The interwebs are 'abuzz' right now with the news of the 'strategic partnership' between Microsoft and Nokia. It is being called everything from a "Huge All or Nothing Bet" by SlashGear, an "Elopcalypse" by Engadget, and simply "transition years" by Nokia themselves. But, what does this mean to us avid Android users? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, 'good' things and 'even better' things.
First I'll address the 'good' things. Ultimately, no matter how you hash it, this is like an Olympic footrace, and both Nokia and Microsoft feel like 'also rans' to me. Both of these companies were already "years behind" Android, as even the CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop, noted recently. Although Nokia makes the most phones in the world currently, and decent ones at that, their use of their own proprietary Operating Systems has hampered them greatly, which is what put them behind in the first place. Throwing the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS at the problem is not a viable solution. Microsoft's OS has yet to gain any traction or popularity in the marketplace. This is akin to thinking that a second runner in a 'race' will somehow help another racer catch up to the lead racer who is a full 2 seconds ahead. Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra, succinctly put it in a recent Tweet, "Two Turkeys do not make an Eagle."
Second comes the 'even better' things. Let's play devil's advocate for a moment and assume that I am underestimating this 'partnership'. Even if Nokia phones mixed with Microsoft's OS can actually start gaining marketshare and perform decently, they are so far behind that the only result will simply be to create a bit of upwards market pressure. Google, and the huge plethora of Android manufacturers, will get a little 'push' to improve Android smartphones even more in order to stay in their dominant position. The consumer is the ultimate winner in this scenario, as good competition creates a better product, and will evolve 'Andy' faster.
If you look at it strategically, this is a poor move on Nokia's part. Android has gained so much momentum that this is simply a case of "too little too late," and 'Andy' is going to leave everyone else in the dust.
Picture Source: eRepublic
Editorial by dgstorm