Nokia today has formed an exclusive agreement with Microsoft to install Windows 7 on its phones.
What is clear is that for the last few years Nokia has been a step or two behind the competition. I sensed something was wrong a few years ago when Nokia was incredibly slow to respond to the demand to make clamshell phones. For the longest time they continued to only make candybar phones despite the huge success of the clamshell design. Their Symbian contines to be a less polished experince than iphone or Adroid, their icons are cruder, the black look of their screen is ugly, Maemo which has been promising. is left to languish. In sun Nokia has become a company which has lost its edge, its focus, its drive. It has become complacent, slow and mediocre, in a very demanding changing smart phone environment against Apple and Google which are two very sharp competitors. A few years ago it was a dynamic and leading company, and had the market dominance and money to compete head on. But it frittered its advantage away.
Now it has jumped into the arms of Microsoft. I think that this is unfortunate because it probably means the death of Meego in Nokia phones. Nokia is now going from a company which could stand on its own and innvate on its own to basically a subdivision of Microsoft. It may be good for Nokia or not. Hopefully it will give Nokia a ready platform to work on in the form of Windows Mobile. However they are mostly giving up on what made Nokia unique. A lot of people, I believe, were attracted to Nokia because it was different. It was quirky, it was European and Finnish, it was not American or Asian, Symbian and Maemo were popular with Geeks, etc. With this new agreement Nokia has lost most of that appeal and has become much more generic. Personally I think that it is sad that they are abandonding Meego in favor of the close Microsoft platform.
However, whether it is good for Nokia or not, it certainly is very good for Microsoft. They are the ones who undoubtably have made out like bandits in this deal. It almost seems like Elop is a MS plant send it to take over Nokia and turn it into a MS vassal. Wait, that is just what has happened. If I were a Nokia employee or Finnish I would feel very betrayed right now.
I think that it would have been better for Nokia to agree to sell Windows Mobile phones, but also go ahead with Meego. That way if the MS move did not work out they would have a fall back option. At the moment Nokia is throwing all of its eggs into the MS basket and hoping for the best.
What really needs to happen is to find out why Nokia has lost its focus and figure out a way to get it back. If Nokia can get competent in executing again, they don´t need Microsoft.