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August 22, 2012

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Mark Wilcox

So absolutely everything is Stephen Elop's fault now? This is getting less credible post by post.

"I cannot fault Microsoft for not pulling its weight in the partnership"
Surely if Microsoft had held up their end of the bargain by delivering an OS/platform that users actually wanted in significant numbers then Nokia would not be in this mess, even with the terrible strategic and comms errors around the transition.

Now you could argue that Elop backed a horse that was already looking like a loser but Microsoft had the opportunity to show they could in fact iterate quickly, add missing features and re-spin the look and feel a bit for popular taste. They didn't. Since the next version is primarily about replacing the core OS under the hood, they don't look to be doing many of those things for WP8 either... the writing does appear to be on the wall.

tommi hates Steve,..got it!

Another warped and one-eyed blog and rant against Elop. A good opportunity for an objective analysis wasted.

anti

I don't read this blog completely anyway.... just a waste and propaganda

foo

In other news:

Nokia Oyj, burning cash as it struggles to revive its smartphone business, is winning time for the recovery effort by gaining more customers for another product: basic mobile phones it sells for $39.

By adding features such as quicker Web and online games to its Asha handsets popular in faster-growing economies including India and China, Nokia boosted its share of the basic-phone market to 35 percent last quarter -- the highest in two years.

Unlike the smartphone division, the basic-phone business is profitable and unit sales are increasing.

Nokia's cheaper phones outsold its smartphones 7-to-1 last quarter and, at 2.29 billion euros ($2.86 billion), brought in 49 percent more revenue.

http://newyork.newsday.com/business/technology/nokia-39-phone-rebound-wins-time-for-smartphone-struggle-1.3919528

tired

Good post. I agree that this wp thing Nokia is trying was a flop from the beginning. But putting all the blame on the village idiot is a little unfair. Nokia's board have to shoulder their fair share too. Elop believed wp was a superior OS because he was ex msft. tBalmer thought the same. Both failed to realise wp is disliked not only because it is a second rate OS that can't do the simple things expected of smartphones. Things Nokia users are used to.
The same principle applies to ifans moving to other OS. A friend of mine went from a 4s to a galaxy note and couldn't stop talking bout Bluetooth file transfers...
Fire elop, keep elop.. No one really cares. Just bring back the Nokia we loved.

m

The $1 billion in phony payments back and forth between MS and Nokia is IN NO WAY REAL. You wrote, "Microsoft decided to forego up to 1 Billion dollars of Nokia-owed licencing fees per year in the transition period to Windows. For a company that makes its profit on software licencing, this is real money." In no real situation would Nokia be paying $1B per year in licenses for a PHONE OS THAT NOBODY WANTS.

Okay, so MS decided to forego $1B in licensing fees from Nokia.
Well I've got a deal for you! I'll sell you $100B worth of useless licenses for this thing that I have that nobody wants, and all you have to give me is your soul. YES, I have just decided to forego $100B in license fees! How generous!!!

The Nokia/MS deal is exactly as phony and made-up as that.

John Waclawsky

Tomi, you were doing good for awhile there but now you are ignoring the Microsoft elephant in the room. I would suggest you compared WP with how in the past Microsoft approached Zune, which is explained at

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/D0BC712B-7DBA-46CA-AA44-19376E64FBA6.html

You will also see an emerging "big picture" when you compare WP activities and how Microsoft "consumer products" always struggle (a serious understatement) when exposed to real competition. Explained at:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/2E6D9BB2-FE1B-4556-8389-67BD581FBCCC.html

Why didn't anyone on Nokia's board see this obvious history of massive consumer failure before they decided to bet the company? WP (or windows) is NOT a superior OS

m

"Now, the only road left is to try to go Windows Phone 8, and start again from zero."

Not really.

Have you noticed that wp7 app development was heavily encouraged and funded, and then as soon as the magic number "100k apps" existed, no matter how many were trivial or crappy, that all stopped? Then the "no migration path for phones to wp8" was announced. But MS still throws around the 100k apps number as a selling feature for wp8.

MS doesn't care if wp7 phones can't be updated (better that the customers have to buy a new phone anyway).

MS DID have a migration path from wp7 to wp8, but it wasn't for the worthless phones or customers, it was for their precious precious "ecosystem".

CN

"This is the end of the Windows Phone Third Ecosystem dream."

Not so long ago, on June 27, you, Tomi, wrote this:

"And for the 'other' Windows 8 so-called 'partners' - Samsung will be pushing its Tizen out this year plus selling its smartphones primarly on Android and bada, not Windows Phone."

And this:

"Samsung's bada alone will outsell them all as per usual, not to mention Samsung and Intel's new Tizen OS that launches also this Autumn."

And then later, on July 20, you said this:

"And even of the two other major partners, Samsung and HTC both are clearly putting their focus on other platforms, Samsung on three - Android, bada and the about-to-be-launched Tizen."

And now we have this piece of news:

http://www.sammobile.com/2012/08/22/no-more-bada-and-tizen-in-2012/

Not so long ago you, Tomi, said Tizen is the OS that will take the position of the 3rd ecosystem. Would you like to give us an update on that? Still believe this is the case?

Mark

Not so sure W8 will be a big success in the PC market. At work we are encouraging people to buy high-spec Windows 7 machines and wait for sanity to return with Windows 9 (this is the traditional good Windows - bad Windows seesaw).

Spawn

"So absolutely everything is Stephen Elop's fault now?"

Please read the article again. Microsoft did deliver with WP7 exactly what those who know Microsoft expected they would deliver. Its NOT a total disaster product. It is just not competative to the competition. Not even close to.

Tomis point is that Microsoft only could win in that deal. They are not blind. They saw how well competition does and how far they are away to win that races. As Tomi wrote, Microsoft was looking for a helper, for a saver, for a strong partner that can help them.

Elop came along and offered that. He put all eggs in tgat basket. He.killed off all alternates and put the fate of all of Nokia on that single strategy.

That Nokia is dead now is Elops fault and only his fault. He was and is the one who did bind Nokia's survive to WP's success.

That Lumia was not able to keep customers is Elops fault. He is the Nokia Lumia man. Lumia is a Nokia product, not a Microsoft product. If the software, hardware and conditions do not sell the product then you need to change the software, hardware and conditions. Elop did neither of tyem. He is the Lumia man. Lumia failing is his failure.

Spawn

@Mark Wilcox

> if Microsoft had held up their end of the bargain by delivering an OS/platform that users actually wanted

When Elop jumped on WP7 was already in the market. He saw the product, the software, was able to compare, had lot of high quality people on his side who gave participated at that process. He had all the options for negotiation with Microsoft including access to the code, changing things so Nokia's product would sell. It was his decision how the Symbian->Lumia transition should be applied. He had the option to keep Symbian running while applying a soft transition strategy. He had the option to keep alternate strategies alive so Nokia does not bind itself to only one product line. He is the CEO, the General, the Nokia boss. Not Ballmer. Lumia is a Nokia product, not a Microsoft product.

Elop failed on planing, execution and reaction. Till today he keeps course till the bitter end.

> Nokia would not be in this mess, even with the terrible strategic and comms errors around the transition.

They are in that mess cause of terrible strategic errors.

It works the other way around. Nokia could have made it a success but they failed.

If Microsoft would have delivered a competative WP 7.0 they would not have need Nokia so much to put WP 7.5 on Lumia.
If WP 7.0 would have been competative it would not be below 4% market share and sinking when Nokia joined.

Or do you really expected that Microsoft would make with WP 7.5 a totaly to WP 7.0 different mobile OS that is competative now? Why do you think they would wait till 7.5 rather then doing it with 7.0 already? Why do you think Microsoft would be able to change evrything within 6 months when they failed all the years before it took them to turn Windows Mobile into Windows Phone 7.0?

Seriously, you must drink the same water Elop drinks (or smokes?) if you think that way.

> iterate quickly, add missing features and re-spin the look and feel a bit for popular taste

Thats not what Elop had in mind, why he picked WP7 and he told us so every week since then. "The problem is NOT WP7 but the sales personal, the marketing." that is what he told and still tells us. Heck, he plans to go on to sell WP7 Lumia far after WP8 Lumia hee just told us. He tells us now that WP 7.8 will be "even better" and goes on to apply the next crazy suicide-strategies like not selling there new WP8 Lumia everywhere, like aborting key markets.

Now if you name art-work as reason I must ask you: Why did Nokia not change the art-work if thats the reason?
If you name missing features as reasin I must ask you: Why was HTC adding some of the missing features to there WP7 HTC Titan while Nokia did ship a 1:1 WP7 Lumia with no,additional feature added?

Spawn

@leebase

> Same for RIM. Both have collapsed. Both. RIM did what Tomi wanted Nokia to do. RIM stuck to it's guns, came out with it's own OS.

Blackberry 10 is still not on the market. So, no. RIM did not came out with its own OS yet but its scheduled for Q1 next year.

> The reason Tomi's analysis did not predict Nokia's fall

Actually he did. In the article there are some words with underline, you can click on them and the will bring you to other articles writen by Tomi before. Crazy that internet isn't it?

> Nokia was going to fail either way

Are you the same who predicted Apple will fail anyways when Steve Jobs came back and hence they should not even try? I think you are.

Spawn

@tired

> Nokia's board have to shoulder their fair share too.

We, the ELOP (Embassy for Lost Opportunities and Profit) are still uncertain about the state of the Nokia board. Half of our members think they got infected with a zombie-viruss while the other half thinks aliens took them over. We agree that Its save to believe that there brains are "filled with other things" right now.

@m

> The $1 billion in phony payments back and forth between MS and Nokia is IN NO WAY REAL.

At the end it is. There was a large amount of cash invested into marketing, xbox's got bundled for freewith Lumia's, sales got free phones, the lumia where/are sold under cost and so on.
That is real money and it did not came out of nowhere. Its a joint venture of both and, like it happens in such deals, the one side pays thr other and the other way around but the money may still have to change positions cause its planed,cread bind to be used, for special purposes and then over time used for it (not all at once but its also not freebas in cash money any longer cause of contractual bindings).
Short: Bothx Nokia and Microsoft lost lot of money but both also lost way more then that. Microsoft is at its all-time low with an even more worse start-point for the future what may not hurt them today but only tomorrow but then 2x harder while Nokia will not see a tomorrow.

@John Waclawsky

> how Microsoft "consumer products" always struggle (a serious understatement) when exposed to real competition.

There are some examples where they did succeed (as in not failed): MsOffice against Word Perfect, Windows Server against Novell, Visual Studio against Borland, IE against Netscape, xbox against Playstation.
There are some examples where they failed: .Net against Java, IIS against Apache, Bing against Google, ActiveX against Flash, Zune against iPod.

E&D&E, monopoly, good/bad products, weak/strong competition, etc. So many factors there playing together.

Yes, Microsoft is one of the companies perceived to be most evil for good reasons. The are convicted to hqve used illegal tactics and the.continue to do so but it does not help them any longer. They may win some battles but are losing the war. It was never more visible then now.

No Plan B

@Spawn

> We, the ELOP (Embassy for Lost Opportunities and Profit) are still uncertain about the state of the Nokia board. Half of our members think they got infected with a zombie-viruss while the other half thinks aliens took them over. We agree that Its save to believe that there brains are "filled with other things" right now.

Classic !

Spawn

@m

> "Now, the only road left is to try to go Windows Phone 8, and start again from zero."
> Not really

Yes, literally. In real they statt from 1-2% market share or so but not from zero.
But literally it was much more at there previous attempt with WP7. Also they have way lesser partners now and the WinPhone brand and customer stand is way more damaged.
The possibility that Microsoft can turn around the boad is close to zero NOW. They see that what is why Surface was born.

> migration path from wp7 to wp8 ... "ecosystem".

First who is interest in 99.999 different clocks? Quality counts not.quantity. Microsoft spread the quantity message cause they cannot.compete on quality of the apps.

Second the world moves on. As I wrote.above and Tomi in this article the.conditions are NOW much more worse for.Microsofts own failed island.ecosystem.
Nobody is going to invest into that after even Nokia failed, no died on trying, to succeed with that ecosystem. While before there was at least some kind.of investment, and I am not talking here about the pinuts Microsoft itself invested, into the ecosystem its down to zero now.
Microsoft knows that what is why they try to spread the Windows Phine 8 compatible with Windows 8 message where we KNOW this is.false. Its not even RT-compatible cause of screen-resolution, sensors and services.
No, no one is.going.to invest into Windows Phone. Even those who did into WP7 will wait. This time they wan't do the same mistake again.

Theird Microsoft knew and they did haf to open.the native code door. Unlike WP7 the WP8 will not be limited to Microsofts own development tools and technologies. That is compromise they had to go else WP8 would have been dead from the beginning. But ecen that is not enough. The investment-burden is to high.

There is one way how they could change that and they will try. An own WP8 phone. This is the ONLY way left to take WP8 out of the irrelevance doom.

@CN

So, Samsung moved there for ebd of this year planed first Tizen devices to beginning of next year according to your link.

That is not totaly unexpected. There seem to be a general trend to delay new platforms (MeeGo, Blackberry 10, Tizen, ...).

I think you read to much from your linked article but it seems.the author made it also not easy to differ between the delay of one platform and.the introduciob of another. Seems the athor likes to indicate that the one has to do with the other what is, well, utter bs.
Samsung will ship WP8 devices lije the did and STILL do shio WP7 devices.

For Bada: So they delay the NEW Bada too. Fine, that gives us some more indication for the relation of Tizen and Bada 3.0 which was always speculated.would be either identical or.move.closer.together.

What that gives us is that the new iOs and.WP8 will launch end.of.this.year. The.new.Bada, Tizen or TizenBada and Blackberry 10 beginning of next year.
Jolla Mobile may wrll able to keep there plan and.ship end.of this year too buy taken into account.its a.new.platform.there is a high possibility for.delay till beginning of.next year too.

John Waclawsky

Spawn, I respectfully disagree with your superficial analysis. Please look deeper, the Microsoft "consumer" products only win when they are monopoly assisted. It's as simple as that! For example, the xBOX subsists on massive subsidies from the monopoly profits(something Nokia cannot do). And please don't forget KIN phones! The writing was clear and on the wall AND ignored by Nokia.

Visitor

"RIM did what Tomi wanted Nokia to do. RIM stuck to it's guns, came out with it's own OS. Bothched it as surely Nokia was already doing...and has failed right along with Nokia."
Thats bull. RIM's situation is an entirely different one. Their stubborn refusal to accept the fact that a smartphone is more than a corporate device was their downfall.Nokia, on the other hand, acknowledged that Symbian wasn't going to be enough to sustain them in the long run and they needed a new player in the game. Enter N9. I have yet to see an unhappy N9 owner. This despite the fact that they knew they were buying a DOA product. I bought one and have never been so passionate about any of my previous devices, ever. And I'm not the only one. Compare this to the reaction of Lumia owners that have just learned that their devices are about to become obsolete. Discontinuing and not capitalising on the success of one of the greatest phones ever created, thats Nokia's downfall.
"So absolutely everything is Stephen Elop's fault now? This is getting less credible post by post."
I have been buying Nokia products since the late '90s. I've always loved my devices. I currently have in my possession an N95, a 5800, an N8 and an N9. Most people, like me, buy them because they're reliable. Even my 5800, disaster that it was with its infamous "out of memory" errors is way better than any Lumia product on the market. Note that I choose the 5800 because it is undoubtedly the weakest of all the devices mentioned. But I love it. I can transfer files via Bluetooth. I can change my ringtone. I don't need Zune to transfer files to and from my PC. I can easily backup and restore files, contacts, messages, calendar entries, etc. between all my devices without even the need for a PC. I can do it via Bluetooth. I can connect to Wifi and let my phone run without having to worry about it disconnecting once my screen locked. I can use my phone to download stuff. I have a choice of browsers should the default Symbian browser not be good enough for me. I can set an alarm and switch off my phone knowing full well that my alarm would still ring in the morning. "out of memory..." Pfft... There are task managing applications in abundance to assist in that regard. I have every intention of buying the 808 asap and that will be my last Nokia. Why? Because Nokia no longer makes phones half as good as that disastrous 5800. Whose fault is that? The Nokia that was provided me with regular updates for this 5800 even 2 years after I purchased it so I never felt forgotten. That was one of the reasons Nokia became one of, if not THE most trusted brands on the planet. Not any more. Ask any of those current Lumia owners that now know their phones are'nt upgradeable to WP8 just months after they purchased it. If this isn't Elop's fault then, pray, tell me, whose fault is it?

Buttface Elop

I still have the strong belief that the board of Nokia was secretly paid by Microsoft to let Elop do what Ballmer expected from him: Make Nokia a Microsoft company.

Call it a conspiracy theory. But you can't prove this to be wrong.

tired

I have a 5800. Switched it on during my n900 days and found an update. That's the Nokia corporate culture I loved. Always looking forward and giving the best to even old obsolete phones as long as the phone hw can handle it. Now we have a Nokia that doesn't give two hoots about the customer, and is paying the price for it.

Sander van der Wal

Samsung not proceeding with Bada and Tizen (delaying patforms in a platform war is very much the same as killing them) and publicly thinking about Windows 8, is very interesting.

It means that Bada and Tizen got no traction and/or Samsung is not able to develop both platforms quickly enough. It is a sign of weakness. I would hate to be a Bada-only software developer right now. (Not that being a Bada-only developer was smart in the first place, and is is why.)

Spawn

@John Waclawsky

I am not sure we really disagree. I do not say that your point wasn't one of the factors too. I only say this wasn't the only factor but there are more which played a role.

I agree, and so did various judges, that Microsoft is using its desktop monopoly to push compering products to the market with an advantage.competition cannot offer.
I also agree that there deep pockets are essential.
But I do not agree that this two factors alone make a winner. There is more involved otherwise they would always win (when those two factors apply / are applied) what is just not the case.

@leebase

The playbook is a tablet and not a phone. RIM's core business are mobile phones and.the did not deliver a BB10 phone yet.

Also the playbook is an intermedia state. The reason why there is no BB10 phone yet is that they do not just take whats on the playbook and.put it on a phone. They extend, improve, align that platform to make BB10 a well received and sold device.

That is in contrast to Nokia who has Lumia with there all in one WP7 strategy in the market, available for consumers, since a while now.

> now an even newer OS "real soon now". Sounds a LOT like Nokia.

For Nokia its the second try. The WP7 Lumia was the first try (note that I do not differ between WP 7.5 and 7.8 Lumia here what is important) and it failed horrible. The WP8 Lumia is thr second AND last try. We, those who work in that industry, know how it will end.

RIM so far failed to bring there first try to the market. They may beginning of next year or maybe even later or never.

The result is indeed.the same but the reasons are very different.

> RIM's product is more competitive than Nokias

RIM's product, BB10, is not on the market. That makes.them less competative to just ANY other product that is in the market.

In fact every other.product who sold at least one unit is doing better then RIM cause.till today RIM sold zero BB10 units.

> We tried to show Tomi that marketshare did not mean all he thought it did.

There are two errors I see here. First your intwrpretation of what Tomi wrote is not even close to what he really wrote. Second you try to bring the point on the table that he is wrong buy.fail to name or explain why. Those both errors are at your side and you need to solve.them. There is not much we can do about it.

@Visitor

> RIM. Their stubborn refusal to accept the fact that a smartphone is more than a corporate device was their downfall.

The coperate section is RIM's core business and thats what they focus on. They are not focused on market share (unlike Android) but.focus.on profit (like Apple to a certain degree).

They are aware of the drawbacks what is why you see the.CEO running around.looking for partners that have a focus on the mass consumer market.

Its just that all that is future and not present or past like with Nokia. The one, Nokia, tried and failed. The other,RIM, did not try (yet) and hence failed (so far). That is the difference.

> That was one of the reasons Nokia became one of, if not THE most trusted brands on the planet. Not any more.

I fully agree. There waa once.the slogan "once a Nokia, always a Nokia" what was.cause you could expect from any of the devices they had a certain quality, certain futures and a certain handling. The usability and polished features where always strong selling points. Nokia understood to keep that from device to device and improve in small steps from there.
Then came Lumia. All was thrown away, usability totaly different, important features missing, incompatible. They broke the contract, lost the trust and people switched to alternates.
Now the slogan became: "Once a Nokia, never again a Nokia". Just ask all thr lost customers and those who are stuck with there outdated, unsupported WP7 Lumia now.

@Sander van der Wal

> delaying patforms in a platform war is very much the same as killing them

No, its not. Delaying platforms is very much like delaying them.

> publicly thinking about Windows 8

Do you have a source? As far as we know the author of the sami-article draw that conclusion by himself.

n900lover

I think Elop's biggest crime is that he gave Nokia to MS on silver plate without any alternative plan, without way out, without any levers Nokia could use to press MS, i.e. the infamous "no plan B" strategy.

And that wasn't mistake, he did that deliberately.

Decade

@CN

That article completely lacks sources. The claim that Samsung is dropping Tizen and Bada would be interesting if true, but I don't see why I should take it seriously.

Mark Wilcox

@Spawn You completely missed my point. If you've seen my writing elsewhere on this subject then you'll know that I believe Elop's strategic and comms errors are responsible for accelerating Nokia's decline and that he should be fired (and most of the board along with him).

What I'm arguing against here is that Tomi seems to be implying that Elop is responsible for Microsoft's failure with Windows Phone as well. Nokia have made the improvements to WP7 (e.g. maps and navigation) that were within their power in the timeframe they had - the execution there has been much faster than most of Nokia's other software efforts.

Microsoft is failing with Windows Phone because they have built a product the market doesn't want at the moment - nothing Nokia could have done to change that. Can't possibly be Elop's fault.

The odd conception that Microsoft should retain the market share from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, or that Nokia should be able to migrate customers from Symbian to Windows Phone when the new platform is so completely different (higher average cost of devices, fewer features & radically different UX) is the only thing that makes there seem to be a story here. The reality is simply Nokia managed to increase Windows Phone market share from where it was by going "all in" but only by a tiny fraction of what was hoped for.

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