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February 25, 2014



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.


Sander van der Wal


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

Earendil Star

Why must we listen to the same BS again and again? Endless lies? Over and over again? Wal? Wal?

That Maemo / Meego was ready and had no major issues is fact. Phones sold and were appreciated since 2009. Were they perfect? No. As no phone is perfect. iPhones have glitches. I've seen some overheating or loose signal when touched in a particular way, or their fingerprint reader was faulty. Galaxy phones have glitches. What about WP7? It could not even connect to the Internet, as the Lumia 900 debacle witnessed. Should we call this a showstopper? Ah, I forgot. The term only applies to non MS platforms.

MS never shied from issuing half baked products, and treating its customers as slave debuggers. Vista, anyone? Yet, these people criticizing Memo/Meego so fiercely, never spent a word on WP. Never. Despite its major shortcomings vs any other platform. Wal? Wal? Mmmh... what is your vested interest then?

Let's go back in time: OPK was rightly fired for being unable to turn the Nokia ship around. Everyone hoped for a new CEO, who could help solve the execution mess, and cut the bloat. Unfortunately, the Nokia board decided to quit the game and left the helm to MS, following which THTRH Flop was appointed and the rest is history.

Actually, it is almost incredible that, in such an environment, Maemo/Meego could become a discrete success, despite the efforts by the new Redmond masters to cull it as soon as possible. Do not forget that Maemo/Meego was actively hindered and sabotaged by the top. It was not an OS that was being promoted by a supportive management. It was a nuisance that had to be removed asap to make space for the cuckoo in Nokia's nest: WP. Yet Maemo/Meego had its glory moments. Now gone.

Now it's X time. It's when MS is doing what Nokia should have done back in 2010 (along with supporting Meego).
Creating an Android phone, a phone with the OS that, unlike WP, really allows for differentiation.
That makes it possible to develop one's own ecosystem. An ecosystem that, unlike WP, would have funnelled profits to Nokia, not MS. But if Nokia had done so, we would now live in a very different world. With no WPs. With Nokia still alive and kicking. Not the world Ballmer and Elop wanted, as histort showed.


@Sander: I guess we have been moving in different circles in the dev community.
About QT, yes it was not there from long time but it was the corner stone for migration path from old Symbian to new Meego (when ready). After the killing of Sybiam and co, all that was gone. So I think my point still stands.


Off topic: arstechnica tests Samsung Tizen phone, likes it


Two writers who think Microsoft is going to keep Android X


Revenge. If they licensed Android and it contains a non-sue-over-patent cross-licensing agreement, Microsoft will either have to bow out or swallow a poison pill.

As to Jolla - check out the hiccups with the original Lumia running WP7. But Jolla is fixable.


@LeeBase. Stop trolling. You know exactly why there are not more Meego apps and no phones from other vendors. Because it was killed by Elop. The N9 shows that Meego was ready.


@Wayne Borean: "Elop does say that Android devs can bring their apps to Nokia X - only takes a few extra hours dev work"

We ( have already published some of our Qt based apps for Nokia X in Ovi Store - ported to Android some time ago - yesterday without any modification needed...

So, it just works in practice.


I can confirm zlutor's take on portability knowing a few devs have published there Qt-apps for NokiaX already.

For N9:
@LeeBase "I know people who know people who read that N9 was a desktop, not a smartphone"
Jesus, can you please not waste space in the internet with that kind of foolish statements? At least please TRY to keep a minimum levl of quality, okay?


A couple issues with Tomi's post.

Maemo and MeeGo were never entirely open source. Much of the infrastructure was open, but some crucial device drivers were never open, because the chip makers are asshats about open source, and various parts of the UI were never open, because Nokia believes in withholding stuff for competitive reasons. That's part of why it took Jolla so long to release a beta: They had to rewrite the UI from scratch again.

It's hard to say exactly how well the Nokia X series will be received. It's true that Nokia should have gone Android as soon as it was clear that Windows Phone was failing. Now that they have released Android, these are pathetic Android. They have 512MB of RAM like the Lumia 520, but the Lumia reviews as smooth while Android reviews as jerky with those specs. My own 512MB phone was constantly closing apps, and it was running Android 2.3, not a variant of 4.1. Now that I have a flagship phone (Moto X with 2GB of RAM), I have a much better experience.

Nokia is not (yet?) releasing any flagship Androids. From the released specs, the Nokia XL looks especially pathetic, with the same power and screen resolution as the Nokia X+, but probably without as much battery life. The only technical advantage is the front-facing camera for video calls.

On a going forward basis, Nokia's approach to Android looks like a challenge. The AOSP stuff will be up to date, but Nokia is currently years behind on reverse-engineering the Google services and providing Microsoft-powered replacements. In particular, Android 4.4, which was just released, is especially optimized to run well on 512MB of RAM. Will it take another 1 1/2 years for Micro-Nokia to release an Android-based system that works well on these phones? (Based on how long it took from Google's Android 4.1 release to now shipping Nokia-modified Android 4.1.) Or will Microsoft cancel it? It's hard to say.

In other, slightly related news, Microsoft Office is finally in the process of becoming available on touch and mobile platforms. It turns out that one of their problems is being tightly coupled to an idiosyncratic interpretation of the Windows API, and it's a major engineering effort to rewrite Office to work even in Metro mode in Windows 8. Once that's done, though, everybody better watch out. That's another interesting thing to observe.

Wayne Borean

R I,

Microsoft Office on touch screens? That could really hurt Microsoft. Yes, not having it is hurting Microsoft, this is a lose/lose proposition. Microsoft's most profitable division is the one containing Office. Problem is you can't charge a hundred dollars for a touch screen office suite...


Sander van der Wal

@Earendil Star

It's Van der Wal. And do take note that I never said anything at all about how good or applicable WP was, or was not. My concern is about people saying that Maemo/MeeGo was OK. It was not. And not because Elop said so, but because I have been told by people I trust and who were verifiably familiar with the situation. And then there was the bugs database.

Compare that to a bung of nicknames on a blog for reliability. But as you might have your reasons not to reveal your own name, you can still reveal the sources that led you to believe that MeeGo was ready.


Nokia's strategy was to get lots of developers on board with the lure of Qt. They have been peddling that line starting in 2008. In 2011 it was clear that nobody was buying it. At that time it was well-known in the mobile developer community that iPhone apps brought in an order of magnitude more money that Symbian apps. Nokia had known about that in 2009, since they were asking developers about it.

Probably the MeeGo community did not know about that, not being able to release money-making apps. But everybody on Symbian, and also everybody on Palm and Windows Mobile, where very much aware of that fact.


@Sander van der Wal

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

So, I'm curious: what were the real showstoppers in N9???


@foo: "So, I'm curious: what were the real showstoppers in N9???"

From PR1.3, nothing. before that - well, there were "funny" issues here or there... :-)

But communit was always out there to help - and there were workarounds found usually. Not to mention anything else but the famous "// TODO: Uncomment when management makes up their minds" issue:

Is similar thing possible for iOS/WP or Android? Maybe yes, if QML gets traction there, too... :-)


In the embedded Linux world, device drivers are often obtained from hardware vendors, not operating system vendors. And MeeGo had a full phone stack and working user interface. Claiming that MeeGo is not open source is like claiming that OpenWrt is not open source because Fonera made their commercial FON with proprietary bits on top of it.

Glenn David

I don't know what's going to be future of Nokia X as Microsoft is soon going to take Nokia under it but its a very late attempt from Nokia, i must say! N9 was a superb phone, no doubt!


How about the bundled skype with free calls to landlines and mobiles for a month? How will that affect Nokia X sales?


@Sander van der Wal
It is very simple: The N9 proves that Meego was ready. If it would not have been ready, there would have been complains after it was released that you cannot make a call, or it crashes all the time, or whatever. But (ignoring minor issues) it worked great and got really, really good reviews. No interpretation of a bug data base or hearsay from people you trust can change the simple fact which can easily be verified by reading reviews from that time.

We also had developers from Nokia speaking out in public:

Sander van der Wal


I do not know. When I looked into that database the N9 was not yet announced. And secondly, the database did not cover models, only software releases. What I have seen of the bugs in there correlated just fine with the business week article that describes why Elop killed MeeGo: too many bugs, and the number wasn't going down over time.

Point is, you van always release a device that has no showstoppers. Just remove the functionality that doesn't work. So the only proof that releasing a given device offers is that Nokia was able to create the N9. Apart from that it doesn't prove anything more. Not that meeGo was ready, and also not that MeeGo was seriously broken. For that one needs much better evidence. Which is the bugs database and the info my sources told me.

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