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Nokia and Microsoft Make Smartphone Alliance 479

pbahra writes "The smart money was right. Nokia has jumped into bed with Microsoft and will produce phones running Windows Phone 7. The cynics would say that, here, we have two lumbering dinosaurs of the technology world clinging to each other hoping that the other gives them a future. Optimists would point to two companies that need each other, both bringing vital components to the alliance. The big winner is Microsoft. Windows Phone 7, while reasonably well received by commentators, has not set the world on fire. An alliance with Nokia gives it access to the world's largest phone maker and its huge mindshare — in many developing nations a mobile phone is known as a Nokia. The biggest loser is MeeGo, the ugly, unloved step-child of operating systems." Nokia wrote to developers, "Qt will continue to be the development framework for Symbian and Nokia will use Symbian for further devices; continuing to develop strategic applications in Qt for Symbian platform and encouraging application developers to do the same."
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Nokia and Microsoft Make Smartphone Alliance

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  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:11AM (#35172728)

    Enough said.

  • That new CEO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mvdwege ( 243851 ) <> on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:13AM (#35172754) Homepage Journal

    Stephen Elop must be the best mole since Kim Philby.

    After Sendo en Palm yet another mobile vendor commits suicide-by-Microsoft. But this is the biggest yet.

    I really liked Nokia devices, but my E71 is probably going to be my last one.


  • Not so Qt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skuto ( 171945 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:21AM (#35172850) Homepage

    Nokia bought Qt not so long ago, presumably because they were aiming for embedded Linux based devices and Qt is one of the best toolkits for that. Now that they are in bed with Microsoft, getting a great Linux/crossplatform GUI toolkit hardly can be a priority any more, so it makes a lot less sense to spend money on developing Qt. Particularly as unlike Trolltech, they were focussing on making it as popular as possible even at the expense of the commercial version (GPL->LGPL license change).

    So now Qt just became an irrelevant, money losing division, didn't it?

    Or do they plan to keep Qt but just use Windows as the underlying OS? I can't believe MS will be entirely happy with that, having .NET as competition and all...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:21AM (#35172852)

    all the editors must be asleep this has been everywhere else for hours....

    Slashdot submissions are not about beating the news/blog sources to a story, its about creating a decent discussion with some like and not so like peers. There is no reason to rush to be the first to post like some kind of lame FIRST POST FTW! Furthermore if you had looked at the submission you would see some research went into it with no less than 5 different resource pointers. Research isnt instant you know?!

    you sir are a douche.


  • Sell sell sell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by duncanFrance ( 140184 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:23AM (#35172876)

    Any shares you have in Nokia.

    They put an ex-Microsoftie in charge of a consumer electronics company. I'd laugh if it wasn't such a tragedy.

    QT will be taken out and shot as soon as possible. Here's how it will happen: Microsoft will offer Nokia a Business Development Agreement which lets Nokia get discounts off the price they pay for operating system licences. The discounts will be related to Nokia doing one of a number of 'entirely voluntary' (hence not illegally coerced) things. Things like enhancing QT in some way to make it compatible with some pointless and unused feature of Windows PhoneOS. After a few of these it will be cheaper to just kill QT.

    Then KDE will be screwed.

    Any guesses how long Symbian will last?

  • Re:That new CEO... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vegiVamp ( 518171 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:24AM (#35172890) Homepage

    Mole ? He worked for MS up to september. That's not MS planting a mole, that's Nokia dropping pants and bending over.

    I've also been a Nokia guy up until now; currently got an N97. Wonderful toy even with Symbian being a bit of a bugger at times; but I'll be keeping a very sharp eye on where this is going.

  • by quantumphaze ( 1245466 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:33AM (#35173008)

    With the IOS concentration camp, Android bootloader lockdown, and Windows Phone 7 copying everything that we hated about IOS it looks like a bleak future for anyone who wants to do cool stuff with their phone beyond the simple apps you get on the common platforms. If Nokia abandons MeeGo with this deal then any hope we have of being able to get new phones with the same freedom as the N900 will be fed to the meat grinder.

    Looks like I will have to take great care of my N900. It's the first and last of it's kind.

  • Nail in the coffin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by muzicman ( 1148101 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:38AM (#35173062)

    I guess that the N900 is the last Nokia that I will ever own.

    Out of the choices of operating systems to go for, why on earth did they choose Windows over Android? What were they thinking? They would have hammered the iPhone in a year or two if they had chosen Android.

    They really need their heads examining.

    Glad I don't have shares in Nokia.

  • Re:Shocking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:46AM (#35173134)

    The open letter [] from CEO to everyone has a *lot* of comments. I can paraphrase for you in case you don't want to read them:

    "WTF? Goodbye Nokia".

    Its a great pity all round. Microsoft *still* won't sell any more phones, Nokia will just destroy itself. Shares down 8% today and I'm sure will fall further.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:53AM (#35173182)

    I would offer a different theory:

    Imagine you're a theoretical large speculative investor. You talk to microsoft and nokia leaders, through investing money in both. You make a deal where MS shill is hired as a nokia CEO when nokia is ailing, with the ultimate goal of dismantling the company, selling it's devices-making part to MS and putting the rest under hammer.

    How much would MS be willing to pay you off for the nokia stock that will allow you to get such shill elected as CEO and essentially save their dead on arrival WP7? I imagine we'd be talking quite a bit of profit. MS benefits from this in every way, nokia will likely get dismantled into pieces and sold off with those behind the deal walking off with hefty profit and execs with their golden parachutes.

    Just a theory of course.

  • Re:"Alliance"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by menkhaura ( 103150 ) <> on Friday February 11, 2011 @10:08AM (#35173382) Homepage Journal

    "I hate to say it but $CURRENT_MOBILE_MICROSOFT_OS is great (unlike prior versions)".

    Time and again I read this, and time and again people don't ever learn.

  • by Merk42 ( 1906718 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @10:23AM (#35173588)
    As long as there are Nexus phones, and considering those are the phones Google itself uses, I don't see those going away any time soon.
  • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @11:01AM (#35174170)

    This article [] gives a very good overview of Microsoft's previous strategic partners and how well each one of them ended.

    (it's currently missing Sendo and Ericsson although the author has indicated that he'll update it to include them soon)

    Personally I think it would be a good thing to have iOS, Android, WebOS and Windows Phone thriving in the marketplace as it means that each one will be forced to innovate to stay relevant - which can only be a good thing for the consumer.

    However on the basis of Microsoft's past performance, I wish Nokia the very best of luck as they are going to need a lot of it.

  • Re:"Alliance"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gmai l . c om> on Friday February 11, 2011 @11:04AM (#35174234) Journal

    I'll come out and say Windows Mobile was better than WP7.


    You could install whatever you wanted and develop freely for WinMo. WP7 is an iOS-like locked-down sack of shit.

  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @11:16AM (#35174402)
    Nokia's strategy was doing nothing be hemorrhaging market share and money for the past several years. They were pretty much screwed on the road they were heading down so moving over to another that may seem just as precarious doesn't leave them much worse off, especially if it works out in the long run.

    Here's an analysis of this [] along with some nice charts that show how iOS and Android have really eaten Nokia's lunch over the past few years. Their stock has dropped from around $40 per share in 2007 to $10 in 2011. The only people who had faith that they were doing the right thing were the /. crowd.

    MeeGo has already been plagued by serious delays and there was no indication that when it did ship everything would magically work. It's easy to point to this new deal and say that MeeGo got axed, but couldn't it be the other way around? It's just as possible that MeeGo was behind schedule and wouldn't be ready for a release for a few more quarters and even then would still need a lot of work to get it up to snuff. The /. crowd might have put up with that, but the mass market consumers would have hated it.

    I don't know whether this move will pan out for Nokia. From my point of view it's more beneficial to Microsoft. However, Nokia needed to do something because they were watching the rest of the market move past and weren't able to respond. Maybe this deal ends up killing them, but they were probably dead either way.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @12:44PM (#35175858)

    The funny thing is that every point you made is true of the iPhone.

    If you want the real successor to the N900, get an iPhone and jailbreak it.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @12:49PM (#35175932)

    The problem with Android, IMO, is that the entire ecosystem composing it and much of what surrounds it is entirely insular, and to no great benefit.

    It shares no common libraries or interfaces with what you find in most Linux distributions. It uses a unique libc that no other distribution uses. It uses a file system layout that is not found anywhere else. Its GUI rendering subsystem is completely unique and incompatible with all others.

    The end result is that changes to Android stay within the Android system and do not benefit open source projects outside of it. And projects outside of it require heavy rewrites to work, at all, on Android. Not to mention that Android has no real repository type system, so you're left trading .apk files and latching on to the market, which is only available on the default builds of some devices and not at all on others.

    Maemo was developed with that compatibility in mind, and is a large part of the reason I bought it. It was most of what the OpenMoko Freerunner tried to be, and MeeGo only improved the openness aspect of it. MeeGo allowed mobile devices to retain continuity with the rest of the open source ecosystem you find in most desktop Linux systems, thus changes and improvements to both ends benefits everyone. In addition, it removed the non-device-specific closed bits and created a platform independent of any one handset vendor.

    Android leaves you a second (or more likely, third) class citizen in this effort, as the AOSP does not, last I checked, flow upstream into the Android core and the AOSP only receives the latest changes to Android after it's been delivered to device manufacturers (see Honeycomb and Motorola.)

    So this is very much a Microsoft victory against Open Source, if not Free Software, projects in the mobile space. And Android is not a way forward that is very fair to end users and non-corporate developers.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @12:50PM (#35175962)

    If Nokia went with Android they'd just be one of many Android companies.

    Read the press release again. This isn't just Nokia getting WP7, this is Microsoft getting a design party for WP7. If Nokia chose Android how much power would they have over platform direction? None. Now they help call the shots with WP7. It's an incredibly powerful alliance if they can really listen to each other.

    The people walking out of Nokia's MeeGo division worried about jobs, don't realize they ALL just because WP7 developers.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:38PM (#35177840)

    Usability on mobile devices is not magically better on Android. Proper mobile interface design is possible with existing toolkits. Android just adds an additonal layer of complexity (separate codebase and JNI) and offers no compatibility with the wider open source ecosystem.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley