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February 25, 2014

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Baron95

Tomi, you are over complicating it.

After the iPhone launched, everybody got desperate, including Google, who rushed to retool Android and give it away, operators like Verizon and DoCoMo who could not get iPhone due to exclusivity, and eventually everyone in the Smartphone business - Palm, Nokia, Blackberry - got desperate.

Google enabled Samsung and a few Chinese OEMs to prosper. Forming the Apple/Samsung duopoly in advanced markets.

Yes, Microsoft was desperate. Not now, but since 2008. Desperate enough to pay $2B to Nokia to switch to WP. Desperate enough to buy Nokia for $7.5B. And Yes, desperate enough to use cheap HW and AOSP Android to push their services down market.

Everyone other than Apple is desperate to find a way to make money in Mobile. Even Google and Amazon.

Google makes their services available on all popular platforms, and so must Microsoft.

This move is not surprising at all.

I think you also fail to mention the benefits to Microsoft in being able to (soon - 12 months or so) fire all the S40 SW guys, and cut other costs.

This move makes to total sense to me. And if in fact WP fail, all that Microsoft needs to do is to move Nokia X devices up market on Android.

duke

Of course the astroturfer strategy is to always try to post right after the article with either accolades for microsoft or trash talking Google. Nothing new just the main microsoft talking points. It's a typical Microsoft strategy to diminish your analysis by their pathetic propagandists.

Baron95

This notion that Meego was ready for prime time with support from several vendor is patently delusional. Where are all the devices? Nothing?

And before Tomi points out Jolla, even after 3 years the OS is total junk - crap. Not my opinion, but the opinion of Jolla's chief designer - Jaakko Roppola. This is what he admitted at MWC when asked why Jolla's users can't learn how to use the phone...

"Many people have difficulties because we suck," "We're not very good at the first-time user experience."

Earendil Star

"Or... Msft and Nokia both thought WP would succeed based on Msft's past performance in the mobile market."

MS past performance in the mobile market? Really? Like in phones or tablets????

And who thought this? Nokia?????

This is the greatest joke of the century! Thanks for the laugh, really :)

Me

"even after 3 years the OS is total junk - crap."

Still better than Windows Phone.

Spawn

The new Microsoft strategy is rather visible. The pick of Satya as new Microsoft CEO underlines what we knew. Satya build up Azure, services, and he did so outside of the Windows-lockin strategy. Azure includes Linux, Azure doesn't care about the Windows platform as strategy.

We all know by now that WP has no future. Neither in the market nor in Microsoft. The problem with that, the NokiaX, move is that it comes to early, is half-done. Satya and his team did prepare a transition strategy and it very likely includes Android AOSP. But its also clear that such a transition would need to be applied carefully, step by step. Now Elop & NokiaX skip and abort once more a caregully crafted transition-strategy making sure it will be irreperable, expensive, a problem. That irony. As if Microsoft didn't saw what kind of guy they take back inhouse. Didn't they watch and learn past 3 years what Elop did? How he 'executes'?

This move is indeed doing heavy damage to Microsoft. Elop, Elop, back to burning platforms, smoking strategies and this time at Microsoft, leading xbox. A sane Microsoft would indeed try to get him out of any position he can damage and burn as soon as possible.

Should we worry about xbox? Yes, because he has weeks left!

Spawn

More Elop:
http://www.geek.com/games/stephen-elop-wanted-to-sell-the-xbox-division-now-hes-going-to-run-it-1585798/

Bet open how long it takes till his "significant changes in strategy" have effects on xbox, surface and the integrated Nokia Lumia team. Looks as Microsoft management put together there 3 biggest problem fields and gave them Elop. "Much more damage he cannot do and maybe giving him failed rather then profitable products has an opposite effect? Lets try!"

Earendil Star

** "Yes, Microsoft was desperate. [...] Desperate enough to pay $2B to Nokia to switch to WP."

It was $1B. Now it magically doubled. $2B. I love magic!

By the way, MS never paid anything to Nokia. It just channeled WP marketing money through Nokia. Which is quite a different story.

** "This notion that Meego was ready for prime time with support from several vendor is patently delusional. Where are all the devices? Nothing?"

Maemo/Meego was ready. You know it. Everyone knows it. Maemo was first demonstrated on the N900, which launched in 2009. Then released as Meego/Maemo Harmattan in 2011 with the N9 and N950. Google a bit (you only Bing? Sorry...:) and you will see (as you know only too well) that the N9 was ready and being sold well before the first unfinished and sucking Lumia prototypes, which were sold to customers for live testing with the stop-gap WP7 (P)OS. Those poor guinea-pig MS customers, who were not even given the possibility to "upgrade" (well, sort of...:) to WP8 when that came out. Remember? The Lumia 900, the "first true WP"? The one that broke all records in "flagshit" performance? Price: instead of commanding a premium price, it was gifted away at $0 (with two year contract after voucher) because it... had a (MS) software issue and could not connect to the Internet. Smart! Launch: it was launched on Easter Sunday... when shops were closed. Duration: First sold in April 2012, was Osborned in June 2012 when MS said it would launch WP8 and Lumias 900 would not be upgraded. Mmmmh, the MS experience!

Maemo, Meego, whatever, what counts here is that Nokia had its new gen platform ready for prime time. And with Nokia's muscle behind it, it would have become a success in no time. One thing is to have (2010) Nokia use its full power pushing a device, another to see if the dozen strong Jolla team is able to come up with anything. Do you remember? To avoid the Meego N9 from selling too much, THTRH Flop sold it in minuscule markets only, so that he would not be forced to say it had annihilated Lumias. He had to publicly declare on the Finnish press that no matter what, the N9 would only be a limited experiment, a one off with no future. Who was THTRH Elop working for?

We are dead tired of seeing history being rewritten. Stop it. Now!

Earendil Star

Tomi, you are over complicating it.

Nokia sale to MS was actually agreed back in 2010.

THTRH Elop (Top MS exec with a personal history in winding down companies, but Mr Nobody in mobile) was sent there after the sale, to pursue MS' agenda: to destroy Nokia from within and save the WP burning platform, according to Baldmer's blueprint.

Starting mid 2010, all important Nokia decisions were agreed with Ballmer, who was always there on stage with Flop whenever an important announcement was made.

All previous Nokia management was zapped. Now the place (including the part not being sold to MS) is teeming with softies. All totally aligned to the Redmond mothership... hey, if you behave well, you'll end up with a pile of money like Flop!

The initial plan, a one-to-one Symbian to WP transition, was a total trainwreck. If it had worked, the initial $1B WP marketing channelling through Nokia would be handsomely paid back several times over by Nokia's WP fees to MS. But WP turned out to be too much for customers, even when trying to force feed it.

In 2013, to rescue Nokia from collapse after having sabotaged it, MS stepped in and bought it at more than fire sale price to avert a Lumia and WP catastrophe. Nokia's price: $4.5B. Whatsapp price: $19B. WHAT THE HECK??? Plan B, but all in all, still a fantastic deal for MS.

Meanwhile, the WP (P)OS continues seeing no traction, in fact, it is starting to show fatigue strain. Fearing that the next billion customers will also go to Google's Android, in 2014 MS launches its Android AOSP smartphones, saving on costs (Meltemi project and team could be wound down), with Lumialike skin and MS services (mostly those pillaged from Nokia, such as Here Maps, Nokia Radio Mix and so on). Let's call it damage control. Hoping that Google won't offer a Google suite to be sideloaded on the devices and foil the plan...

Meanwhile, Elop is gearing up for his new top brass X position at MS, after pocketing the millions for following Redmond's orders all the time. Neat!

Occam razor proof reasoning. Just as simple as that! All the puzzle pieces nicely fit together. No need to find much more complicated explanations to otherwise inexplicable moves, choices and decisions. All plain and simple. Pure MS style.

Earendil Star

Astroturfing BS apart, Nokia, ehm, I mean, MS goes to the Barcelona MWC and releases... three ANDROID phones???? And NO NEW LUMIAS????

No comment. Better leave it to the Astros... Sweeet!!!

dp

This is how I see what MS planned and did in last few years with Nokia:

1. Destroy meego and stop Qt in becoming major development platform.
2. Make WP strong third ecosystem (failed so far)
3. Destroy Nokia.
4. Buy Nokia cheaply.
5. If WP fails, fork Android.

I think Nokia X is something that Elop and MS did knowingly when they saw WP is ultimately failing. It could become a small hit and then in a few years time we will talk about Android and Android X. And develop for two different platforms. With MS tools and MS services. As one of commentators said: embrace, extend, extinguish.

RottenApple

@Spawn:

"http://www.geek.com/games/stephen-elop-wanted-to-sell-the-xbox-division-now-hes-going-to-run-it-1585798/"

One has to wonder, why are they putting him in charge of that division?
They must know that everything Elop has ever touched went sour. Are they setting him up for failure or is it a shrewd move to close down the division due to 'management incompetence'?

@Earendil Star:

Please stop these idiotic conspiracy theories, especially if they make no sense.
Nokia X is a public relations disaster for Microsoft - nothing less. I'm with Spawn on this one. It is a move that may severely undermine any attempt at repositioning the company in the market.

jj


"even after 3 years the OS is total junk - crap."
Still better than Windows Phone.

Plus, it's not NSA spy-tool like all US based systems (WP, iOS, Android) are.

foo

@Earendil Star

Great retrospective!!!

Sander van der Wal

@Earendil Star

Maemo/MeeGo wasn't ready. I have talked to people who were working on bundled apps. They clearly and repeatedly said it wasn't ready. All kinds of needed low level API's were just not there.

My interpretation is that they had a very small desktop computer working. Not a smartphone, which needs all kinds of interfaces to hardware that is not necessary in a desktop computer.

Then there was a huge list of showstopper errors. Clearly visible in the public, but not well-known bugs database. A phone might have at most one showstopper. Not hunderds.

jj

Windows Phone 7 wasn't ready either. In fact, it was so bad Microsoft itself threw it to trashcan.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Meego may not have been ready - but the N9 received rave reviews once it reached the market.

With time the bugs would've been fixed, Nokias market share might've dipped a bit but nowhere near as catastrophic as with WP. The reason is, carriers would not have given Nokia the middle finger.

But, done is done no use crying about it.

Alex

@at the meego bashers (meego was not ready, and so on): i own a n9 myself, I love the phone, the os is great, and this is around 2,5 years old. So imagine, what this platform could have become if getting the full support. We would have another major player by now next to IOS and Android, and all on open source basis. And I am sure the market share would not be like the one of windows now, probably 10 times more, but that of course is speculation. To choose windows 7 which was, as we know now, put in the trash later, over this os was an utterly stupid and destructive business decision.

Wayne Borean


I think everyone is missing the most important part:

**********
Elop does say that Android devs can bring their apps to Nokia X - only takes a few extra hours dev work - and people can sideload applications using an SD card.
**********

So they've crippled the phone. Who wants to spend time porting apps over to a phone with no market share? Oh, no doubt some will sell, but word of mouth will be terrible.

This sounds like a Microsoft plan. Open mouth, insert foot up till hip.

Wayne

foo

@Sander van der Wal

> Then there was a huge list of showstopper errors. Clearly visible in the public, but not well-known bugs database.
> A phone might have at most one showstopper. Not hunderds.

Funny you mention that, because the alternative -- Windows Phone 7.5 -- had a famous list of 101 problems, later expanded to 110:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Here-are-101-reasons-not-to-buy-Windows-Phone-7.5_id30255

Sander van der Wal

@foo

Those are not showstoppers. A showstopper in a phone would be for instance a call that is always disconnected after one minute.

If it happened after 20 minutes it would be a serious error, and of those you can have a couple.

That list would be nuisance level.

Giacomo Di Giacomo

@Baron95
I usually refrain from replying to your posts since they are so full of bullshit that it shows by its own stench. But I have to reply to your comment about Jolla since many here have never seen or tested one. I do not know where you took that quote and I won't to bother to search. I have the real thing and use it everyday. It's a charm, even in beta stage. More stable than Android. The battery (although "just" 2000 mAh) lasts ages. Unbelievably faster even with the hardware of a Galaxy S2 (confirmed by AnTuTu) (still more powerful than an iPhone 5S, by the way). Runs every single Android app I am trying (some require gapps of course). The UI becomes so intuitive that now I keep swiping to close apps on Android phones and on my Nokia 808. And, for people like me who want control over their phone, it is a real SuSE Linux distribution, with all the capabilities that this implies.
So, in the unlikely event that your brain allows you, please stop talking shit about what you do not know. If Tomi's praise level for Meego/Jolla is wrong, it is so only because it is too low.

N9

Let me also say that I still use my N9. This platform was clearly ready and was missing only a bit of polish and large scale distribution.

Compare that to WP 7 which was superseded only a year later and the first WP 8 Lumias which were initially not even usable as a phone. For about half a year - as somebody who bought a 920 told me. Knowing Microsoft's usual strategy to ship unfinished software I fully believe this.

@Giacomo Di Giacomo: Interesting to hear about Jolla, I read mixed stories about the UI. What prevented me to order one was that they don't run X11 but Wayland - meaning it breaks API compatibility with standard Linux. Do you know whether XWayland is running on Jolla already?

Alb

I was laughing quite a lot watching Mr Elop burning WP platform live in front of everybody. Doing wording juggling to praise Nokia X without demising WP OS. That was priceless. Specially after the huge dose of pain his decisions have caused to Nokia, Finland and to many many many people. I can now say all that suffering has been done for nothing.

Anyways, having in mind that
- WP developer base is insignificant.
- WP market share is insignificant.
- WP manufacturers support is insignificant.

We could say that WP is just a walking dead. So, it might be just more practical for Microsoft to be practical, introduce Android devices to their _ecosystem_ to try to ensure a future to their services. After all, they could just call Nokia X the new "Windows 9" and voila.

One additional note about WP developer base:
* Since 2011, when the decision of moving to WP was taken / when Symbian was put to sleep along with Meego, Meltemi etc... the trust of developer community towards Nokia (and Microsoft) was shattered very very badly. I know small companies that were heavily developing for Symbian (and Meego, etc with QT) that almost went out of business after that decision. This was done again later when upgrade path to W8 was not allowed.

* One need to understand that historically, Nokia development community has been heavily focused on open source projects. That community was huge fans of (incoming) Meego, Meltemi, QT. Moving to WP was like going to the cannot-get-any-worse-dark-side-of-the-force.

So, I am pretty sure that only hope of WP of having something close to a development community is to borrow Android's one. No-development will trust Microsoft on this. That simple.

Cheers.

Sander van der Wal

@Alb

The Symbian developer community never was very much into Open Source. And that community was 100.000 developers strong. Nokia's own numbers, which they repeated again and again for around the ten years that Symbian was relevant.

The Maemo/MeeGo community was indeed into Open Source. But it was a lot smaller than the Symbian one. Nokia never mentioned how many Maemo/MeeGo developers they had. So it would be reasonable to say that there would be a lot less than a 100.000 developers in that community.

Saying that the community was a fan of Qt is stretching the truth. A lot. Most of the time the community existed Qt was not part of it. When it became part if the Nokia offering it took them three effing years to make it usable enough for Qt apps to pass the Symbian Signed test. A test that Nokia insisted was important.

I have been part of the Symbian community since 1997, before Nokia. And I have seen Nokia destroy that community. Both management and programmers, both to blame. W

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