Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Jun 2013 18:29 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless So, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft was very close to take over Nokia, but that the talks eventually broke down, probably beyond repair - at least for now. The reasons the talks broke down illustrate something that I have repeatedly tried to make clear for a long time now: Nokia isn't doing well.
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RE[4]: Go ahead and short
by hhas on Fri 21st Jun 2013 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Go ahead and short"
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MeeGo was the white horse of every fanboy with a hard on for Linux. No matter the fact that it was severely behind schedule and under cooked. [...] They hate that Nokia killed MeeGo. They hate it even more than Nokia killed MeeGo for Windows Phone. Nokia went from darling to devil overnight on OSNews.

True dat. I think on balance, throwing in Nokia's lot with WP probably was the better bet at the time. For all the praise the N9 device got, it had absolutely no ecosystem around it: Nokia would've had to build that up from scratch all by itself; a huge challenge. WP offered Nokia the promise of a readymade ecosystem, giving them a big boost in playing catchup with Android and iOS. In Elop's shoes, I'd have made the same call. Strong ecosystem will get you through times of weak products better than great products will get you through times of lousy ecosystem.

Elop's one single screwup (and it was a spectacular one) was burning Symbian before their WP handsets were anywhere close to shipping. That created a classic Osborne Effect where the existing Symbian customer base jumped ship to competing iOS and Android platforms - which were already available - instead of migrating smoothly to Nokia's new WP platform, which wasn't.

In addition to seriously damaging Nokia as a business, that little stunt also hurt WP's credibility as a trustworthy alternative to iOS/Android, which not only damages MS's credibility but also means there's less of a WP ecosystem to help buoy up Nokia; and so it goes around and around. None of which'll discourage the peanut gallery's favorite narratives that WP sucks because its app store is smaller than iOS and Android's, or that Elop was an inside agent setting up Nokia for MS takeover. Say what you like, at least they're consistent in their inconsistency.

It's also worth remembering that MS themselves are only partway through their own product transition, and while it's far from smooth they are not standing still. If MS can provide strong business integration in the next WP release, that might give Nokia a boost by eating Blackberry's share and maybe clawing back some of the iOS/Android business users. iOS in particular should be a soft target for a business-friendly WP, since Apple's a consumer product company and while they do great shiny they can't sell business infrastructure for shit.

Personally, I'd wait for Nokia's Q2-Q4 results before calling it one way or the other. The graph shows their freefall phase is ended (i.e. they've no more Symbian users to lose), so now the question is whether they're currently at the bottom of a large U-curve - in which case it'll head back into overall growth - or sliding into a long tail along with Blackberry and the other has-beens and also-rans.

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