Friday, 11 February 2011

Nokia's towel has been thrown - sad but true

So it happened. Mr Elop decided to make financial geeks happy (hmm, apparently not) and disappoint all devoted Nokia fans at the same time by announcing "strategic partnership" with Microsoft.

What struck me today in the morning, once such bold announcement has been made, is that no earlier than few months ago Mr Elop has been quite positive about future of Nokia in context of MeeGo in one of the interviews he gave. What had to happen in-between to suddenly make him claim Nokia as "burning platform" and need to "join an ecosystem" remains unclear. Yet I suspect his Microsoft roots had some influence here but we'll never know.

Nonetheless, this is it. We will now have MicroNokia (or better NoSoft) with Windows Phone OS rather than MeeGo.

Although Symbian and MeeGo aren't officialy ditched, I reckon today's announcement (on par with N9 cancellation rumour we've heard just days ago) is quite clear about the future of MeeGo in Nokia. Or rather lack of thereof. Even if it survives somehow with Nokia it will probably be kept as a niche, open source side project for "experimental" devices. Sounds familiar, right?

I can't understand how this could happen with all that heavy MeeGo and, more importantly, Qt buzz we've seen over past months?! Let me be clear - Nokia is indeed in deep trouble and maybe even is a "burning platform", yet they have all these tools and potential to "build" rather than "join" a competetive ecosystem. And yes, I agree that Symbian's quite dated, MeeGo didn't really take off yet, and Ovi's not quite there yet either, however with Qt being that joining glue, they could really make it a compelling and innovative platform that could make real impact on the market.

They could. Yet today they have chosen to ditch all that effort althogether, throw a towel and start over again on top of Microsoft's OS instead. This is an absolute, utter and unbelievable disgrace.

Even Mr Elop insisting that they will "build" an ecosystem with Microsoft won't convince me. More importantly, now you have to convince all these folks who believed in MeeGo/Qt to not switch to Android or iOS instead! But since Qt ecosystem is virtually nothing, would you bother anyway? Surely not.

On the other hand, this is all fresh and I write it with great deal of affection, as I'm one of those "old-Nokia believers", and who knows - maybe all that change would actually turn out good in long-run? No matter how we hate this decision now, it will be matter of coming months (at least) to see what actually will come out of it. In fact, I've had brief play with Windows Phone 7 powered device already and I must say it was pretty nice experience, so... who knows, maybe pairing WP7 experience with Nokia's hardware is going to work out well? Well, time will tell but for time being I'm sceptical to put it mild.

Nonetheless, I am worried about that deal in one more aspect. Many people see this deal as great thing for Microsoft and not that great for Nokia. Imagine Microsoft decides to pull out from partnership for whatever reason at some point in the future? You never know, right? What you'll get is Microsoft with their own mobile OS promoted on the back of Nokia and... Nokia left with nothing and diverting their strategy once again - back to the rubber business. You never know, right?


  1. They want to lead with a OS that has taken off? Why the hell are they using WP7? That's only marginally less Dead-on-Arrival than Maemo.

    One thing is true, Nokia can't run complimenting services to save their lives. OVI is useless and they've closed several parts of it over the last year.

    But it didn't have to be an all-or-nothing deal. They could have reached out to Yahoo and the other big web-service people to make something truly great.

    WP7 will be the death of Nokia. And it looks like my ageing N900 will be my last Nokia phone.

    I hate to speculate what this is going to do to the money Nokia throws as open source projects like Qt.

  2. I wouldn't be so sure about the happiness of financial geeks. Look at the share, it's going down the toilets since this morning.

  3. I was beginning to hope that Meego will be my new O/S of choice after Maemo especially with the rumored N9 specs such as x86 cpu .. immagine what pro linux devs could've done with that .. whole linux distros on my mobile (ex backtrack which cannot not run on N900 as is cause the ARM architecture is not x86) .. qow well, I guess i'll stick with my lovely n900 for now xD (haha windows vs linux competition on Nokia mobiles)

  4. My 1st ever phone was a motorola flip about 15 years ago since then i have been a loyal supporter of nokia and have always advised my friends and family to choose nokia until now! I've had my n900 now for about a year and to say i am disapointed is an understatement nokia's so called flagship phone was finished before it started.

    my n900 is the last nokia I will ever purchase and i will be advising evryone I know to choose anything other than nokia.

    Thanks for the £400 brick nokia

  5. Sad to see what happens when politics meets technology. Often times the true superior platform doesn't win out (as in his case). I love my N900- but I think this may be the last Nokia I buy.

  6. Naah.. i will buy another N900 after this one dies.. THAT will be the last nokia for me.
    Unless they actually will release a meego device this year (i highly doubt it)

  7. The Nokia Oil drilling platform is burning, but Elop called the Micrsoft-Pirates for help!

  8. Nokia needed this they need to compete with Apple and the Android Armarda.
    Nokia was in trouble and I dont reckon MS will pull out in the future either they need this just as badly or face extinction on the mobile front
    Nokia was symbion not meego which has no hand set really.
    I feel the pain though but sticking but betting the farm on meego which is way behind andriod on the apps front would have been reckless!

  9. tja.. nokia din't have a real choice, I feel.
    Development is expensive.
    When you're in trouble you look for a rich and experienced partner to help you.
    So they did.
    MS needs an experienced hardware partner?
    Possibly its a very smart move for both...
    Time will tell.

    Hopefully they will find the courage and finance to go on with the 'n9' and Meego projects.

    n900 my last Nokia, no don't think so.

    My wife's n900? Her last Nokia? yes, possibly.

  10. Everyone is screeming and making this look like a big deal (Yes, it might be a big deal, depending on what perspective you look at it). Nokia sticking with symbian is pointless (it would have only been a matter of time before they become extint), we all know that symbian has come of age. Meego on the other hand didn't take off (at least not as nokia expected). Reciting meego meego meego meego doesn't change the fact that nokia has been able to deliver a meego device yet and it already about three years ago the first iPhone was released. Not one of Nokia's present phone is close to good enough to compete with iPhone and Android.

    This is a risk nokia had to take, for a minute put your sentiments and bias glasses on the shelves and look at the reality. WP7 is not a bad OS, and Nokia needed an OS (not Symbian) and meego is not even close to ready. IMHO, WP7 was a smart move by Nokia but only time will tell.

  11. Petition to Nokia: Reconsider MeeGo as strategic platform!