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Former Nokia Exec: Windows Phone Strategy Doomed 447

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the iceberg-ahead dept.
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers will recall that back in January, Nokia CEO Steven Elop blamed the company's Windows Phone woes on commission-minded salespeople, who pushed phones they thought would actually sell. Now, ex-Nokia exec Tomi Ahonen is calling the Nokia's Windows Phone strategy 'a certain road to death.' He bases this grim assessment on UK market shares from Kantar Worldpanel: 'When Nokia shifted from "the obsolete" Symbian to "the awesome" Windows Phone, Nokia lost a third of its customers! In just one quarter!' Can MeeGo or Tizen save Nokia now?"
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Former Nokia Exec: Windows Phone Strategy Doomed

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  • First (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @12:36PM (#39428853)

    Nokia is dead. Enough said.

  • by Dusty101 (765661) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:00PM (#39429209)

    I don't agree with the parent. Nokia made the best smart phones for years, long before iOS and Android devices were available. I had several of them myself. Look up the release dates and feature sets of their Communicator series of devices to see how long it took the rest of the mobile phone manufacturing world to catch up.

    Nokia's problem has never been an inability to produce awesome smart devices: it's always been about their management's unwillingness to fully commit to a long-term course of action, despite having some fantastic showpiece R&D. Elop did bring that willingness to commit, but unfortunately, the way he did it wasn't with Nokia's benefit in mind, but Microsoft's...

  • Tomi is legit. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:08PM (#39429329) Journal
    He's been vehemently against Nokia's decision to leverage their smartphone strategy on Windows Phone. For more awesome reading explaining why, check this [blogs.com] out.

    As explained in the link above, it's not Nokia's decision to use Windows Phone on their smartphones that is the chief problem. They are, essentially, hedging their entire existence on the platform, which is a very bad bet for a company whose popularity has always been stronger in Europe, Asia and developing nations. It's almost like a Kodak in reverse in that they are, more or less, giving less importance to their bread and butter and more importance to a huge, HUGE risk. (Notice that HTC and Samsung, the top dogs in the non-iPhone smartphone world, use more of their resources for building Android and their own OS's than Windows Phone.)

    The sole fact that, to this day and despite a very recent system update, Windows Phones still have the crippling text-message-of-death bug clearly demonstrates where Microsoft thinks they're at with the OS. I haven't seen any of the major players on Android/iOS commit serious time to Windows Phone yet; until this happens, it's a sinking ship.
  • Re:First (Score:5, Informative)

    by hobarrera (2008506) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:11PM (#39429375) Homepage

    Have you ever used maemo or meego?
    Maemo is perfect for developers/geeks.
    Meego is perfect for everyone else.
    All the backends/insides are the same, BTW.

    They didn't even need to change platform, just keep doing what they were doing already.

  • Re:Android (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:43PM (#39429923)

    Even their MeeGo handset (the N9) sells more than their entire Lumia line, despite Stephen Elop's best efforts to make it unsuccessful by avoiding all the core markets for smartphones when deciding where to sell it.

  • Re:First (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:43PM (#39429931)

    Because if they decide the windows strategy is going to fail they can always change to android later. Microsoft offered them cash up front, and entering the android space against competitors like Samsung was probably not a great plan.

    As an overall experience android is pretty weak compared to how Nokia and MS want things to be, or even compared to iPhone. I think they figured they'd have more success with MS than with android in the long run, and they might. Just look at the clusterfuck that has been ICS. ICS itself is sort of fine, but source has been out for months, some handsets have it officially, some don't yet, sometimes features that worked in 2.x don't work in 4 etc.. The great selling point of android is that 1: it's not locked down to apple and 2: if you are technically capable you can do all sorts of great stuff with it that is a pain on iphone. The problem with this plan is that most customers aren't technically capable, so there's a market there for easy to upgrade, plays nice with windows and isn't apple. But MS hasn't really got it together. The iPhone works in part because Apple did a giant FU to the carriers and does its own thing without them, MS should do the same, but google by nature of not actually being the ones releasing the OS for the phones really can't. A

    Unfortunately microsoft hasn't really delivered with WP7. Everyone I've used and everyone I know that has one thinks it's good. But they don't seem to have congealed the ecosystem or built any killer apps, it's good, but why would I buy it when android has 50 bazillion apps. Which might be why we've only seen a trickle from MS and Nokia product wise. Whether they're really aiming for Windows 8 and this is just learning and transition time, or they're just never going to pull it together I don't know. My uninformed guess is that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be the big push, write once, works on desktop and mobile, plays nice with all your business apps, plays nice with xbox games or something along those lines.

    If they had gone with android they'd probably be in far worse shape than they are now. Being just another handset maker, in a market where Samsung is going to announce a quad core phone in a month, and you're still selling single core cpus as a flagship isn't a good plan.

    MS could have the best product on the market. They don't, but they certainly could, the freedom of living outside the reality distortion bubble, with the compatibility of windows talking to windows rather than one of many different desktop controllers for android. One version (like iPhone) that can just be pushed out to everyone, fuck the carriers. I doubt it will materialize, because ballmer doesn't get it, but one could always hope.

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @02:13PM (#39430435)

    It can't respond because the team responsible for N9 is long fired. There is simply no one left to continue development, all these people left for other companies.

  • Re:First (Score:4, Informative)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @03:11PM (#39431525)

    This is incorrect, you can write android apps wholly with NDK now.

  • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @05:53PM (#39433769)

    They already made the N9, which runs Meego. They did everything in their power to kill it, including only selling it in a few markets, not listing it on their website, publicly announcing that they were abandoning the platform no matter how well it sold.

    According to the figures in the article it is still outselling the their Lumia WP7 line 3:1.

    They don't seem to be dropping Microsoft like a hot rock.

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @07:01PM (#39434531)

    I used to live ~1km from campus where MeeGo team was located. People who worked on it, and who I personally knew were given fairly generous severance packages so they would stay and finish N9 after the news of nokia killing MeeGo were announced to the workers.

    Key members of the team, ones that got offers from competitors the moment Nokia announced that MeeGo is being killed left pretty much immediately after announcement. They still have the skeleton crew managing mandatory software updates, but essentially entire team that designed software part of N9 is now employed elsewhere. IIRC some were re-trained to develop for WP but most left since Nokia basically killed all of its linux OS level know how and with android coming up as well as Intel wanting some of the MeeGo people, they had other good job offers.

    I could be wrong on exact numbers, my contact in the company left after they released N9 as per her severance package and is now employed elsewhere.

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