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August 20, 2013

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R

leebase: "Office all by itself, is a reason some people will like RT."

Haha, yes, but I don't think you can sustain a multi-billion-dollar corporation from the profits of a market that small. In fact, many people doubt there is any profit to be made in that market.

But, hey, if the Windows RT market starts growing, then Elop wants Nokia to be the big fish in the small pond. I'm just waiting for the Microsoft misadventure to start making profits.

Tester

Is there even a point to discuss leebase's 'opinion' anymore?

It's clear where he stands:

1. Apple is the God of mobile and can't fail by default.
2. Microsoft has a long enough breath to make any turd succeed eventually.
3. Android is cheap crap that only sells at the lowest price point (a.k.a. nobody wants it but everybody buys it because they got no choice.)

And no matter in how many words it is put, it's always these 3 points to what it all boils down.
Just strange that the market figures do not really agree with it...
The most fun thing is that the market's realities seem to make 3. actually true when used for Windows Phone...

foo

DigitalTrends recognises that Nokia is helping Microsoft, but Microsoft is holding back Nokia:

Though Windows Phone is showing signs of life, it’s only because Nokia is holding the defibrillators. Indeed, the canary is dead; the hippo is humped; the wizard has spoken … However you want to say it, Nokia is in trouble. Though it is a stronger company than it was in 2011, Nokia may, again, be standing on a burning platform. Despite owning almost all Windows Phone sales, and making some great phone hardware, Nokia is not even in the top 5 when it comes to smartphone sales.

Nokia, though, doesn’t have much of a choice. Thanks to a public pact it made with Microsoft and customers, its hands are tied. If it makes an Android device (Why we want a Lumia Google Edition), many would see it as a death knell for Windows Phone, potentially hurting already weak sales of its entire line. So, with nowhere to go, Nokia continues to release new and unique Windows Phone hardware in the hope it can drive the OS to greater success.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/nokia-windows-phone-problems/#ixzz2cgxxfvZ3

antacid

Even after all this time since the Elop era began, it still feels bad to think of all the regular Joe and Jane workers who've lost their lively-hoods to the likes of these megalomaniacal monsters. Elop and Ballmer, using what Nokia had built over many decades, all of its good-will trashed, just for the purpose of running a scorched-earth scam in a vain attempt to reclaim the big-dog crown. Sickening...Shameful...

vladkr

Errr... Tomi, Nokia's flagship unit is the one making (winter) tyres. Oh wait, they separated in 1988, which is too bad as the latter is quite successful actually.

By the way, have you tried to calculate how much Elop did cost to Nokia overall (losses, loss of earnings, cash-drain, loss of patents, factories idling, etc.) ?
I started calculating, but I'm limited to the information I have, lacking some figures (loss of earnings on patents Nokia offered to patent-trolls + Microsoft), being unsure on others (some figures change wether they are in one Nokia report or in another - for instance there can be one figure for Q2 results in the Q2 report, and another figure for Q2 results in the Q3 report)...


But so far, my bet is about 50-60 billions euros. What number would you say ?

Of course, I don't include collateral losses, like the one faces by Salo, Oulu, and Finnish revenue agency.

leebase

@Tester - only Apple and Samsung would be candidates for "god of mobile" right now. Both have legitimate claim. Samsung is cleaning everyone else's but Apple's clock. Samsung makes the major components that even Apple has to use. Samsung is spending marketing money like no one has seen before. And Samsung has a huge lead over everybody in marketshare. Samsung is able to put out phones on all available platforms, at all price points...every imaginable shape and size. It would be hard for somebody other than Samsung to be "god of mobile".

Apple is the other contender. By far the most profitable. Second in marketshare. Unlike Samsung, Apple makes it's own OS and controls it's own destiny. Bada/Tizen are such tiny parts of Samsung's sales that it doesn't really count -- yet. Apple is the one that disrupted the previous status quo. Apple has the more successful, mature and complete ecosystem.

Take your pick. It's either one or the other.

And yes, I do respect Msft. Yes, they have a track record of sticking with a market and quite often winning even after horrible starts. I accept that they are struggling mightily, but believe that software and operating remain their core competency and would not write them off.

And it is true that Androids massive marketshare lead does not come from the hero phones like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One or Motorola X. It is true that where these high end phones AND the iPhone are both sold, the iPhone outsells them by quite a bit.

Nokia Cunt

Nokia guys are confused, they are waiting for the company to close on its own.CEO and his bunch of Jokers would finish this great company quite faster.

Kenny

After all the brickbats and stones thrown at Microsoft over Windows 8 due to the lack of a start button MS finally caved in and will include a Start button in Windows 8.1.

But has it? This new Start button is nothing like the classic Start button with gives access to your apps. The new Win 8.1 start button merely gives access to a range of os settings.

MS isn't a company which listens to feedback. It has the corporate culture of a monopolist and operates best in an environment where there is little or no competition. With its new Start button MS thumbs its nose it at its critics and users and says, "Deal with it!"

daz

I think Tomi has mentioned several times that Nokia failed to produce a querty lumia. Now LG has released one:
LG Enact with slide-out QWERTY
http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_enact_with_slideout_qwerty_keypad_goes_official_-news-6625.php

Tester

Great. A phone that looks two years old by looking at the specs.

Can't it just be that the demand for physical keyboards is grossly overrated by some people?

I don't think that a company like Samsung would pass if they felt there was a significant market for such a device, wouldn't they?

It can't be a coincidence that none of the major manufacturers produce a keyboard device with decent specs, can it?

zlutor

@Tomi: are you aware of this one: http://www.gamespot.com//news/microsoft-ceo-steve-ballmer-to-retire-6413579?

How does it effect Nokia?

daz

Ballmer gives up all hopes.

So Vatar

Well, now that MS's Ballmer announced to retire within 12 months, what will this mean for Flop's Windows only strategy? Sure, we don't know Ballmer's successor, but changes in strategy are more than likely. Will MS go all in and purchase Nokia's smartphone operations? Give up on windows phone because no meaningful market share is obtainable?

If Nokia were a well run company they would have plan A, B, and C ready to go in the drawer to address changes at MSFT. As we know Flop has only plan A.

Best scenario: Flop follows his boss at MSFT and retires too, hopefully within less than 12 months.

BTW, MSFT's stock is up +7% just because Ballmer announced his retirement! Wanna guess what Nokia's stock will do once Flop steps back?

daz

Now only Elop needs to resign as well and the world can return to sanity.

foo

Ballmer announces retirement and shares jump 10%.

I wonder what would happen if Elop announced retirement...

leebase

Msft will not give up on WP. As Msft wants to be a devices and services company...perhaps they will try and hire Scott Forestall.

Winter

I think it is entirely possible that Ballmer will not be able to sit it out for 12 months. He might not even make it to next January.

Name

Elop goes to Microsoft as the new CEO. One can hope...

chithanh

@leebase
>> Office all by itself, is a reason some people will like RT. Just like some people are just fine with a tablet as an eReader.

None less than NVidia CEO Jen-Hsung Huang has said it publicly: The reason for the miserable Windows RT sales is the lack of Outlook. How did Microsoft not think about that!! Of course Windows RT 8.1 will come with Outlook and Surface RT 2 will be a great success, fuelled by handing every Microsoft employee two devices instead of just one.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57597706-94/nvidia-ceo-were-working-hard-on-surface-2/
http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-employees-start-collecting-their-free-surface-rts-7000008712/

cornelius

@Name
Oh, man, Elop the next Microsoft CEO, that would be awesome. Is there an online petition, or anything like that? We should start a grassroots movement.

Paul Ionescu

Steve Balmer retires from Microsoft! Is Elop next?

Baron95

A WIndows RT tablet is a web browser tablet with the ability to run Microsoft Office. That is it. Forget thurd party apps - not there in any meaningful numbers.

If the use case is Browser + Office (which incidentally is what the vast majority of ppl do on PCs) than it works. For anything else, it doesn't. Yes there may be a few games and readers theres, but that is not core.

If Nokia ran the business case, and there are customers (e.g. corporate) asking for it, what is the big deal?

It is neither going to destroy Nokia, not propel it to greatness. It is just like a new device to round out some enterprise sales or be on display next to its phones to attract attention.

So Vatar

@Baron:
"If Nokia ran the business case, and there are customers (e.g. corporate) asking for it, what is the big deal?"

I agree, IF Nokia ran a business case and came to the conclusion it is in Nokia's best interest to offer an RT tablet, then they should.

However, an objective analysis would also consider the following issues:
- Does an RT table fit (Elop's) current strategy creating a Windows Phone ecosystem. How does an incompatible tablet enhance the ecosystem? Well, it does not.
- If Nokia wants to offer devices running a different OS, should Nokia go for "real" Windows, Android, or any other OS? An Android tablet to prepare Android phones might have some positives.
- Looking at the market failure of Windows RT, what can Nokia do differently to be more successful than MS, Asus, and the other manufacturers who lost $$$ on RT?
- Does Nokia have sufficient resources to enable an RT offering without jeopardizing core functions that Nokia needs to survive?
- Is there any synergy manufacturing tablet sized devices in Nokia plants? Or does it just add to fixed costs?
- How would an RT tablet impact precious cash / cash flow?

So yeah, they can look at the business case if they want. And if they look at it from an "is this beneficial for Nokia?" point of few they can only come to one conclusion: No Nokia RT tablet.

MSP

Launching a Windows RT tablet when Microsoft is dumping about 5 million Windows RT tablets it can't sell at firesale prices - just when I was beginning to think that it was impossible for a CEO to do anything stupider than what Elop has already done, Elop has just done exactly that.

Tomi T Ahonen

On Ballmer

Thanks for the comments. I posted brief first blog comment today from the airport, will write more of an analysis blog on Ballmer and Microsoft future of course.

Quick thoughts, several of you can guess my direction. We heard the preview to this in Bill Gates - still Microsoft's Chairman - critical comments a while back. He said Ballmer had some problems (is now gone). And Gates singled out Windows smartphones as the biggest single failure during Ballmer's tenure (I said then, it means that Windows Phone will be discontinued). I think the writing now is VERY clearly on the wall, that Microsoft will pull the plug on Windows Phone soon. They might announce its end even before the new CEO is in, certainly the new CEO (unless that happens to be Elop haha) will make big changes and the first is to get rid of the deadwood - Windows Phone.

Also remember all the senior execs at Microsoft who either quit or were fired by Ballmer relating to Windows Phone. Gates will have heard that and tolerated Ballmer's management but now Gates will recall the related internal complaints from those people, and revisit how massively the Windows project was demolished from the inside. When you resign in protest, its a pretty clear sign that the management of the project consider the path doomed. Microsoft has many real winnable fights it has to focus on (Office, PC Windows, Xbox) and can't afford the distractions of the burning platform that is Windows Phone, for the new CEO.

Most alarmingly, remember that its not in Microsoft's ethos to go warning its 'partners' about strategic changes and Microsoft has no qualms about leaving its 'partners' stuck on dead-end technology paths, when Microsoft feels like changing its game. So don't expect Elop to have any advance warnings about when Windows Phone is suddenly announced to be dead..

I also think there are coincidential timing issues that may have clues to what really happened. We've heard Microsoft was seriously evaluating buying Nokia, but decided against it. Now with timing, we know thats roughly when Gates went public on his disapproval of Ballmer and of Windows Phone. It was around the time of Microsoft's tablet launch - obviously a failure - and just after the 'BFF breakup' between Ballmer and Elop, who seemed to be best buddies in 2011 and suddenly both seemed to want new partners. I have some thoughts and need to check on the timelines but I think these are part of the puzzle. Ballmer was effectively fired with that Gates 'almost vote of no confidence' haha, and was no doubt given an ultimatum, resign within x months or I will fire you. Ballmer was given enough time to go set up his moves which he's been doing now. And obviously Gates stepped in to rule against the Nokia acquisition - mostly no doubt because how much Elop had damaged Nokia to that point. Gates would have wanted to buy Nokia when he was in charge, if it had been this affordable.

Obviously Elop's 'all in Windows' strategy is looking again more silly now, after we hear Ballmer is gone. This moment has to be a wake-up call for Nokia's Board.

More thoughts in the blog soon.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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