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« Prelim Samsung Q4 number is 63.5M via the major analyst houses | Main | New Twitter Contest - to Guess What Date Elop Will Be Fired (or otherwise removed from office as Nokia CEO) »

January 28, 2013


Sander van der Wal

That Business Week article said that the decision to not go with MeeGo was made because MeeGo was not ready, and that it would not be ready for a year-and-a-half.

Whether Elop lied to Business Week in particular or not is impossible to tell just from that story alone.

But I do not buy the idea that Elop came to Nokia with the idea to kill MeeGo. He might very well have been brought in by the board with the explicit task to kill off both Symbian and MeeGo. Elop not being the evil genius, but the executioner. A hypothesis that makes much more sense than the board being completely clueless, although, looking at HP...

No, the board was very well aware of what it was doing. Witness the Form.


@Sander van der Wal :

Then my question is : why did the board choose someone with such a calamitous pedigree as Stephen Elop ? Wherever has he been, it was a disaster :

- Boston Chicken (failing to sell chicken to people whose main food is... chicken is quite a performance)

- Macromedia (remember Flash ? That was Macromedia's baby)

- Accenture

- Even at Microsoft, he's said to not have been very brilliant

All this was known before he was hired by Nokia...


thanks @Winter
since Windows Phone 7 and 8 are incompatible a developer that chooses Windows Phone 8 now as his/her platform has around 3-4 million customers at most then i guess?

thanks for the Meego summary, sad story though


@N9: Some influential people inside Nokia seemed to believe (falsely!) in early 2011 that Meego would not be able to deliver. What is the reason for this? Some kind of mis-communication/power struggle/conman trick?

Nope. Good old iceberg effect - just in reverse.

Think Android. Have you seen Android in 2007? It was awful. Well and truly awful. Viewed even from 2008 (Android 1.0) or 2009 (Android 2.0) it was barely functional - yet it was result of four years of development. It literally grew features "by a day" when before that it was hard to distinguish versions created six months apart (they all were hopelessly broken). Was it because they suddenly hired gazillion new clever guys? Nope: it's because they needed to build robust yet invisible foundation before they'll be able to create usable OS.

That's the problem: software guys know just how much is hidden under water in any given piece of software, normal guys (including hardware guys) don't. They both have seen the same pictures and N9 software team knew they are on track to the in-time delivery and influential people "knew" they look on the failure.

Microsoft engineers know this principle all too well: Windows Phone 7 was a turd from the start. And it's IMPOSSIBLE to convert it to the good OS. EVER. That's why it's replaced with Windows Phone 8 which has radically different insides now.

BUT! Windows Phone 7 had "pretty pictures" when these discussions happened and of course influential people "knew" it'll fly.

That's what happens when non-software guys are given the task to pick "promising" software: they fail 9 times out of 10. Doubly so if one team knows about iceberg effect and other team does not even think about it.

And that's why Microsoft needed Nokia: they needed to keep public interests one way or another till replacement will be ready. Nokia was knowingly thrown under bus with the explicit goal to slow it down.

As someone said: Nokia have successfully migrated almost all of their Symbian customers to Android. That would not be a problem except that they don't sell Android.

Earendil Star

This is a topic that has been discussed many times already.

An obscure MS executive, with no experience whatsoever in mobile, suddenly becomes... Nokia CEO!

All information after this event is just concocted to spread a simple message: Nokia was in deep trouble, a burning platform, HW was ok but SW stank, the choice of WP as (P)OS was the only possible move, Meego was not ready, Symbian was dead, and so on and so forth.

Lies. Propaganda. FUD.

Just to disguise the real target of the operation: salvage MS' WP platform, the real burning platform, from oblivion and extinction.

-to be continued-


@Tomi: Thank you for summarizing the Meego story. Who was the second Meego exec who resigned? Do you mean Richard Green?

Sander van der Wal


If Elop has proven to be incompetent earlier, then the Nokia board did not pay attention.

But that has no relation to the question if Elop was hired by the board to kill Symbian and possibly MeeGo and shake up the company good, or that the decision to kill Symban and shake up the company was made by Elop after he was hired.

There is a bit of info nobody, not even the conspiracy theorists, is using: Rick Green, from Sun, who became CTO before Elop was hired. He left after the Memo, being out of a job. May 2010, he was hired by OPK.

What does a CTO do? He assesses whether the current software strategy is working.

And what happens when he finds out the strategy doesn't work? He tells the board.

Now, imagine what happens if Rick Green tells the board their MeeGo strategy is a complete and utter mess? What happens if the board hears around that time that Nokia is loosing vital markets? Is ousting the current CEO (OPK), abandoning his strategy, thinking of a new strategy (kill MeeGo, find a new high-end OS, kill the money-burning Symbian) and hiring a CEO to implement that strategy a plausible hypothesis? One that dors explain why the board hangs on to Elop?

Cristian Radu

I'm interested to know why do you guys think that on open, linux-based OS from Asia (as it seems now) will be a huge success in USA?
Linux by itself is not a success, so lets not use that name, even if Android/iOS have a UNIX core.
What do you guys expect to gain from an open-OS? The only thing Nokia could hope to gain is an app-store, but that would be anything but open especially if they want to make money through it. If the OS is Android compatible, why would I buy through Nokia's store when Android store would probably offer better prices and more up-to-date software (given the fact that most Android developers are targeting Android's US store).
Do you guys think that Canonical or Tizen or Jolla groups have any kind of leverage on Sony/Netflix/MGM/Amazon or other american entertainment companies to cut them better deals on content for their open platform?
Simply installing an open Linux OS on a phone will not make it successful by itself. I mean, I personally like webOS better and it's now open; lets install that, sounds cool isn't it? If we get bored we can install Tizen after that, I bet it has a better mail client.


@Cristian Radu:

>> I'm interested to know why do you guys think that on open, linux-based OS from Asia (as it seems now) will be a huge success in USA?

What's this obsession with USA?
Isn't this what killed Nokia? Sacrificing market leader position to try to get a foothold in one single market?
I think this was one of the driving motivations that made Nokia adopt Windows Phone: "No non-American OS will ever be successful in the US."

So screw Symbian, screw MeeGo, screw Meltemi. They are not American made so they are worthless. We all see where this has ended...


@Cristain... American? Not that, that's a bad thing

The obsession with open source / linux OS comes from actually using open source OS’s on mobiles that are powerful and provide real multitasking – like those used by Nokia users since the dawn of time.. Apples iOS’s design documents clearly state that users use one application at a time, Andriod has poor multitasking and task switching – meh, and the phenomenal Windows Phone 8 allows, count them 8 apps to multitask at once…. Yipe!

Nokia users are used to running dozens of apps, 30 apps, 60 apps at once. If you look at the last generation of Nokia Symbian devices they were the equivalent of a computer core in your pocket, use it as a phone OR HDMI out to a 25” display, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, Dolby out,and with USB OTG you could hook on a 2TB hard drive = functional computer (Now imagine that on modern hardware quad/8core SOC with 2 gb ram 64gb storage and harmattttttatttattttan).

This is a picture of convergence that eats into Apples, Microsoft’s, Googles and most ODM’s profit making machine –have you seen the latest mobile devices that support WiDi? Why do we need 3 devices mobile, tablet, desktop with an open lunix OS that isn’t crippled by the manufacturer?

Open also has to do with corporate responsibility, remember Nokia’s old motto “Connecting people”? ****Tomi you should run a contest for new Nokia slogan****** Well the N-series/MID community did great things with the N770/800/810 and especially the N900 – remember the $300 brain scanner that was created from a N900, think what that does for healthcare in developing countries.

The open community also has some folks with a bad ass pirate mentality, and that is what you are seeing evolve this year – Screw app stores, screw ecosystems – the pirates will bolt on your shit with impunity.

Take Jolla;
1) core OS “technically better” than anything else since it was made to run on an old philosophy- mobile processors are weak and stingy on power.

2) Better UX ,Jolla boys and girls have in their heads the best research ever conducted on mobile UX and human interaction. You think N9 was hard to put down, wait.

3) co-opt Android apps and QT, so if you’re a Google fan your golden, QT for the more independent privacy minded folks.

4) Media Consumption – very American perspective - See number 3 AND Open source has more codecs and OS APi’s for media consumption.

Carriers want and alternative to the Duopoly we have, but they do not want to jump from one walled garden into another…. HENCE NO ONE WANTS A WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET.

Yeah AT&T, Version, Sprint, T-Mo will hate the new crop of Asian phones and Open OS’s for the same reason they hated Symbian, to powerful, to open, to hackable, makes them loose control over the mobile subscriber base.

Lastly America had its ride, we have exhausted copying and refining Nokia’s inventions and applications, it’s china and India’s turn now and they are very open source focused.

Tomi T Ahonen

Sander - on the CTO theory

Good theory. It fails when we see that Rick Green resigned immediately after Elop announced his mad strategy. If Rick had told the Board that the current strategy sucks, he'd be happy it is changed. But the evidence suggests the exact opposite - that Rick resigned, suggests he vehemently disagreed with Elop's new direction - and believed - as we now can clearly see was the correct path - that Nokia had been on a better strategic direction before the mad Eloppian misadventure with Microsoft. So rather, the likely scenario was that Elop the new CEO was arguing in front of the Board that the current Symbian/Meego/Ovi/Qt (and Meltemi) strategy was dead - ie 'Burning Platform' dead - and Green was on the opposing side, arguing MeeGo was days weeks from launch, and Ovi world's second-bestslling app store and Nokia's migration from Symbian should be done with Qt to MeeGo with Ovi. And Rick lost the argument, and promptly resigned.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean

*****Nokia have successfully migrated almost all of their Symbian customers to Android. That would not be a problem except that they don't sell Android.*****

Does anyone have a link to where this showed up originally?


Cristian Radu

Multitasking is a non-issue on the mobiles as iOS clearly demonstrates. Your Joe Average doesn't even know what's that. So no, putting "multitasking" on a mobile phone box will not sell it (desktops are other matter, I'm not going to do CAD work on a phone). Putting Netflix instead, will matter more.
Convergence for serious work won't be here for another 5 years at least, how I'm going to use Audodesk Inventor and SolidCAM on the phone? The software itself doesn't even support the touch interface yet, so..
For entertainment, that's another matter, that's why I'm asking you about Netflix/Sony Music/Amazon/Barnes&Noble support in Linux.. I don't see any sign that these companies will support an open source Linux based mobile phone OS from somewhere in Asia.

You still didn't tell me what will Nokia itself gain financially from a pure open-source OS. Without a waled garden app-store, what's there for Nokia to gain? The geek's community praise?
Android apps on Nokia's OS. Well, didn't Android apps work on the Blackberry's Playbook? Why didn't that take off if it had these Android apps? I don't even try to imagine, Google launching Android 5.23 and Nokia pushing their's OS updated Android emulator for 4.1 while [insert Mobile Network Company name here] pushes 4.0 to the devices.

The pirate mentality will keep developers away from your OS. I know, I've worked in the gaming industry for the past 12 years, they've abandoned PC for consoles precisely because of rampant pirating. App stores like Steam/Origin are changing things but still.. nobody wants to lose money on a platform easily pirated.

You are wrong believing that USA can be disregarded. Nearly all consumption content content comes from USA: games, movies, apps, books, music. So unless you believe bollywood/chinese movies will make a killing in Europe/USA you can forget about those phones succeeding in this part of the world without content companies backing them.

Sander van der Wal

@ Tomi

There is evidence ( that Green resigned because of the decision to can MeeGo, but not that MeeGo was almost ready and only a few weeks from release.

A system that gets three redesigns in a year-and-a-half is not ready in such a short time. Getting something that works (Maemo) is not quite the same. Nokia took years and years to make Maemo work, the Qt port took lots of time, they made a complete mess of Symbian. Their track record is so bad, I don't believe this without a lot of evidence to back it up.


First stop reading Apple press releases and secondly the "Average Joe" defense does not work here, thirdly learn a little about history, keeps you from inserting foot in mouth.
Putting a multitasking system that had wonderful power management help Nokia sell hundreds of millions of devices - it was called symbian. The UX sucked, it was complicated, it was advanced. So you think that the .0005% of users who need an AutoCad graphic workstations should negate the whole idea of a converged device for "normal people" ***Blog Regulars please chime in on your use of Nokia's as converged devices.**
The financial gain for Nokia of an open source OS... ummm sell devices, you know that is the business, right.
The Playbook had many more faults that prevented its success-running apk's was not one of them. The actual engine that runs the apps (Apk's) is far less volatile then the UX changes that you see -Google understands it can't piss of its developers by Eloping devices and apps. So Google’s new version of the Android OS do not necessarily crash all legacy apps.
Open Source does not equal pirated, Jolla allowing Android apps to run on the OS in no way turns the paid apps to "pirated" apps- users still have to buy the app. Remember Open Source = Developer friendly, =reusable code,=greater speed and flexibility, =Multiboot devices.
Content… ever try using an Apple or Google device outside of the USA, have any idea how much of your precious mobile content is not available – blocked for copyright and DRM reasons. Oh and don’t insult the Chinese or Indian cultures, do a little search on comparison between Hollywood and other cultures media industries.
In the end, you will find a lot of different voices and perspectives here, and as an American (actually Canadian ex-pat) it is wonderful to see the bigger picture and realize that we are not the center of the universe.


"So unless you believe bollywood/chinese movies will make a killing in Europe/USA you can forget about those phones succeeding in this part of the world without content companies backing them."

USA: 300M
Europe: 750M
India: 1B
China 1.3B

Bollywood sells 4B tickets/year, Hollywood 3B tickets/year. Bollywood revenues are smaller, only a $2B/year. But as they say, Bollywood has growth potential ;-) Chinese films rake in around $2-3B/year.

There is no reason why USA content makers will not follow users. And if they do not, there are more than enough non-USA content creators to take their place, see Angry Birds. Or do you think that USA movie makers will make sure 70+% of Smartphone users cannot watch their films, but can watch the films of their competitors?

In short, this is typical USA short-term chauvinism.

Cristian Radu

Oh, but I don't read Apple's press releases, don't have to, I'll simply look at the marketshare numbers provided on this blog. Last time I've checked iOS it's in 2nd place, an OS without proper multitasking. So yes, Average Joe doesn't care, statistically speaking.

Sell services (an put out innovative patents I would add), yes, that's what I was saying all along and Nokia is trying to do that with Maps, Music, etc. But you don't need an OS for that, infact, as a service, you should be on all OSes. So why draining money in something that doesn't generate returns? Services isn't an argument for owning an OS (Amazon, Netflix, Dropbox, Barnes&Noble, etc. do just fine without it).


@ Cristian...Do you know Baron95 by any chance? ...Kidding

Deflection does not work well here, we, like Tomi are about facts and analysis. The "Average Joe" argument is stupid because only software engineers and developers care about an OS's underlying qualities...BUT… the OS’s capabilities allow developers to create shiny, shiny, pretty, pretty apps that make the “Average Joe” go Oooh and Ahhhh. Yes iOS # 2 , but it isn’t only price point that is hurting Apple in markets outside of USA. AND Apple does not live in a vacuum – so as other ODMS introduce features that Apple has shunned they are training “Average Joe” to expect more (NFC, WiDi, etc)

Now you may be new to Nokia, so you may not know that Nokia sold tons of devices, while these having “services” before phones were a glint in the eye of Apple or Google. Maps, e-mail, music services, mobile banking, cloud file sharing, sport trackers, blue tooth based dating service (remember that one guys!) were all on Symbian devices long before the Elop and help Nokia sell a ton of devices.

Look at what happened to Here for iOS and Android...Taaaaanked, so I guess that strategy ain't working so well.

Earendil Star

The term "multitasking" per se is greek to the average mobile smartphone user.

Yet, take this example:

You start your SportsTracker app to record your jogging
change to music player
start your favourite compilation
start a long jog
end your jog
switch back to SportsTracker to see how you performed...

Scenario 1 - your phone is running Symbian -> you look at your jog on a map in SportsTracker, upload it and happily share it with friends

Scenario 2 - you were fooled into bying WP7 -> ooops... Sportstracker starts-up having recorded nothing. Switching from SportsTracker to music player zapped the app (no multitasking) and when you switch back to it it simply switches on again, after having done nothing.
You are furious. Your newly bought smartphone is not only working sub par, it's just been Osborned by Ballmer

This is why as the mere concept multitasking does not matter to the consumer. Yet, lack of multitasking may render your UX miserable. Hence, in practice, it matters.


We love you Baron95!!!! You are the KIRF of intellectuals! Stop looking backwards, look ahead!

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