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May 27, 2016

Comments

chithanh

Two things one might want to add:
The Nokia board hired Elop to transition away from Symbian, and they didn't want to go Android. So there were not many options left. This was reported in an excellent interview with Jean-Louis Gassée whom Nokia consulted in 2010.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jean-louis-gassee-nokia-elop-android-fire-359731

The analysts who repeatedly predicted that Windows would grow past Apple? "idiots bought by the Microsoft Mafia" might have actual truth to it. Microsoft badly needed favourable projections to show around and convince partners to jump onboard. Microsoft is probably a customer that IDC, Canalys, etc. don't want to lose.

Aviezer

Hi Tomi,

You should send flowers to Mr. Elop every New Year's Eve.
It is Elop who made you so famous among so many readers of this lovely blog of yours.
It is the hot language you used to describe the "MORON" that brought 1000's of readers every week for six years.

It will probably take many years until you'll be able to find someone - in Elop's caliber - to trash and turn into a historic figure among the Fortune's 500 companies.
I pray that Elop will leave Telstra and become the Finance Minister of Canada or the UN General Secretary, so we will be able to read more of these parodies.

Yours,
A.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi 55, chithanh, Aviezer and Nobody

55 - LOL thanks :-)

chithanh - yeah, its true, part of the many myths around Elop's tenure is that Symbian part. He never decided to end Symbian. Symbian was already decided more than a year before he came onboard. His crime was to kill Symbian's intended successor, MeeGo. But on the Symbian history, I think this blog is long enough, when I have slept well, I will try to shorten it a bit, not add more to it haha.

On the Microsoft Mafia, yeah, I am certain the cheaper/less known analyst houses took money for it. What makes me sad is that IDC seems to have also fallen for it, they should have enough integrity as a major house not to do that kind of sleaze.

A - ROTFL. Very good yes. Actually in a small way, I kind of do send Elop some 'flowers' by taking every excuse I ever find, on Twitter to mention his name, and his TW handle with the hashtag #worstceoever so his name will live in infamy and haha, he gets 'reminded' of me every so often, on a random basis.

Nobody - you know me (and I know you) and I've already told you several times, no this will never end. I will forever keep reminding the world that Elop was the worst CEO ever and also that I hate Microsoft - ok, I might stop by anti-Microsoft rants when that company is finally gone but that will probably take two more decades. But Elop, I will continue to bash him after he is buried - and we're nearly the same age, I am 100% certain I will outlive him. My family has very long lives and he lived a very stressful life. I have promised my readers, I will never stop badmouthing Elop. I never will. I keep all my promises. I will continue and continue. So when you are you finally going to be tired of posting those silly comments asking me as if I would ever end this. I am ENJOYING ever moment. As we say in Finland, Vahingonilo on paras ilo. Glee (as in happiness in someone else's misfortune) is the best type of happiness.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Poifan

So? You say I was correct. You admit my forecasts were correct and my math was right. You then come with some ridiculous irrelevant observations that I did NOT talk about, to squeeze those irrelevant noises into THIS blog. When I am listing the actual FORECASTS that I got correct.

If you think you will ever get to get such silly comments posted here, you are sadly mistaken. You do not understand the MEANING of this blog and if you cannot be human enough to just post - gosh, Tomi, you were truly the most accurate forecaster - then don't post anything. But if you try to come piss on my parade, after this MASTERCLASS in forecasting when Nokia LITERALLY made a world record failure - then go crawl into the hole you came from with your self-pity.

I'd have nastier words for you, but I am in a nice mood today.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

@Tomi
"Nobody - you know me (and I know you) and I've already told you several times, no this will never end. I will forever keep reminding the world that Elop was the worst CEO ever and also that I hate Microsoft - ok, I might stop by anti-Microsoft rants when that company is finally gone but that will probably take two more decades."

I think the message has been out there:

"By every measure used in business – revenue growth, headcount, market capitalization, share price, profit, bond ratings, and brand value – Elop's tenure reflected massive failure. He was regularly listed in 'worst CEO' lists during his last two years."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Elop
(you did not write that yourself, did you?)


What company will Stephen Elop steal for Microsoft next?
Trojan Horse, King of Thieves
http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/17/8796465/grand-theft-elop
"5. Apple. We live in a world where The Wall Street Journal is seriously suggesting Apple stop making Macs. Elop coming in as CEO and selling the company to Microsoft is arguably less insane."

AtTheBottomOfTheHilton

Despite the Nokia drama just looking Microsoft alone is even more interesting. Despite Microsoft succeeded to kill a competitor they managed to destroy themselves in a spectacular way. This began by killing their own Windows Mobile platform which had 15% market share about the time. Microsoft actually had some success with the SonyEricsson Xperia X1 and X2 for example. The Windows Mobile platform was versatile on level of Symbian (not dumbed down like Windows Phone) and there were many programs for Windows Mobile that were valuable. When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, that move literally made people fleeing to Android. Many might have paid apps on the Windows Mobile platform which angered them even further and many of those apps never turned up on Windows Phone as the developers fled to Android as well.

You can play with the thought what would happen if Microsoft would have continued with Windows Mobile 7 instead. That platform didn't look too bad and was a good continuation of the Windows Mobile platform and Microsoft would likely kept a higher market share than they have today. I think that Joe Bellafiore was one of the key ingredient that killed Microsoft mobile adventure. He was responsible for Zune which wasn't really a success but he really managed to get his UI into the enormously popular Windows operating system and literally destroying their own cash cow. Furthermore it is evident that Joe Bellafiore had focused too much on completely useless things like Cortana which I think is a gimmick, fun for 5 minutes. Joe Bellafiore must have some serious social skills as he managed to pull this off and also still sitting on his position. In a sane company he would be sacked or moved to some less important role long ago.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@AtTheBottom...

I still think the worst thing MS could do was to eradicate the strongest competitor to "third ecosystem". That basicly guaranteed Android dominance (OSX never stood a chance since it's a single manufacturer).

Meego was late to the party but had the carrier- and corporate OEM backing to succeed.

Windows had no or very weak carrier support and OEM backing by the time Nokia decided to go Windows.

With Meego there would be a three-way split probably around 60-15-15-10 with Android/Meego/iOS/others today. Instead we see the 85/15 split, very probable to be 90/10 split between Android/iOS...

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Lullz:

Apps would not have been as big an issue as you think. Microsoft made sure that the best apps existed to their platform. Nokia would've done the same. That would've gotten it off the ground.

Remember, the reason the Nokia Windows phones tanked was not because of phone quality - the phones were comparable to and even surpassed some of the flagships Apple and Samsung could offer. It was not because they lacked apps. It was because of consumer disinterest coupled with carrier disinterest.

Imagine instead of all the major carriers trying to sell you anything but a windows phone, started introducing you to a Nokia Meego as their preferred phone? Do you realise what difference this would make in sales?

My fridge broke down the other day. Went to buy a new one. I had two requirements - draw as little power as possible and cost at most $$$ dollars. While I'm pretty savy with computers, I know next to nothing about fridges, so I asked a sales rep about it and came out a pretty happy customer. The sales rep listened to my requirements and offered a few good alternatives that would suit my needs, made me consider a few angles I had not thought of etc. I had no strong preference for any particular brand however.

The way you view your fridge - that's how most people view their cellphone or their computer. Now imagine if carrier stores started with Meego large scale peddling. The users will be there and where there are users there will be apps. :)

Spawn

@Lullz

> Almost no Qt apps developed for mobile phones existed in early 2011

A few ten thausend apps from Intel's Meego flavor and Symbian^3 N8. Of course the whole app-story only started ~2011 together with the first set of available devices.

Now add to that Symbian+Meego dual-horse also QNX and BB10's Qt app landscape, genivi, etc. Also we know that Nokia was, similar to OHA, building up partner-networks and in negotiations with Samsung and others.

Last but not least we are talking C/C++/native here. GL, SDL, etc. all available from the start. Travel a bit back in time and have a look at some of the apps in there Meego/Ovi store. Quit a few including games not using Qt at all or only as UI-layer on top embedding GL.

We are not talking a whole new set of libs/apps here like was the case with iOS, Android (later relaxed with nativeapi) and WP.

Also of course was Qt available at Android that time. First Necessitas was released on 20 feb 2011 and Nokia was well aware of work going on before that, following it. Same with the bada-port, CE, WP, etc ports.

Winter

@Lullz&Per
Microsoft was not interested in mobile presence nor a third platform in mobile. Their one and only interest has ever been the extension of their Windows Everywhere monopoly. This was about control, monopoly, and Office. That is aboit their cash cows.

Windows Mobile was utterly incompatible with their PC line of OS' on every level. Meego was even more useless. It was Windows or break. And it was break.

DS

@Lullz, thats not entirely true. Latest symbian incarnation S^3 (Nokia N8, E7, but most important cheap and quite popular 600) was also campatible with Qt. Symbian have enjoyed a sizeable market share at that moment and still had a vivid developer mind share that was getting ready to switch to using QT (which had comparable productivity to Android and IOS). The hidden perk was that Symbian phones have run on much lower end hw than Android creating a big opportunity to attack it from the bottom of price range while reserving the high end for meego ( which was competitive to Android functionally and had better UI, but the resource consumption was not better). This window of opportunity have lasted for at least 15 months.

RickO

Microsoft to buy Telstra Stephen Elop flies in to prepare the ground _ TelecomTV. Makes for interesting reading.

ChrisB

Lullz,

I'm sorry to say this, but you seem to have either no idea how these things work, or you seem to think Nokia were a clueless small startup back then.

Here's the reality:

1) Nokia's phones already came/come with lots of apps preinstalled, and that includes the current "smart featurephone" lines (515, Asha). The same was true for the N9 back then. Did you ever hold an N9 in your hands?

2) Qt wasn't something new in 2010/11; it was much older and a successful and mature UI toolkit that was, among others, used by Adobe and Opera. Personally, I was involved in development for desktop programmes using Qt back in 2004!

3) Nokia's plan was sound: It included porting Qt to Symbian, MeeGo and Meltemi (mostly or completely done by the time Elop killed them all), then, potentially, to other platforms. That way, developers would've been able to write their code once and compile apps for all supported platforms.

4) Writing Qt-based apps wouldn't have come out of the blue. It was well-prepared and announced long before. Developers around the world had been trained, huge investments had been made for the transition from the (in 2010/11) leading smartphone platform Symbian to the more or less platform-neutral (in the long run at least) Qt.

5) Given Nokia's size and reputation, the number of its partners (including Samsung) and the potential profits, apps would have been available in no time, because hardly anyone could have afforded to ignore the old leader (Symbian + Qt) and the new one (MeeGo), plus a still non-negligible number of advanced featurephones/low-end smartphones running Meltemi.

MeeGo, Meltemi and Qt for smartphones were ready in 2011, and it was Elop who deliberately destroyed them all. It was only after Elop p***ed off every traditional partner, including DoCoMo and China Mobile, to please his former employer, that Android took off, because outside of iOS it was the only real remaining -- and open -- alternative.

WP was a dead end from the start, not only from a technical perspective, but also because of the attitude of the corporation behind it. Microsoft is used to bullying its business partners and customers. That means developers are used to losing investements in new MS technologies, because MS pulled the plug on "the future" so often that it's simply regarded as the cost of doing business.

Elop (and Ballmer) might have thought he could do the same as the CEO of Nokia, "because, um, Nokia's the boss, the market leader, right?" Wrong! As Tomi has explained time and again, the phone market is different, and bullying is a guarantee for a blowback.

The Nokia before Elop was too slow, too bureaucratic, I'll give you that, but neither the operating systems nor the UI toolkit, nor the strategy, nor the number of existing apps were an issue. I'm pretty sure that the Symbian updates introduced in 2011 would've been able to stave off the alternatives, as long as Nokia's allies in the carrier community trusted Nokia to deliver MeeGo (which it did).

It was Elop (and Ballmer) who destroyed everything.

Winter

@John
"It was me who said Nokia should have emulated Ericsson, which is the path Nokia eventually took by merging with Alcatel-Lucent."

They should have abandoned handsets altogether? But they did sell it to MS.

Huber

@John: "I correctly predicted there was nothing Nokia could do to save their consumer handset business once they had failed to invest in LTE chipsets or their own ARM SoC"

I don't think this makes much sense: Yes, Nokia was betting on the wrong horse and missed LTE at first.

But look at the European Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE and SGS3 LTE of 2012. They were outfitted with Samsung's own Exynos SoCs and still supported LTE. Qualcomm's SoCs were only used in the US SGS3 (and a few other countries).

AFAIK Samsung used discrete LTE chips in the European versions back then. While this is not the optimal solution regarding power consumption, it does give you the LTE capabilities you need.

I assume Nokia could have done the same - just buy SoCs from Qualcomm or use a discrete chip for LTE. Problem solved.

Barney

@ChrisB:

"Lullz, I'm sorry to say this, but you seem to have either no idea how these things work, or you seem to think Nokia were a clueless small startup back then."

Nothing new here. He's either an Apple astroturfer or someone brainwashed to only understand iEconomy and nothing beyond.

chithanh

@AtTheBottomOfTheHilton
> Despite Microsoft succeeded to kill a competitor they managed to destroy themselves in a spectacular way.

This can't be stressed enough. Microsoft was ready to throw (desktop) Windows and Office under the bus in order to gain a foothold in mobile operating systems.

Microsoft Windows 8 was launched in order to get customers used to the Metro interface, but that plan backfired in a big way. Users hated it.
Microsoft Office mobile adopted a Windows exclusive approach, which was later modified to "First and best on Windows". The consequence was 1+ billion personal computing devices without Microsoft Office.

Microsoft now owns 15% of the personal computing market, almost all of that in the moribund desktop PC and notebook segment.
Office is virtually non-existent in mobile. In the US market which has probably the lowest Android share of all, Google Docs users outnumber Microsoft Word users by almost 5:1
https://www.surveymonkey.com/business/intelligence/office-365-vs-google-apps-microsoft-struggles-compete-mobile/

Same as the other company from the Wintel cartel, Microsoft is now trying to milk dry the remaining customers who are locked into their offerings, e.g. by pushing them onto Office 365 subscriptions. Which only helps to hasten the efforts of those who have the choice to leave that ship.

chithanh

@rustyknight17
It's going to be Android all the way. Only after Nokia reaches significant marketshare, they can start to push other operating systems.

@Barney
Nokia would also need to convince app developers to restart working on MeeGo apps. As they got burned badly once before, this is not going to be easy.

The Meltemi destruction was not very thorough it appears. A Meltemi engineering prototype hands-on video and some photos were recently shown by Nokiapoweruser:
http://www.nokiapoweruser.com/blast-from-the-past-nokia-meltemi-phone-shows-up-in-hands-on-video/
http://www.nokiapoweruser.com/claimed-nokia-meltemi-phone-photos-remember-meltemi/

Wayne Borean

It has been one hell of a ride. I'm going to do some thinking and roll some numbers,

crun kykd

A beloved brand for years that defined an entire product category. New technology appears, our hero is slow to respond being now complacent and bloated with ineffective management. The company starts a long horrifying dive to zero amid a steady cycling through of ever more incompetent managers and the departure of its original visionaries. Finally just a smoking heap as the world moves on with the new industry leaders.

But wait - is that a tiny flame we see? The original team returns, chastened, and rebuilds step-by-step armed with hard lessons burned into their soul. The world still needs what they uniquely can create. It emerges again into the loving arms of the vast public who remembers them fondly, and now cheers them on to their successful second act.

A fantasy, I know. But not entirely impossible (ex: Apple).

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