Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Mon 28th Feb 2011 11:23 UTC, submitted by Joao Luis
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Now that the dust has settled after Stephen Elop's big announcement on the 11th February 2011, many have come to realise that actually Nokia's move towards a a new Ecosystem is not as bad as what they thought. [...] But what does all this mean for the Nokia Developers? When the proposed partnership with Microsoft was announced, many felt betrayed and worried about their future, but after having heard and assisted a number of workshops at the Nokia Developer Day at this years Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, earlier this month, their outlook towards the new ecosystem has taken a 180 degree turn and are now looking at the proposed partnership with a lot more enthusiasm, recognising the potential it will bring them in the coming months."
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saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

They could have gone it alone (MeeGo) but that's a significant question mark. Could they have readied it in time? Pushed a competent developer ecosystem? Brought devices to market? At the end of the day what would differentiate it from Android, iOS, webOS, or Windows Phone 7?


Nokia's principal problem was horrendous mismanagement of their software. They had a working next-gen OS (Maemo) long before Google or Apple did - sure it was flaky, but they had almost 2 years before the first iPhone even came out (remember the Nokia 770 came out in November 2005). The Nokia N900 was a great phone for its time in 2009. And instead of incremental upgrades on it (by developing MeeGo on the side and using Maemo as the main OS, possibly incorporating backported Qt support from MeeGo to Maemo - not that hard to do) they decided to go the software revolution route, which works out in the rarest of cases. WP7 is one of those revolutions and we still have to see it succeed. I'm not claiming it won't, eventually - Microsoft has always used its enormous reserves to allow them to try multiple times over, until they get it right.

Is the fact that its more "open" than Android going to translate into more handsets sold? Does the end user even know what that is?


The "open" aspect isn't what the end user will care about. What they will, however, care about, is having the power of a full PC in their pocket (needs proper marketing, of course). Android, iOS and WP7 are all specialized phone operating systems. They use specialized toolkits, specialized development environments and provide only a limited set of tools. If your idea doesn't fit in their development paradigm, though luck. The power of full operating systems is that they don't provide too many assumptions - you can do anything you like with them.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and provide my personal idea of what Maemo could have become using its more "open" nature than Android. Since it's much easier to port desktop software to it (than to, say, Android), why not build a Maemo device capable of Bluetooth peripheral attachments and HDMI (or possibly wireless) video output. You no longer have to drag that netbook around - it's just shrunk to the size of your pocket.

The amount of question marks in the idea was staggering, not to mention based off of what Intel showed of MeeGo at Barcelona, very little development actually occured in a years time. The OS seemed woefully off track (Remember Microsoft went from reset to market with Windows Phone 7 in 18 months).


Here's where crappy middle management gets you - pour as many resources into a project as you like, with bad management you might as well have burned the money in a furnace.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I agree wholeheartedly (and don't know why you were downranked). However, say you're Elop coming in to find this mess, what is the sanest choice for you? Try to get MeeGo on track which would probably take even longer given the state of things, or adopt Windows Phone 7?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Elop made a decision in the best interest of Elop, not Nokia shareholders. There is little short-term or mid-term gain for Nokia's profitability. The complete incompetence shown by Elop and his team announcing this partnership ("all-in") has basically prematurely ended the revenue stream of existing Nokia devices on the market in exchange for creating 0/zero/none excitement about a non-existent future product. No one will buy a new gadget that is known to be end-of-life. They f*cked that up royally and took down those of us who invested many years in Nokia ecosystem.

Long-term success of WP7 is even a riskier proposition than Meego ever was. No one who is thinking of buying a new smartphone will consider a WP7 phone over an iOS/Android/Blackberry device for at least several product iterations if ever.

The next shareholder's meeting is going to be pretty fun. Directors are going to either be shown the door, invited to resign, or Nokia as a EU technology company ceases to exist. Pretty much the bottom line.

Reply Parent Score: 2

saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Tough call, I must agree, and I'm not disputing that Elop did what's best for Nokia, only time will tell. However I don't think that there are only 3 choices: MeeGo, WP7 and Android. I'd personally vote for a fourth: revive Maemo and upgrade it. Maemo is and was for a long time a finished product. The framework stack is sufficiently similar to allow a gradual transition to MeeGo, Qt can be incorporated as a second toolkit, and when the transition to MeeGo starts, Gtk can still be ported to MeeGo for backwards compatibility. Heck, no need to even port it yourself - keep both projects open and the community will gladly do it for you. Don't keep a tight grip on every aspect of your platform, let people take it where they want to see it. Maemo had (and still partly has) a very vibrant community of interested and skilled individuals. Even though Google plays the open source tune, they are still a pretty much closed-source shop. At least Microsoft and Apple don't pretend. Dropping this kind of bombshell announcement would whip up interest around your platform like crazy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

However, say you're Elop coming in to find this mess, what is the sanest choice for you?

If Elop couldn't get the company into shape with it's own platform he shouldn't have been given the job.

Try to get MeeGo on track which would probably take even longer given the state of things, or adopt Windows Phone 7?

Given that they'll be waiting around twiddling their thumbs for over a year while Windows phones appear they're already dead.

Reply Parent Score: 3