Friday, February 11, 2011

[Thoughts] Nokia and Microsoft against everybody else !

Posted on 23:10 by SlipKoRnSaad

The deal has been rumored for months and even i predicted it but as a short term trial strategy, but before today, it was hard to believe !

Once upon a time, Anssi Vanjoki likened Nokia adopting Android to someone who pees in their pants to keep warm, but hey it's another story with WP software...

I'll not play the role of an "analyst", i prefer to let that job for some well respected folks, but i'll just expose briefly my simplified take on this as "user" (consumer) who just one something that works smoothly and greatly from Nokia !

Today’s announcements by Nokia (there are many to sort through) have shocked a lot of people. The major focus here is that Nokia will now use Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) as their primary platform for smartphones which mean only one thing : near-term investment in MeeGo from Nokia will drop (Symbian to follow later) as illustrated here :

Open-source is gone from Nokia’s revenue-generating strategy ! What does happen is that Nokia now can’t be relied on as someone that will put a strong brand on a range of MeeGo products and  MeeGo now MeeGone (somewhat for Nokia at least)...

The potential of Qt to attract developers is now a big question mark !

By pure coincidence, i've tweeted a couple of days that i got my hands on an HTC HD7 and that i was amazed by the smoothness and intuitiveness of the WP7 OS, it's one of the most beautiful OS out there, original and social-network ready, Anyone who said Nokia needs to get a facelift should not be complaining and i was like : "ah i understand now why Marko Ahtisaari talked with enthusiasm about WP UI paradigm" :

With the actual state you should know that with the WP7 there's :

- No system-wide file manager
- No videocalling
- No Bluetooth file transfers
- No USB mass storage mode
- No multitasking
- No copy/paste
- Too dependent on Zune software for computer file management and syncing
- No music player equalisers
- No Flash or Silverlight support in the web browser
- No DivX/XviD video support
- No internet tethering support
- New ringtones available only through the Marketplace
- Swapping memory card requires hard reset;
- Cards not readable by computer
- Etc

I expect Nokia and Microsoft to dress up things up because even if OVI Maps will be integrated in Windows Phone 8 (Jan 2012) and we'll see some 14Mpix and 1080p recording capabilities, but it wont be enought to me to get a WP Nokia device ;)

Anyway what i expected to hear from the announcement is :

- "We have decided to partner with Microsoft until MeeGo is ready. We will still support Symbian" and then they could have seen if WP7 would sell.

But I still hoped that finally their several euro billions investment comes to fruition and their „Holly Trinity”Symbian - Qt - Meego ecosystem gains momentum. They were almost there, more and more applications being ported to Symbian / Qt, the expectations for Meego were really high, Symbian 3 looked promising with the refreshed UI dynamics which was supposed to be released later this year. I was expecting Meego like nothing else and planned to develop for their ecosystem. They have ruined every competitive advantage they had just for the sake of a disruptive change.

It was a good decision to name as CEO somebody with a good software expertise. It was a WRONG decision to choose somebody from North America who considers the same construction approach for gothic cathedrals as for skyscrapers. Somebody who comes directly brain-washed by Microsoft's business tactics. Somebody who does not understand too many things about the european culture in general and about the scandinavian cultures in particular. The marketshare Nokia currently has was there just because people supported them and not because they deserved it. They were hoping and waiting and waiting and.... waiting. Nokia didn't deliver but having a tight partnership was not the solution at all. Reentering the US market while disconsidering their previous promises to the end users / developers / workers has the price of becoming soon extinct in Europe. Please, take somebody away Stephen from the burning platform and call the firefighters and the ambulance as Nokia is in the town center and not in the Pacific ocean. They even have a recovery plan to follow and a community to (in)directly support them. Come on Nokia, invest those billions of euros in BETTER maintaining and expending your current assets and DO NOT blindly follow the stratagem written by the american "analysts". The eye-candy lovers should be satisfied with a good firmware update which should be already in your pipeline. The number of sold smartphones just passed the number of PCs. It means that the relevancy of Wintel monopoly is decreasing and this is your time: MOBILE COMPUTING. Where are your promises and hopes? Why do you throw away all those billions when they came to fruition and jeopardize all your communities? Take that butcher away, send him to the psychologist to better understand that the platform fired up just today and avoid suiciding yourself.

Now i wont hide that it was a sad day for me like it was something missed or lost but mainly because i lost the chance to get a great successor of my N900, a maemo system that I liked the most and for that i find no reliable alternative to replace with...

At the rate the stock is falling I not sure the current Nokia board will survive 18 weeks let along 18 months. It is good to say that Nokia will lose a lot of customers (going by the blogs / comments) and that from a share holder pointer of view is unforgivable.

But in other hand, I think that the decision to use the Windows Phone 7 platform is a good idea. Not only will it benefit Nokia and Microsoft but it will also benefit consumers in the sense that it will provide them with excellent services and a world-class ecosystem upon which they all can depend. The Windows Phone 7 OS is an excellent platform that provides excellent services, such as Outlook, Office, Internet Explorer and Zune just to name a few. By using WP7, Nokia will be able to focus more on pleasing its customers with the latest and greatest technology, instead of worrying about falling behind the competition. This is interoperability! Both companies benefit and in turn so do the consumers.

Anyone who said Nokia needs to get a decent hardware will be pleased that Microsoft has imposed a specific and tough list of minimum hardware requirements on those manufacturers:

- Screen: Capacitive, 4-point multi-touch screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution
- Processor: Min 1 GHz or better processor
- Graphics: DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU
- Memory: 256 MB of RAM with at least 8 GB of Flash memory
- Camera: 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash
- Physical Buttons: 6 dedicated hardware buttons – back, Start, search, camera, power/sleep and Volume Up and Down
- Others: Accelerometer with compass, ambient light sensor, FM Radio Tuner, proximity sensor and Assisted GPS

Finally, just to say that :

- I expect(ed) Windows Phone 7 based devices as "Enterprise devices" targeted for the same users as the original E series (E90, E7 for example) with a deep office integration.

- MeeGo Communicators for power users which enables unrestricted use and no lockings of the system or even Multimedia targeted (as the N900) In those cases good cameras etc are on offer, music players etc.

- And symbian devices for the rest (including some touch & type devices)

Please, i don't wanna go Android, i hate it !

Give me some more time, i'm still under the chock, i'll wrap up an "objective" write about that later on...

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