Nokia & Microsoft: The Bigger Picture
Nokia will be making Windows Phone 7 devices by the truckloads, if you had been harboring dreams of an Android intervention, deal with it. The internet is virtually up in arms against the move, Nokia enthusiasts who had been waiting patiently for Nokia’s Qt, Symbian and MeeGo strategy to pan out have been woken up to an alternate reality. Even Nokia’s stock price is down 9.19% at the time I write this, in stark contrast to what they would have expected.
But what happens a few months down the line? When we see the first WP7 powered Nokia, with its trademark beautiful design, great hardware, amazing camera and loaded with all the main stream apps, something that has never happened? Add to that a much better email client, great office support, free navigation and millions will be tempted to bite in. In the meanwhile, with Nokia’s input Microsoft adds basic multitasking and finishes things like putting copy/paste in.
By that time, people will have a slightly more open outlook, Nokia and MS will have the biggest marketing budget that any OS has ever had and if the product they product is even mildly tempting, Nokia loyalists will try it to see what Nokia’s gained by this move. The Symbian haters will finally have a Nokia they’d we willing to try out and if a compelling proposition is presented, we could well see the present anger subside and good uptake of Nokia’s WP7 offering.
Meanwhile, Nokia will still ship Symbian devices, but will attempt to slowly transition everything into WP7 by bringing the hardware requirements for WP7 lower. MeeGo is effectively on the back burner, as a experiment for the future. This means that the millions that were spent promoting Qt, will now go down the drain. Very few developers will want to make apps for a ‘officially’ dying platform.
Personally speaking, I am not a fan of the no multitasking and lack of things like copy/paste on WP7. I am also not too sure about the vertical homescreen. The basics will be fixed by the time Nokia ships its first WP7 device, but all this while they have harped on their operating systems’ (both Symbian & Maemo) ability to multitask, that will no longer hold true. These are things where I hope Nokia differentiates or prevails on MS to inculcate very soon.
At the end of the day, I recognize the potential this partnership has. Nokia wasn’t being able to get decent developer traction, had a poor email experience and was getting hammered because of Symbian’s perceived weakness. That will change, along with the fact that they will now concentrate on their strength, getting the best hardware in place. I therefore look forward to what Nokia does with Windows Phone 7.
Nokia and Microsoft clearly look very happy. Question is will they be laughing their way to the bank?
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