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July 21, 2011

Comments

James

While the Osborne Effect is one way to look at it, consider how the Mac transition from Motorola to Intel proceeded. There were rumors flying around for quite some time that such a transition was in the works but Steve Jobs always keeps these things well under wraps until he is ready to let the world know about them.

On June 6, 2005 Jobs announced the transition. At that time they had an add-on board that would plug into the Power PC Mac and allow you to start development for the new Intel Macs. They had also been building Mac OS X for both Power PC and Intel to make sure it would be ready when the first models came out. On January 10, 2006 they had the first two models ready to ship and would allow you to trade the development board in for one of the new Macs. In addition, the new Intel Mac OS included an emulation program that allowed you to run the older Power PC programs.

This is a far cry from the Nokia and Microsoft models for upgrades. Visual Basic 6 to Visual Basic .NET was a complete change that upset much of the development community. While .NET allows Microsoft to port their programs to any new hardware, it currently only runs on x86 and locks programmers into their development ecosystem (that is why most people still use C++ and MFC – I use C++ and Qt). MS is slowly using .NET in some internal projects but the majority of their office suite is still C++ from what I understand. On the mobile side the difference between WP6 and WP7 is likewise a major jump. It remains to be seen what Windows 8 for desktop will bring (due to ship next year by some estimates).

Elop is clearly out of his league when it comes to product transitions. There was no reason to kill MeeGo and I clearly believe that the deal with MS required that they kill it. MS rarely injects money into another company without some restrictions. The only other reason would be for Elop to prevent MeeGo from taking shares away from WP7 and thus make his decision look good to the board (provided WP7 takes off as planned). That is possibly why the N9 is delayed.

Stefan Wessels

My sentiments exactly, on the developer end it's also this case: http://stefanwessels.blogspot.com/2011/07/nokia-throwing-out-baby-with-bath-water.html - they are going all Osborne/Elop on S40 too, telling us Qt is coming, but encouraging us to use Java "for now".

swap

Many people on this page of comments share view point as mine. Yes from developers point of view Symbian is crap. Merging Maemo with Intels Goblin made them start everything from scratch. Harmattan UI was already in the works it had to be adopted for new MeeGo. MeeGo is clearly not your everyday OS while Symbian was. When Elop arrived things have gone beyond any repairable level. And he never said he killed MeeGo but it's just that he's putting it in labs for improvement. Feb.11 also tells that he's preparing something to 'disrupt' mobile industry. WP7 is just to keep phones coming. I'm not expecting any proprietary smartphone OS from Nokia before 2016.

Giles Harris

Tomi, I know this is not really your thing but I'm really interested to find out what the Finnish people think about this whole Nokia disaster. Nokia has been Finland's biggest bringer of foreign finance and a huge icon in that country. What will Nokia's demise mean for Finland?

shavy

My question to Tomi..

Have you really tried the N9? Have you tried Wp7 OS?

I have seen the Meego and used Wp7 OS. I believe one big reason elop kill meego is because both OS are very very similar interms of appearance and function.

Reviewer love the N9 but are developer pouring their hearts out to create apps for N9?

Meego will eventually died.. reason being, the OS is too similar to Wp7 OS.

When u are steering into a new direction, there are bound to be blood being shed. 6 months is too short to asses elope result.

teklemon

To Peter
By your measures Rebeca black must be better than Lady gaga (in terms of hits on You tube), unfortunately running the business is different.
Go to Meego's website and see how many OEMs have committed their futures Meego, compared to Android? Meego might have been the pride of old Nokia, but the truth is that it was terribly late and has tremendous risks, no matter how well it is made. Thats the whole argument about building an echosystem vs joining an echosystem. You may argue WP also has no big echosystem, but that depends on from which angle you are looking at it.
In future, will mobiles be an extension of computers?
Will tablets be an extension of mobiles or computers?
Will PCs be replaced by tablets and mobiles? if yes what about an easy transition for consumers?
What position will Nokia be if MSFTs Windows everywhere strategy succeeds?

Meego doesnt even deserve a chance as the PRIMARY Nokia platform and to host the 3rd echosystem on it, but I agree again that it should have been kept as the second one, as a "revamped Symbian OS".

parastar

shavy, I was thinking exactly the same, M$ has to expand their eco-system to mobiles too, so far they failed miserably. they found Nokia being in trouble and made a deal. If for a moment forget Nokia and look what is in the interest of M$, then it is very clear to see why Symbian is going nowhere and for the same reason Meego/QT has to die, the same for Ovi, and maps.

Under that deal Elop and BoD act this way, N9/950 will be released (in selective markets to make sure it has no impact for WP) and will fulfil a contractual requirement with Intel, and I guess it is the same reason that Rich Green left. Bear in mind that the way N9 is released not as a pure Meego device, no support, no new devices, is not doing any good to Meego itself.

The fact that Nokia is doing so badly is almost irrelevant since M$ has money to poor in and cover temporary losses. Whether M$ will succeed or not with their eco-system plans is another matter.

teklemon

Even though an iPhone and a old Nokia "smartphone" are still assumed to be in the same category of "Smart phones" there are huge differences in how Nokia saw the smartphone segment and Apple saw it.
Apple created a new segment, I believe, even though we bundle all phones generally as Smartphones even now. Apples and Android phones are Smarter phones. Voice is a commodity, so are e-mail and generic web-browsing. Smarter phones for example introduced great intuitive touch interface, multiple home screens, advanced applications like online gaming, Social networking, apps for multimedia, 3D, intelligent navigation, advanced browsing etc etc.
Nokia never had a phone like that before Apple created the Smarter phone segment. Android responded, and Nokia still has not.
Intuitive GUI is the one thing that Nokia always lacked (as a starting point, there are many). Even when RIM was selling phones years ago on their intuitive user interface merits, Nokia never cared to improve the monolithic Symbian GUI. Now, poor Mr Elop has to answer for all those years of neglect and complacence.

peter

tomi, you might have to clean up your blog immediately. elop agents are trying hard to ruin it.

peter

teklemon, your IF is too big, for which MS has tried for 10 years and failed miserably.

You've already seen China and Europe consumers left Nokia in favor of android/iphone4 immediately after crap Elop announced the abandon of symbian in favor of WP7.

That's fact exactly as Q2 result just disclosed.

Elop has to go away or Nokia will go away pretty soon.

peter

Baron95, my argument is based on fact not delusions.

Steve Jobs did not admit that iphone4 had the reported problem: bad antenna design, easily broken case. he took action to save iphone4 well by giving free rubber case to solve the two problems.

b/c if Steve Jobs knew if he had admitted these problems, iphone4 would have finally lost the war to n8, period.

At the same time, n8 competed well against iphone4. loyal Nokia consumers and prospective nokia customers kept buying n8 for its strong camera/gps/flash support though browser was weak. it sold 4 millions n8 in Q4 alone and more in Q1.

then here came the criminal ceo Elop told the whole world, n8 was a crap, we wouldn't support it, we are going wp7. n8 lost the war immediately.

Elop was hired to fix the weak broswer and in-consistent UI of Sybiam 3, instead, he abandoned all gems Nokia accumulated for 10 years.

the result of Q2 has manifested how worst execution from Elop could obtained. 50% down of smart phone sales in China.

Elop has to be fired immediately or Q4 would be even worse. He promises a break even, that's another pure cheating. he will come later by issuing another profit waring for sue if he is kept as ceo of nokia.

Fire elop, go meego is the only way to save nokia.

Poster Peter disclosure: American, owning Nokia shares, owning Nokia devices, Microsoft devices, long term microsoft partner and developer.

shavy

Peter,

Why is meego the only way to save nokia?

Elop approach to obselete Symbian OS a direct(no brainer)way.

Any CEO that nokia board hire will still obselete symbian, but maybe in a discreet way.

In my opinion, elop just not experience enough to handle the situation.

peter

tomi, while most people think Elop is a Trojan of MS, I believe, though looking like a Trojan initially but actually, Elop works for big short sellers from Wall Street. Can you look into it ?

Jonathan

@carlos Apple is in very good shape in the computer market because of the Macs, not because of iPods or iPhone.

True that Apple was almost bankrupt, but that was 5 years before iPods and 10 years before iPhones. They (Steve Jobs, and the new NeXT influenced management team) turned the company around in the 5 years before iPods.

@tomi Resurrecting Symbian would be foolish. It is the root of the Nokia high end problems. Trying to make Symbian into an OS for modern internet phones rivalling Android and iOS was a wrong call, it cost Nokia too much money and especially time. They should have done a clean start, preferably before iPhone or at least soon after. To Maemo or something that was designed properly for the new era.

@peter Please do not bend the timeline or twist the facts. The antenna in iPhone 4 is *better* than before unless you make the death grip. In normal usage, it is not an issue. The buzz around it and Apple's reaction to it happened in July, N8 shipped in volume late in the fall, October/November timeframe.

Please provide source for your a N8 sales numbers. Even if they are what you claim, N8 would not have won the war against iPhone 4. The iOS platform is *much* bigger than iPhone 4 sales (iPod Touch, older iPhones) and the software selection and quality is better. It is not about devices any more, not after 2008 or so, it is about the platform.

I happen to have an N8 on my desk as we speak. It is nice for Symbian, but it is about 1-2 years behind the competition (the hardware was that old, because delays of Symbian development), in terms of CPU speed and display resolution. Actually, it is far worse than N900 that shipped a year before N9, in both those respects.

Also the current software is quite craptastic, poor browser, poor keyboard, slow. Anna should make things better, I do not have Anna yet on my N8, it should ship "soon".

The N8 is not an Elop era product, it was designed and implemented (with the horrible delays) in OPK era. And as I said earlier, it takes a long time to turn a ship the size of Nokia. The state of matters now is the result of decisions done in late 2009 - early 2010 the latest. The product cycle is *long*, the strategic decisions of the board that OPK and his staff implemented are the reasons behind the mess Nokia is in.

They saw iPhone and Android, they assessed them wrong, and did wrong moves to counter, and were really really slow. Rest is history.

I am not claiming Elop and his management team have made perfect moves, far from it. But a lot of their moves have been forced by the state of affairs because of the bad strategy and execution of the past years. Just thank Ollila, OPK and rest of the gang. And obviously the strong uptake of iOS and especially Android is a big part of the equation too.

darwinphish

@Everyone that bashes Symbain: No matter what you think the future might have held for Symbian, the simple fact is that before "The Announcement" Nokia was making quite a lot of money selling Symbian smart phones. That they were doing this with ~$200 phones tells me that Symbian was still a good option for the lower end of the market. People only spending $200 are not otherwise buying iPhones, high end Android phones, WP7 phones or even the N9. The low end smartphone market is still very healthy and will likely continue to be for some time. There is no good reason for Nokia to simply abandon this market (whether by design or by poor execution).

I can see the rational behind moving to WP7 to compete in the higher end of the market and the jury is still out on whether Nokia will succeed with this plan. However, nothing running WP7 will be competitive at the low end. Giving up on this market, which again was quite profitable for Nokia, is where Elop/the Board really messed up.

peter

shavy, if symbian can handle 800x480 or above and comes with better web browser and full support of flash 10.3, then it can compete in middle to high end range against android. the most difficult work is a better web browser for symbian, all others can be easily handled by average software talents. but Elop has already laid off all symbian engineers and shift support team to accenture, it is already over.

1. Meego/Maemo can compete head to head with android and iOS. it is free;
2. Set back MS WP7/8 into one smart phone product line; (return MS money to MS and cancel the partner contract);
3. Leave android option open;

Let customers to choose which OS they want, then produce what they want.
Fire Elop now, Investors, carriers and consumers all want this clown to go away, or better put into jail. Nokia share price will surge to the heaven immediately due to shorter sellers squeeze.


Carlos

@Jonathan, I know about Steve Jobs returning, Next, OSX...

what I meant was that without the famous "halo" effect, Apple would not be in the good shape they are now. I live in Spain, now you can see some Apple presence in computers, but a couple of years ago it was very difficult to see a Mac. Of the people I know that have a Mac is because they are happy with their iPods/iPhones.

peter

Yes, Stephen Elop, you Microsoft Muppet. You must be fired and sued and barred from any executive position in any publically traded company. You are a disgrace! Your name will be synonymous with total corporate destruction from the inside - and by the CEO. Shame!

PERUS

@darwinphish and @Jonathan: Agree with you guys.

Symbian is a also nice OS for mobile-phone, in that sense that the core and engine are well planned and work fine on machine with limited resources (that's the part which developed by the Symbian Foundation). But when it comes to the UI (i.e. Avkon) the whole sources are simply a mess (the part which developed by Nokia's incompetence developers or mostly externals/subcontractors).

I was there when they were planning and developing several UI alternatives and its rendering engines (from AVKON, scalable UI, space UI, Web runtime, eSWT, Orbit, Hitchcock and so on, just ignore those words if you're not familiar with) but what is the results now?

It seems that within Nokia under OPK, if you want to have a project, you just need to be a product manager who can talk much about nice stuff and able to create a nice looking power point presentation, present it to the executives or directors and you'll get the project, just hire many externals to do the coding work and couple of UI/UX designers for the UI.
Doesn't matter if it would take 3 or 4 years, at least you can present a small nice looking results and define an optimistic road-map every half year. When it comes to the final deadline, you can still blame another team which is doing another dependency component or even the hardware...
And at the end of the days, some guys here are still believing that Nokia could still be the leader of smartphones and mobile phones with the existing OS and such company-culture?

It's very difficult to have an alternative OS for low end devices. Currently Nokia has only S60 and S40 but for how long? The threat comes from low-level Android devices and soon maybe a cheaper iPhone variants?

Nokia has to be better prepared and can't simply rely on Meego/Harmattan since you can't simply produce many low-level devices with it in one year.

And yes, it was Elop's mistake to "give up" Symbian and Meego immediately at Feb 11th, he should better say something like: "We are planning to have WP7 as smartphone OS besides Meego, and will considerate and decide to take one of them as a main smartphone OS based on future market results. Symbian S60 will become a next billion OS bla bla bla...".

James

@PERUS: "The threat comes from low-level Android devices and soon maybe a cheaper iPhone variants?"

When I think of low-level devices I think slow processor, very small screen and possibly not touch enabled. Android uses Java for the UI and may not work well for this environment due to poor efficiency. Apple doesn't seem very interested in this low profit area so I doubt we will ever see iPhone Lite. Likewise, WP7 uses an abstraction layer for the programming and may not run too well on the low end either. Only Apple iOS and Nokia Symbian/MeeGo use native instruction languages for applications which offer the high execution efficiency needed for these platforms. Silverlight and Flash could work fairly well at this level if they are properly optimized.

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