was me that leaked proprietary information in a court of law. That task could be very expensive.

          If some effort was made to partition a dual sim phone so that one side could be kept completely personal and the other side allocated for business could comply with some data security protocols run by the company, maybe that would work. The first question IT should be getting an answer for is WHY does this employee need smartphone access to the company system. Most probably don't and it could be a vast grey gulf for many more. "Is the risk of losing the data the company is allowing an employee to access from a mobile platform either continuously via wireless tech or via the ability to acquire the data and store it on their mobile device while in the workplace balanced by a significant gain in income?" How often are there stories about a laptop/tablet/smartphone being stolen that contains a load of customer's credit card numbers or sensitive personal information? I've never seen a valid sounding reason for the practice and can think of many nefarious plots in the negative.

          1. keithpeter
            Windows

            Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

            "...a Snowden load of ... data"

            Excellently coined there. So much more fun than Kb/Mb/Gb. I have several Snowdens of music and about half a Snowden of photos of trains (guesstimates). I might manage to write a few tens of µSnowdens of text in November.

            I use RDP into my work machine from my laptop, thus keeping what is theirs theirs and what is mine mine.

            I'll have to get the other half a new candy bar phone before Microsoft stop making them. She doesn't like smartphones.

          2. John 62

            Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

            My employer allows BYOD for remote working, but all remote work is supposed to happen on their Citrix virtualised desktop system that doesn't let you copy-paste to/from the host device. The company-supplied desktops and laptops are all supposedly full-disk-encrypted, so that information can get on, but never be readable when transferred off using mass storage. Dropbox and skydrive etc are all blocked.

    3. Tannin
      Megaphone

      Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

      Tim 11 says "If the combination of MS and Nokia can produce the kind of handsets and tablets that enterprises want and have them seamlessly integrated with windows apps, domains, group policy, and that kind of stuff ....". It's an interesting view. The trouble with it is that Microsoft just went to a vast amount of trouble and expense to right royally bork the enterprise desktop by sticking it with the slow motion trainwreck sometimes called "Windows 8" but mostly called things I can't repeat here,

      And - here comes the key point - and the whole driving force behind this suicidally wrong-headed bet-the-company product is the Microsoft *phone* people. Yes, that's right, the very same people who are going to "seamlessly integrate" the phone with all the long-established enterprise infrastructure. Yes, you know the stuff I mean., the useful practical stuff all of us here use every day and get at from the old desktop ('coz Metro is too dumb have hooks into any of the techo stuff) or even from the command line ('coz the MS development schedule is schizophrenic and stuff gets neglected for years at a time, so you just do what works).

      Why would we think that the team and the mindset which just produced the worst Windows business interface ever made (yes, worse than ME or Vista) could suddenly turn around and start kicking goals on the enterprise integration front?

      Making all this even less likely, the Windows that runs on phones and tablets does NOT run Windows software. It only runs toy software from the Metro store, and even that has to be specially recompiled to run on a phone or a slab instead of an X86 computer.

      But thumbs up for Tim 11 just the same, 'coz he wrote "Compared to recent MS screw-ups, this one looks eminently sensible for both organizations". Just so. Nokia was on the way out anyway - that particular war was lost when they got into bed with Microsoft instead of going Android - so no harm done, and at least the shareholders get to salvage some value. And as for Microsoft, they've just wasted some tens of billions. So what? It's only money and they have plenty of money. Compared to what they did with Vista and the Office UI and especially the Windows 8 debacle, this is barely a flesh wound.

      /rant

    4. Kunari
      WTF?

      Re: This could be the best thing MS has done all year

      MS and Nokia were already working together, they aren't going to do any better as "one" company as they were doing as "two".

  6. DrXym Silver badge

    Windows Phone was a fatal mistake

    Cutting themselves off consumers was a pretty dumb move.

    They should have moved to Android. They could have customised the experience six ways to sunday and still benefited from being part as the same ecosystem as the likes of Samsung. Customers could have been drawn to their phones by the user experience, offline satnav app & maps, symbian runtime layer, enterprise tools and so on.

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: Windows Phone was a fatal mistake

      I'm not sure about the Android move. They were probably the only ones that actually had not one but three viable alternatives: Symbian (the Belle update), Meego and Harmattan. They had enough models to throw 'em out and see which one sticked, and I'm pretty sure at least one of 'em would've prevailed. They still were #1 in the market before the Elopocalypse.

      But yes, the MS deal only served to kill Nokia worldwide. So sad.

      1. Philip Lewis
        Happy

        Re: Windows Phone was a fatal mistake

        Still happily using my N9, but then again I am not an app junkie. It gets used for phonecalls, sms, skype, whatsapp, music player via BT to the Jambox etc. plus FF for the web at a pinch.

        I guess there are some 3rd party apps on there - I just find I don't use them much.

        Still a great phone today IMHO

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Windows Phone was a fatal mistake

      The biggest mistake MS has made is being so late to the party. The top flight single malt is all gone and there's only the weak American beer on offer. After the holiday season we may start finding smartphones free in cereal packets. They are more and more an undifferentiated commodity where price is 90% of the purchasing decision.

  7. squigbobble

    It's almost as if...

    ...M$ sent Elop in to tie Nokia to M$ and sink it so it'd be cheaper to buy and have nowhere else to go.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: It's almost as if...

      Microsoft standard operating procedure, in other words?

  8. Criminny Rickets
    Holmes

    Left Behind

    "Microsoft is like Sun: tied to a once thriving business - PCs - that market is getting left behind as the world moves on"

    You're forgetting to mention that one of the reasons the world is moving on is because of Microsoft itself, and its horrible excuse of new operating system, Windows 8. Given the choice of buying a new PC with Windows 8, and not buying a PC, a lot of people are opting not to buy a new PC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Left Behind

      Outside of Tech Land and the occasional educated yoof this is, of course, absolute tosh.

      I really wish techies would grow up, step outside their own little world, and see things as the general public does. This isn't aimed particularly at the comment I'm replying to; this is merely one example of this exasperating blindness.

      The average non-techie doesn't know or care what an OS is. They go into a shop and buy the expensive Mac (because they have heard of Apple) or the much cheaper no-name (in their non-tech world) PC running Windows.

      They don't compare 8.0/8.1 to 7 or Vista. They may notice it looks a little different but they need a laptop and Macbooks are twice the price so they buy the Windows one. They don't stop buying because they don't like Windows 8 - they know they have no other cost-effective choice.

      The thing that is killing the PC bottom line is nothing to do with Windows 8 (which I use via Boot Camp and prefer to OSX), it is the alternative form factors of tablet/phone and their convenience.

      It's cool to knock Microsoft and, deity knows, there are some good reasons. A Windows version that is twice as fast, looks nicer and runs on old hardware is not one of them. The death of PCs is merely coincidental with this edition of Windows.

      1. Simon Barker

        Re: Left Behind

        @ AC

        While I can agree with some of your points you should consider what these non-techies end up hearing and there's been so much bad press around Windows 8 that many are trying to avoid regardless of whether it's actually the correct decision or not.

        Let me give you an example, I showed off a Windows 8 device to one of my clients and he seemed reasonably happy about it at the time, he's been needing to upgrade some of his kit for a while but now a few months later he's dead set on not getting a Windows 8 device. He certainly hasn't been using Windows 8 so why the change in opinion?

        I'd be willing to bet a lot of non-technical people almost resent having to buy a computer regardless of the operating system it's running and especially if you're not well versed on the subject even a casual glance will bring up a lot of negativity with Windows 8 and whether it's deserved or not is irrelevant at this stage.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Left Behind

        Are you, or are you not, a minion of the Dark Lord "Steve" Balldemort?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Left Behind

        "I really wish techies would grow up, step outside their own little world, and see things as the general public does."

        Have you seen the swarms of people flocking round Windows 8 PCs in places like Dixons/ PC World?

        No of course you haven't ... they''re all swarming round the Apple and Android Tablets and phones.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Left Behind

          "Have you seen the swarms of people flocking round Windows 8 PCs in places like Dixons/ PC World?

          No of course you haven't ... they''re all swarming round the Apple and Android Tablets and phones."

          I believe that's what I said.

      4. Daniel B.
        Meh

        Re: Left Behind

        Actually, you'll notice that Windows 8 stinks so bad even non-techies hate it. While previous releases may have had less noticeability in the changes between versions, Win8 managed to break stuff so bad even the techno-illiterates have noticed it. And the consensus is that it sucks donkey balls!

        So yes, people are actually avoiding the Win8 gear, and even the few that are buying 'em are ripping out Win8 and reinstalling Win7. Those who don't know how to do that are asking their tech-savvy friends to do it for them. It probably surpasses even Vista as the most hated MS OS release in all of MS's history!

        You'd think that by now, MS would have got the memo and "fixed" win8 (give the people a "disable kiddy toy UI" option) but they don't. It might be that it is only vendor lock-in that prevents people from mass migrating to another OS by now...

      5. Ben Hanson 1

        Re: Left Behind

        "I really wish techies would grow up, step outside their own little world, and see things as the general public does. This isn't aimed particularly at the comment I'm replying to; this is merely one example of this exasperating blindness."

        The thing is, you're being exactly that kind of arrogant prick yourself, except instead of a bearded heavy metal fan in combat boots, you're couching yourself in the "look at me, I understand business" bullshit.

        "The thing that is killing the PC bottom line is nothing to do with Windows 8 (which I use via Boot Camp and prefer to OSX), it is the alternative form factors of tablet/phone and their convenience."

        Modernisation is hurting both Nokia and Microsoft. That doesn't mean they aren't both hurting themselves into the bargain. Many companies are run by people that simply don't understand their customers. Powerful people *love* to think that everyone else is a total moron. The world just doesn't work that way.

      6. keithpeter

        Re: Left Behind

        "They don't stop buying because they don't like Windows 8 - they know they have no other cost-effective choice."

        Find a large out of town Tescos. Watch the people playing with the laptops on the display, then moving over to the tablets. Reconsider your views slightly. Anthropology is quite absorbing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Left Behind

          "Find a large out of town Tescos. Watch the people playing with the laptops on the display, then moving over to the tablets. Reconsider your views slightly. Anthropology is quite absorbing."

          As I said, they are not comparing it to previous Windows versions. They are choosing the Macs or a different form factor. That was, in fact, my point. So thank you.

  9. typeo

    "The Lumia 1020 is awesome in terms of what it has for camera and imaging and yet I think as one company, we would have doubled down on that amazing, even greater range of software and services investment around the core hardware platform,"

    It seems to me that Nokia have put a lot of effort into Windows Phone with very little in the way of updates and features in the OS from the MS side. Even the Nokia VP has mentioned frustration with the way MS are treating Windows Phone: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/494885/20130726/nokia-microsoft-needs-evolve-windows-phone-succeed.htm

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I suspect this is the actual reason for the merger. Not that MS can't get Nokia to cooperate with it, but that MS can't get MS to cooperate with Nokia. So by eating it, and bringing the Nokia CEO back in-house, they can try to get someone big enough to win in the MS upper-middle-management bunfight that seems to screw up half of any good work the company does.

      Of course Elop failed to manage this at Nokia, which is why he junked all their myriad competing OSes and ideas, and went with an outside one (Win Pho). So I'm not sure this augurs well for the future of Win Phone.

      After all Windows had a perfectly good phone OS with around 50% of smartphone market share. OK that was Windows Mobile 5, and it was getting very old and crappy by the end. But it competed perfectly adequately with Symbian back in 2005, which was also pretty ropey (in different ways). However, MS stopped caring and updating and got overtaken, then steamrollered, by the rest of the market. As did Symbian.

      I don't understand why big corporations can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Surely the whole point of having different divisions is that while all the CEO's time is being spent on trying to rescue Longhorn/Vista, launch XBox, sort out the Software Assurance mess and the like, the divisional head of phones can happily beaver away improving Win Mobile. I'm sure you've got to convince the board to be allowed to re-write from scratch, but they didnt seem to do any development on it at all for years. Then lots of flailing. And they still appear to be in the flailing stage, just slower and in different ways. And I say that as someone who likes Win Pho 7 - and owned a Nokia Lumia 710.

  10. Mark Simon

    Microsoft has clearly lost its way

    No one would have accused Microsoft of being a genuine innovator, but clearly Microsoft has completely lost its way and has nothing left but to buy into someone else’s market.

    The problem is Microsoft is clearly trying to play catch-up. No new ideas, no new markets, just desperate to buy into a market long ago dominated by more innovative companies.

    It seems that pushing an operating system nobody wants onto a phone which people are abandoning en masse has already proven to be a failure. I can’t see how being bought by a company which is massively losing the confidence of its users could possibly be a winning strategy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft has clearly lost its way

      Yes, I agree they have lost their way a little.

      However - not an innovator?

      They were in tablets years before Apple.

      They had smart watches a decade ago.

      They had Windows Mobile (a smart phone with apps) way before Apple.

      Their problem was twofold. They lack style (as Jobs said), and the hardware wasn't up to the job at the time.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        The way that Microsoft lost

        Monopoly: Microsoft claim 95% of the Windows market (I assume this means most pirates have deserted the sinking ship). The figure they hide under the bilge is that Microsoft have 30% of the installed base when you include non-Windows devices.

        Legacy software: The value of Microsoft's operating systems was that they (mostly) ran (well enough) software that companies had invested time and money on. Microsoft are winning their battle against legacy software. If things go according to plan, all software will be bought from Microsoft who might send some scraps back to the third-party developers.

        Lock-in: As legacy software becomes harder to install, lock-in becomes lock-out. Microsoft are pushing their users along the gang-plank expecting them to fall into a walled garden. Instead users are using their mobiles to call in an air-lift.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: The way that Microsoft lost

          Microsoft has 101% of the *Windows* market, believe me.

          It was 95% of the *desktop* market. Sure, there are not much more devices including phones - but remember most people owning a phone also own a PC, and there are good chances it's running Windows - still a huge percentage of them. "Legacy software" is not so legacy, maybe it's just "production software", the one they use to perform actual work and not just to look cats on YouTube or chat with their friends.

          Also when they connect to a remote server there's a good chance they connect to something running some Microsoft software.

          1. Daniel B.

            Re: The way that Microsoft lost

            "Legacy software" is not so legacy, maybe it's just "production software", the one they use to perform actual work and not just to look cats on YouTube or chat with their friends.

            Ah yes ... its running on a Java EE 5 Application Server. You mean the production software, don't you? The one we use right now? Yes, there are some really old unsupported monstrosities built on the barftastic VB6, but those are being migrated to the aforementioned Java web platform.

            Also when they connect to a remote server there's a good chance they connect to something running some Microsoft software.

            It's either AIX or RHEL, though. Really, if you're pushing the MS domination card, server space is the least likely place you'll find MS dominating.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: The way that Microsoft lost

              Dominating maybe not, but especially inside companies there's a lot of MS software running from Exchange servers to SQL Server databases to Sharepoint and much more. Why C# became so mainstream? To code applications for Mono? C'mon.

              Yes, your petty site on a cheap ISV will probably run on LAMP, but a lot of enterprise applications runs on a MS stack - it's time people understand there's not only "internet servers".

              For example see http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23974913

              "Microsoft Windows server demand continued to increase in 4Q12 as hardware revenue increased 3.2% year over year. Quarterly revenue of $6.7 billion for Windows servers represented 45.8% of overall quarterly factory revenue, the same share as in the prior year's quarter"

              Windows Server is now a strong competitor in many areas, especially since 64 bit version and Hyper-V became available. Sure, you find less Windows Server published on the Internet, where cheaper Linux server could be better - but inside companies you find a lot of them, because a lot of software requires it, especially when you need to manage a complex infrastructure you need something like Active Directory, and RHEL or any other Linuxes offer very little when it comes to that.

              1. Christian Berger Silver badge

                Re: The way that Microsoft lost

                "but a lot of enterprise applications runs on a MS stack"

                If by "enterprise applications" you mean badly written expensive software packages which are barely maintainable and therefore require expensive maintenance contracts and still don't work well, then I agree partially. MS is competing with Java in that field, yes. As well as Cobol and some Fortran.

                The big problem for Microsoft is that most people developing for their systems have little idea what they are doing. People who have been into software development for longer times and have been trying to learn new things often stop bothering with the Windows platform. It's a bit like PHP, you may find a good PHP programmer, but few good programmers bother with PHP because of it's bad reputation. You'd have to wade through seas of people who claim to be PHP experts, yet constantly code injectable SQL.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The way that Microsoft lost

          +1 for the phrase "Instead users are using their mobiles to call in an air-lift." Brilliant.

          Isn't it going to be the mother of all ironies if Microsoft/Nokia trip over their laces just as Apple get caught in the badlands of Un-Innovation (nothing new in iOS worth buying an iPhone for) and the world needs another alternative to Android.

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: They were in tablets years before Apple.

        Indeed. And how did that get screwed up ?

        Because Gates (at the time) was adamant that there was only one Windows, and wanted the tablets to run the full Windows OS. Which, of course, the hardware of the time had no chance of doing.

        There were people in Microsoft at the time who thought of making a smaller, more nimble OS that could run the tablets and still be called Windows something-or-another, but His Gateness overruled, with the result that today, tablets have made a comeback and they are called Ipads.

        The UI debacle of Windows 8 demonstrates that MS is incapable of learning from its own history. The not-Metro interface is not an issue on a tablet, it is on a desktop. Why impose it on a desktop ? Because MS doesn't learn from its own past.

        I think Nokiasoft is going to be a failure. An 800-pound gorilla failure. And the taller they are . . .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They were in tablets years before Apple.

          Indeed… I've done some thinking about this. What would an iPad-style tablet computer's specs look like, had it been built with 2000-esque components?

          Probably something akin to the Windows CE Handheld PC devices. Low-end, low-power CPU, likely RISC. No more than about 32MB RAM. Perhaps 256MB of flash storage. Resistive touch-screen.

          No way in hell you'd get Windows 2000 or Windows ME (the two desktop OSes of the day) running on that. Windows CE can and did run on that, but its UI was awful for a touch-screen.

  11. jillesvangurp

    Actually, it makes a lot of sense. I don't know why this author is bringing up Android as an option that was somehow on the table recently for Nokia. That's not the case and it shows a complete lack of understanding of how difficult it would be for Nokia to port all their software assets (maps, camera stuff, other apps) to Android. That would take years, just like it took years to do on Windows Phone. That never was going to happen. If they had wanted to do that, it would have been much easier to add Android support to Meego. However, they got out of that business two years ago and layed off all the related R&D staff.

    Microsoft just bought a growing phone business that is projected to claim the #3 position in the smart phone market this year and that currently holds a solid grip on the #2 position in the overall phone market. There are a lot of people that sort try to portray this as a very negative thing but in reality all phone manufacturers except Apple and Samsung are doing much worse in terms of market share, growth, margins, and profits.

    So, that's a somewhat better spending of money than e.g. Google buying the crumbled remains of Motorola for double the money and effectively no marketshare worth talking about at all.

    Still the question is valid as to how Microsoft should proceed in merging the two companies. Luckily, Elop has already cut a lot of the dead wood in Nokia and prepared it for this event. Several tens of thousands of people have already been layed off and what remains is pretty well organized (hence the recent turnaround in growth for Nokia). Microsoft never had much in terms of logistics, production, and in the field people that make up much of the 30K people that remain in Nokia. One reason why Nokia was so successful a few years ago is that it had feet on the ground in most countries and good relations with the hundreds of operators world wide. It's the same reason why Apple is struggling in many markets (e.g. China, the largest market for Smart phones): they never had that.

    Most of the R&D org is already nicely split up between Asha and Lumia. They can run Asha as is for as long as it is profitable, sell it off as a whole, or properly kill it when the time comes. Nokia has been milking that cash cow for ten years already and recently revamped it to be able to continue to do that for years to come. Samsung is the only competitor in this space for them and the market for this segment is measured in billions of people.

    So, this is very different from the past mergers mentioned in the article where there was poor alignment at the organizational and business level. Microsoft got a bargain here. There's plenty of ways that they can mess this up but if they play it right, they'll dethrone Apple as the #2 in just a few short years take a nice bite out of Samsung's business as well.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Stop

      Maps runs on Asha, Symbian, WP, and Meego. It's not as if it's obscure non-portable code.

      Also the Meego team are now Jolla and they can be brought back in to Nokia or Nokia can outsource the work to them if they want to remain independent. I'm sure doubt that they could get a version of Maps running on Android as Sailfish is also Linux based and runs Dalvik.

      As for WP dethroning Apple and Samsung, that's your viewpoint and you're entitled to it.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > Microsoft just bought a growing phone business that is

      Actually there is another reason that MS bought Nokia. The exclusive deal for WP is due to be 'renegotiated' in 2014. The WP only deal has brought Nokia nothing but losses and a _shrinking_ business. It is entirely possible that the board was considering several options: dump the phone business; go back to Maemo/Meego/Sailfish or Android/Ubuntu; sell off to Lenovo. Any of those would be a complete fail for WP and MS. The MS buyout was facesaving before any other consideration.

      > projected to claim the #3 position in the smart phone market this year and that currently holds a solid grip on the #2 position in the overall phone market.

      Currently #2, projected #3 ? In that case Android is #0 and Apple #1.

      From IDC today: "IDC predict that Windows Phone won’t reach a double-digit share of the global smartphone market until 2017, when it will account for 10.2% of all smartphones shipped"

      > in reality all phone manufacturers except Apple and Samsung are doing much worse in terms of market share, growth, margins, and profits.

      Nokia phone division has made a loss consistently in spite of getting 1billion a year from MS. Several companies outsell Nokia WP but they are lumped into the 'Android' 7.5% market share which effectively hides the fact. For example Huawei, Sony and ZTE all have a bigger global smartphone market share (4.2 - 4.9% than Nokia's WP share (3%).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much of the deal ties Nokia to Winphone only production?

    I thought the deal was that MS now owns the part of Nokia that was making Winphones, and could continue making this brand of phones. Does this now free up Nokia itself to producing other types of phones - essentially freeing them up to spend billions (that have somehow arrived in their hands) to compete with MS, Motoggle, Apple, and the rest of the smartphone producers, with their new line of Android-based phones?

    I'm actually asking, because I do not know precisely, and I seem to keep getting conflicting info (so gimme some more of that!)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Nokia can only release phones with their name from January 2016 onwards however they can release other mobile devices (I'm not sure if that includes fondleslabs too) under their name from today. If you see a Nokia Satnav in a car it'll be from the real Nokia and I think Nokia are free to make map apps for iOS and Android.

      Nokia's brand name is licensed out to Microsoft for mobile devices, but only for dumbphones based on Series 30, Series 40, and Asha. As for smartphones, Microsoft can only call them "Lumia" (not "Nokia Lumia").

      Nokia can only licence its brand name out to other companies for mobile devices from July 2016, after that point MS is on its own.

      So after two years MS has got competition from Nokia and after 2.5 years it's got competition from Nokia and anyone Nokia cares to license its brand name out to.

      This is quite a good deal for Nokia, Nokia has got rid of the loss making division (thanks to Flop) and is free to reinvent itself in its own good time and re-enter the developing world, meanwhile MS has painted itself into a corner with WinPhone, I doubt OEMs will want to touch it unless there's some really strong coercive techniques by MS... but MS' monopoly isn't what it used to be.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Nokia are unlikely to re-enter the phone market, having only just got out of it - and hived off all their R&D, sales and logistics people to Accenture and MS. Plus the ones they laid off. I guess they've retained that option, but I doubt they've got very much expertise left in house, in order to do so. Unless they fancy building the business up from scratch. Obviously they're now profitable without the loss-making phone division, with $4 billion in the bank, and another $5bn coming from MS, plus a generous cheap line of credit. So they've got a nice cash-pile to play with. But only Samsung and Apple are really making money from the phone market now, and that's mostly from the expensive smartphone end - the margins on the volume end are dropping. Not a market I'd suggest that's worth re-joining.

        Especially as they've got nice profits coming from their software side, and software doesn't need the huge setup costs in production and distribution required for a profitable move into volume manufacturing.

        1. Paul 75

          This could be a great move by the "remainder" of Nokia that MS don't get their hands on.

          Firstly, they get rid of that asshole Elop, and his asshole board of asslicking directors.

          Secondly, they get rid of the bag-of-shite WinPhone platform.

          What is left, if I understand correctly, is the Asha phone line, NAVTEQ/Maps, patents, and a GIANT pile of cash.

          Nokia would have a couple of years time to engineer an Android phone ready for when they can start using their brand on phones again. This will compete strongly with Samsung and bury Elop & co.

          Of course, they could blow the cash pile on a damn good weekend out in Tallinn with blackjack and hookers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was also considering Nokia being able to re-enter the phone market.

        Getting a fresh start, but building on a strong brand name, and now without the baggage of being tied to one OS.

        Hopefully the people around Elop were quick enough to construct this deal so that they - without admitting that he had allowed him to run the company downwards - could be free of him, get a good deal, and start preparing for a re-birth into the phone (smart-)phone market.

        Well I'm hoping for an independent Nokia return to the arena

  13. Sil

    The deal makes a lot more sense than aquantive which was basically worth nothing and Skype which it should have paid a tenth of what it did.

    - there are potent signs that Windows phone may have found its audience: new smartphone users with limited budget. This is probably the fastest growing segment of the Industry. Huge growth is a few markets are a realistic possibility. Now is not the time to have your biggest partner exploring other alleys.

    - MSFT stands to learn a thing or two in many areas: industrial design, consumer marketing come to mind.

    - For once many synergies seem realistic in the backoffice / admin / finance stuff.

    - assuming the merger is a complete failure MSFT would still have recouped lots of IP value and brain power.

    . The one real thing is to risk alienating other partners, but they only represent 20% of the ecosystem and were probably much more offended by the Surface and ridiculous Windows RT (absolutely no reason to exist seeing how energy efficient you can get with Intel, ridiculous name, confusing for consumers, a horrendous launch that managed to sabotage Windows 8 launch)

    1. Philip Lewis
      Megaphone

      Carriers detest Microsoft, Ballmer & Elop

      If their is an evil trilogy in the carrier centric world view, it is WP with Skype, Ballmer and Elop.

      The individuals themselves are not popular, and the carriers do not want to subsidies phones with Skype pre-installed.

      Nokia has (may still have and without Elop may return to) good carrier relations.

      MS has never had and is that is unlikely to change.

      I see this all as the board firing Elop and sending him back home with the disaster that he created, so that Nokia may start afresh with money in their pocket before Elop pisses it all away.

  14. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Stop

    Dinosaurs mating...

    ...is the usual description applied in these cases, isn't it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dinosaurs mating...

      Probably more appropriate, with Nokia playing the part of "mummy" getting shafted by Microsoft.

      Question is, is this dinosaur capable of laying eggs still? Or is "daddy" shooting blanks?

  15. GT66

    Nokia's failure

    Nokia's dogmatic belief that they needed their own OS is what set them on the path to their doom. They clung to that belief until their only choice was to run into Microsoft's death grip. Expect "new" phones from Nokia to be packed with Microsoft features like brown cases, and half baked OS capabilities. Expect cutting edge branding like Zune II or "Surface XYZ" and most importantly, expect the phones to be priced far higher than all competitors while delivering much, much less.

    Microsoft IS NOT Google. The sooner it realizes that, the better their chances of not becoming the next Sun.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Nokia's failure

      Thanks to heaven MS is not Google... beyond its search engine and maps there's just crappy applications good for the casual user only - and you have to give away all of your data and your first born to use them. And as Google said, you have to expect no privacy since you gave away your data willingly....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @LDS - Re: Nokia's failure

        Remind me again why you need a Microsoft login in order to access your Windows PC locally ? Oh and seamless SkyDrive integration with your local storage ? Skype snooping?

        Let's not be silly, shall we?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: @LDS - Nokia's failure

          I do not need any MS login to access my Windows PC. Nor I use SkyDrive.

          Anyway MS makes money selling software. Google makes money selling you.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @LDS - Nokia's failure

          You don't.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @LDS

        Remember MS are as much a part of PRISM as Google.

        And the issue there is not that they were complying with court-ordered access (as in the "Nuremberg defence") , but that they went out of their way to assist in the gather of such data as part of a paid program...

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: @LDS

          PRISM is a matter of government enforcement - if NSA ask you data, it's a bit difficult to say no. But Google main business *is selling you and your data*, while at least MS makes money selling software.

          Do you really believe Google is a charity giving away software for free? It just lures you into its software to extract as much data as it can from you and sells them. If you're happy with that, up to you. Keep on thinking "Google is good", one day you'll awake and see how a big mistake was to sell yourself to Google.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: @LDS

            > But Google main business *is selling you and your data*, while at least MS makes money selling software.

            And Microsoft's Bing main business is: *is selling you and your data*.

            It is just that they don't do it as well and consequently run it at a loss. But they still do that.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: @LDS

            The mantra bears repeating constantly until the masses get the message:

            "If you aren't paying for a product or service, you are the product."

            The data mining algorithms that major retailers have admitted to are nothing short of amazing. They know with very good accuracy when a woman is pregnant. I expect before too long that you will be able to look up a new girlfriend online and be able to find on which date you should make your move. This is all due to people cheerfully handing out everything about themselves on a daily basis. All I can do is make sure they don't take a picture of me to post on Facebook. I prefer not to have every surveillance camera in the world know who I am in microseconds of being imaged.

  16. Shagbag

    The problem with Ballmer...

    ...is that no-one believes him any more.

  17. LDS Silver badge

    How many commentators are really scared that MS/Nokia could work...

    I see the usual FUD here, the PC is dead (no, it isn't, it's just no more the fashionable gadget, but you need it for serious work), server software is not important (just because Apple doesn't make it?) etc. etc.

    It looks many are really scared of a MS comeback in the mobile space. After all, even Apple was in big troubles before Jobs comeback. People like to talk bad of it, but Windows Phone 8 is an interesting OS, and if properly improved can fight is battle. After all even the first XBox was not a winner, but what happened later?

    MS is not yet dead - and is still capable to fight. Nokia brings a lot of hardware engineering skills, the marriage could work. Like Apple desperately needed a decent OS and GUI framework to upgrade its moribund and outdated OS - something NeXT had.

    Maybe the marriage will work, and many here will be very disappointed the hated MS is not going away...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I'm sorry, but the PC is dead, from a market point of view.

      The PC is dead because people no longer need it to do 90% of what they generally do, which is send messages, surf the web, watch Youtube and dick around on Facebook. You do these things on tablets and smartphones these days, and they are much easier to manage than a PC.

      I do agree that PCs are for the heavy lifting, absolutely. CAD, programming, video editing, gaming (for some types of games), these are things are done best on a PC. And typing a letter/report is best done with a keyboard.

      But PC-centric things are not home-user activity, and it is the home-user that has driven the PC market up to now. The home user is now using tablets and smartphones that are more and more powerful every year, which makes choosing a PC less and less interesting as time goes by.

      What it means is that the PC is going back to what it was : an engineers tool, a specialist tool. The general public is going to forget about them in the next ten years.

      The PC is finally dead. That is not FUD, it's evolution.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        "What it means is that the PC is going back to what it was : an engineers tool, a specialist tool. The general public is going to forget about them in the next ten years."

        No that actually was the workstation. The big problem here is that we are confusing multiple different markets which, till recently, were converged.

        One is the games market. That market used to be supplied by dedicated devices and home computers like the C-64 and the Amiga. Eventually PCs became good enough for that so they took a large part of that chunk. Now that market is moving towards mobile and dedicated devices.

        Another one is the word processor market. That market used to be supplied by dedicated devices (word processing typewriters and the like), however eventually PCs were cheaper and offered more capabilities. This market will probably stay with PCs in the meantime.

        The professional market. That market used to be supplied by various kinds of dedicated devices and workstations. Graphic artists used to have Amigas, Musicians Atari STs while engineers/scientists had UNIX-workstations. Those switched to PC/MAC when they became cheaper. Those often just run very few software packages and don't really care about the operating system below. Particularly in the technical/scientific field UNIX-workstations were popular, and now they are using Linux or MacOSX. It is yet unclear what those people will be doing.

        So it's really just different markets that are moving. They used to converge on the PC giving it a huge boost, but now that is wearing off.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "And neither is particularly new or adept at changing their business practices and structures."

    So why is Nokia selling up and changing?

    I'd say for Nokia so have existed since the 1800s makes them a very adaptable business. Yes you can say their phone business tanked, but sometimes a business should just dump a division instead of letting it bring down the company.

    Kodak and others never learned this. HP dumps products all the time.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Kodak and others never learned this. HP dumps products all the time."

      AC, the sad thing is that Kodak was the leader in digital camera technology at the start and failed to recognize the huge potential. Massive (lots of mass) = lots of inertia.

  19. DougS Silver badge

    The only winner here is Samsung

    If Nokia got behind Android, they're the one company that could challenge Samsung's total domination of Android.

    Even Google is really a loser in the Microsoft/Nokia deal because they really don't want to see one company dominating Android to this extent.

  20. JLV Silver badge

    "Number one, we talked about one brand and a unified voice to the market."

    So, does Ballmer really think that people would want to buy a Microsoft phone over a Nokia phone?

    Purely, purely, from point of view of the brand awareness and respect for Nokia vs. MS in __PHONES__?

    I'd like to have some of what Steve is smoking.

    This deal may or may not work out, but branding Lumias as Microsoft phones would be a disaster IMHO.

    By all means, improve WinPhone and Nokia hardware. Whether or not you like MS, the phone market will benefit from the innovation that comes with multiple big players.

    But sell it as Nokia, not as Microsoft. If it gains traction, it will make it all the easier to win the other phone manufacturers back to WinPhone. And there is a cautionary tale in how the average customer identifies with Samsung phones rather than Android phones by Samsung.

  21. tentimes

    They are both dead

    I really believe they are both on their way down the shitter. We will look back on this waltz as their dance on the titanic, with all of us in the deck chairs.

    And Baller made the magic...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They are both dead

      You can sit in the deck chairs if you like… but I'm rowing my Linux-based life raft well out of harm's way!

  22. Herby Silver badge

    Transaction simplified...

    Microsoft just spent billions of dollars/euros buying a new CEO.

    Was it worth it? IMHO probably not, but time will tell if it does work out. In the meantime, Samsung and Apple are selling things like hotcakes.

    It IS hard being #3 (with an anchor, not a bullet). And the hits keep on coming.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope Nokia does take over

    Let's look at track records over time...

    Microsoft:

    - Windows 7 to Windows 8: new UI may be nice for tablets, but is a train wreck for experienced productive users actually trying to earn an income.

    - Windows Mobile 6.x to Windows Phone - Former had full exchange support, latter doesn't sync tasks, notes. WTF?

    - Windows Phone 7 to 8 - 7 has Zune subscription music service that works; 8 dumped it in the trash bin, has Xbox music mess and Windows OS sync software that looks like a bad school project. Go see the forum with nearly a thousand negative comments about that one to see what I mean (windowsphone.uservoice.com)!

    Nokia:

    - Real camera innovations

    - Great mapping, very good navigation. Beat the soiled pants off Apple on this one.

    - Nokia music service; not Zune because it's mostly cloud-only, but better than Xbox music junk pile

    So who has the better recent track record of actually doing things that are useful and wanted by consumers?

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Tchou
    Devil

    I must confess...

    ... I own a Lumia and I like it a lot.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: I must confess...

      Wow you are a rare breed my friend. Especially here in the states where Nokia has always been a bit player even in the good ole days.

  26. vadertime
    WTF?

    Two Garbage Trucks

    I love this article. It's similar to an article from another publication, likening this marriage to the last two partners left at the dance, who decide to go home together. It's a sad hookup, but I think there may be legitimacy to the idea that Nokia may have been ready to jump over to the Android camp, which scared the heck out of Balmer. Nokia is a device company. They sell shiploads of phones at razor thin margins, or at least they used to. The Windows smartphone strategy, under Elop, didn't quite work out. Now that Elop is coming back to Microsoft after sabotaging and undermining Nokia, it's beginning to look like the conspiracy theorists might have been right, but I digress. I think the sound of two garbage trucks colliding in the distance is a very appropriate metaphor. The Titanic is the only other metaphor that comes to mind.

  27. W. Anderson

    There is one aspect of the oversized Microsoft-Nokia story that most all commenters are missing .A significant percentage of the American public still think that Microsoft is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and will therefore automatically purchase their products with $billion new marketing gimmicks.

    Furthermore, with the company's recent initiative of actually giving hundreds of thousands of their Surface tablets to USA school systems, as well as potentially dumping tens of millions of low end Win8 smartphones on Asian and African markets, Microsoft may bounce back into relevance.

    I have, in more than thirty years in the technology field, seen so many mediocre products and services from Microsoft succeed beyond belief, that I would never discount Microsoft from making good, even if the company new official slogan was "We are going to screw every Microsoft product purchaser with crap products."

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019