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Thread: Nokia and Microsoft Partnership is an 'Also Ran' Behind Android - Too Little Too Late

  1. Editor in Chief
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    #1

    Nokia and Microsoft Partnership is an 'Also Ran' Behind Android - Too Little Too Late


    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
    Last edited by dgstorm; 02-11-2011 at 10:32 AM.
  2. Droid Sensei
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    Nokia still sold over 100M phones last year.

    Those two are Goliaths. Even if their first collaboration isn't out until 2012, a well-done phone can always create some elbow room in the market. Of course, MS hasn't shown much ability to execute well the last 15-20 years or so.

    Interesting that they mention Android "commoditizing" the market. Nokia doesn't feel they can differentiate on hardware alone. Add to that rumors of Apple coming out with an el-cheapo model to really set the bottom of the market and you see the direction things are going.
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    Why didn't Nokia jump on the Andy wagon and put some good hardware out with it. A decent Android phone and people would be all over it. And, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for a MS license, unless this whole deal started because they wanted to help pick each other up off the ground (in the US market... Nokia is like first in the world aren't they? Doesn't mean they're the most advanced). Interesting strategy, guess we'll just wait and see how it plays out. But I agree with the OP, can only mean "good and even better things" for us as the consumer (an Android consumer at that
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    i think time will tell. its not like android was hot from the start. it didnt gain much traction until 2 yrs ago with original droid. even though it was around with the G1 on t-mobile, i believe.
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    If Nokia had used their hardware and put Android on it I would have bought that the moment it came out.

    I used to love my Nokia Smartphones. They were reliable, tough, and high quality. Their software sucked. I had a Nokia e62 and e70x both on ATT with Symbian. Other then the abysmal reception and 3G access I had from the carrier the phone just worked, but to sync my calendar to Outlook I had to plug the phone into the computer and even when I moved it over to Ovi it still required that connection to the computer. It had no market so to find software I had to buy it off the ATT network or find it and hoped that it was compatible with the OS.

    When I broke a previous phone and got the e62 out of storage and put in the sim card it booted up and started work right away. When I was looking at getting rid of the e70x I looked at new Nokias but none of them had any appeal because they had the same Symbian OS, and MeeGo wasn't coming out for some time. Being on ATT there was 1 Android phone, so I dumped ATT and went with Verizon, and bought the Droid X.

    If they would have installed Android that would have been my next phone. Won't even get into my experience with my old Windows Mobile 6 phone. Sticking with my Droid.

    Selex
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    Agreed...my e71 was much better quality than my DROID. It was made in Finland (not China). A shame they did not choose Android.
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    #7
    I wouldn't count WP7 out too early. It's a very slick OS, albeit immature in a lot of ways (duh, this early?). Every single person I've talked to or read, who came from either the iPhone or from Android, has not regretted the switch to WP7. I tried out a Samsung Focus myself for a few weeks. There are some shortcomings, yes, but it's one heck of a polished experience. Fanbois aside, it plays well into the "normal" consumer's mindset. Is it David in a Goliath market? You bet, and even that might be an understatement. But, as was already mentioned, so was Android for almost 2 years before it took off. Microsoft has loads of cash and is not afraid to spend it on some clever advertising, and Nokia has a lot of mindshare worldwide already. Could they screw it up? Of course, it IS Microsoft after all, but I wouldn't dismiss them as an "also ran" just yet. Just my 2 cents!
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    Meh.... WP7 is crap. They took out all the good features of Windows Mobile and put it in a bland, boring, non-multitasking phone with a tiny screen and a bland interface. It's a "new" smartphone and yet seems already outdated. It's basically the Kin+, and we know how badly the Kin faired. Yet, Microsoft has not learned at all. They are still marketing it like the Kin which is another reason why it's not doing so well at all. As someone mentioned in this forum a few weeks ago, Microsoft should have gone after blackberry, not the iPhone. The Microsoft brand is a damaged one amongst consumers. No one views them as "cool", but they have a lot of cachet in the workplace. Yet, the phone is specifically designed to actually alienate IT managers instead of bringing them onbaord (they have a captive audience in most shops--why they are ignoring this market I cannot understand). Microsoft will never be cool, so they should stop trying. No one actually "likes" Microsoft or would choose their products willingly--which is why everything they've tried (save xBox) has failed to make a significant dent against their competitors. Microsoft poisoned the consumer well by trapping them with crappy bloated software for so long, that as soon as other more consumer friendly, cheaper options came along (Apple w/subsidies, Google), consumers ran from Microsoft in droves. Microsoft should focus on what they are good at... where they still have a lock in: business.

    Still, this is a good move for both companies. It gives them both a fighting chance. Microsoft has a hardware partner that won't be distracted by Android and Nokia might finally make some inroads into the US market. It's a perfect match between damaged brands in many ways. They face many obstacles. Microsoft is two years behind in technology and development and Nokia has ZERO footprint in North America (they also have a hostile relationship with the FCC which does not help). They are going to sink or swim together. They are now co-dependent and have to lean on each other to survive in this market.

    You're right to never count Microsoft out, but this isn't the same company that was headed by Bill Gates. They've lost their edge and will need to work very hard to get it back again. They are two years behind and will need to catch up or this will just end up being another Zune--well regarded but with almost no marketshare. Nokia makes good hardware, so that should help, and there are plenty of MS friendly developers out there who would be willing to jump onboard if this thing shows any promise, but Microsoft has none of the monopoly leverage it used to dominate the desktop in the 90's. They are going to actually have to compete for real this time, and MS hasn't had to do that in 30 years. They are 2 years behind at the moment. We'll see if they catch up.

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