back to article Grief and disbelief greet Elop's Nokia revolution

There are times when you don't want to intrude on public grief, but Nokia has spent 15 years (or more) trying to avoid this day. New CEO Stephen Elop would argue otherwise, but giving up control of your platforms means giving up control over your destiny - and Elop has given Nokians not one twig of consolation around which a …


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  1. NX1977
    Dead Vulture

    RIP Nokia

    What a surprise. NOT

    Clearly someone wants to return to a well paid job at Microsoft one day.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Maybe he still has one, that the Nokia shareholders know nowt about?

      1. alwarming

        This guy sounds too much like later day Carly Fiorina+Mark Hurd!

        Post merger, Carly wanted to get rid of R&D and focus on "efficiency" - which her successor was able to implement more ruthlessly in history on IT than anyone can recall. I think this guy will do the same to Nokia. Not that Nokia didn't have it coming, but I really, really question his choice as a CEO coming from a b/g where he has never done any turnarounds of this order; Or in this domain.

    2. Jean-Luc
      Gates Horns


      I think this gets us back to an older, pre-virus/pre-computers, usage of the words "Trojan Horse".

      1. Bobby Omelette

        Or ...

        ... Trojan Whores.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No need

      He doesn't need to - he is the 7th biggest individual investor in Microsoft,

      1. alwarming
        Paris Hilton

        Re: No need

        >He doesn't need to - he is the 7th biggest individual investor in Microsoft,

        Conflict of interest doesn't apply here or what ?

        Paris, coz I would like a conflict with her.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    You know how you could differentiate? You could build better phones, cheaper than your competitors. Sounds crazy, I know. You might as well because, and no-one appears to have twigged this yet, Android phones are still your competitors, even if you choose to use a different OS. Even more so if they're the dominant OS and you're using a backwater also-ran that doesn't even have a decent browser.

    Your devious yet transparent attempts to lock-in customers and offer less value for more money might have had a chance if you were coming at it from a position of strength, but even Apple's probably going to be forced to support HDMI and DNLA and Bluetooth audio rather than sell you expensive proprietary dongles that do the same thing as long as all your kit is made by Apple (or a royalty paying licensee).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      What got me was...

      "The commoditization risk was very high [with Android]"

      ...and it's not with WP7? We're talking about the same company that has pretty much drained the swamp of desktop, laptop, and server hardware manufacturers making anything more than commodity-grade profit and thinks that it will somehow be different with their new Phone OS?

      ...and just about every phone manufacturer making Android devices is also making WP7 devices. How exactly do they plan on differentiating with all the other WP7 manufacturers with their WP7 devices any more than they would have done with Android - by virtue of their proprietary Maps and a lock-in to only use Bing?

      I think if anything, based on the sweetheart lockin deals they seem to have struck, if I were in the market for a WP7 I might just look for one that I could, well, change things on. Of course, I don't own an Android or WP7 but can you usually change the search provider on one of those phones?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Hmm Nokia still pining for the Fjords?

    I don't know - maybe this is the best thing for Nokia but it always seemed to me that what Nokia was good at was the hardware. Symbian was ok, but its main job was to not get in the way of the hardware which it failed at miserably with the N96 on. With the advent of Android the OS running on your smartphone has become commoditised and therefore to a degree not the differentiator. There are still no Android phones with a camera as good as that on my N95 years ago - or at least not many. I reckon if Nokia focussed on producing great handsets with good connectivity - Iphone4 debacle showed that still matters - then they could build from there. Android also allows them to customise and add in OVI services to get loyalty and the customer relationship they have always wanted.

    Also as alluded to in the article Nokians hate Microsoft... Their abortive attempt to take over from Google as a 'internet services' company was marred internally because they bought Twango for image sharing - all Windows .Net and Nokia music is all built on .Net -- Nokias internal standards for architecture/software was all Java/Linux with maybe Oracle/Solaris for enterprise stuff. Good way of alienating your internal staff who were supposed to be innovating on this new services platform! Spose it shows the management in Nokia were never that connected to the grass roots even before Elop.

    I stopped buying Nokia handsets after the crapulent N96 .. Made a mistake in moving to SE and have not looked back since moving to Android. Looks like thats set to continue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm Nokia still pining for the Fjords?

      "Nokias internal standards for architecture/software was all Java/Linux with maybe Oracle/Solaris for enterprise stuff. Good way of alienating your internal staff who were supposed to be innovating on this new services platform! Spose it shows the management in Nokia were never that connected to the grass roots even before Elop."

      Yes, the execs really love their Microsoft at Nokia. I imagine it's just like the clueless boss everyone has had at some point coming in and trying to "teach" everyone something about technology - "You'll really like this Microsoft stuff. I think it's great!" - and everyone rolls their eyes and waits for the guy to sod off out of the office and take his dirty little playthings with him.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Nokia - Another name cast into History!

    This is the start of the end of Nokia, you made some good kit in the old days... So much for the memorys!

    1. Andus McCoatover

      "Spock" - the first communicator.

      I think it was cemented- cast? - someplace in Tampere in a rock, behind a plaque.

      It'll be there far, far longer than Nokia.

      Having said that, I remember the hassle to move into Stanhope Road*, Camberley, with all the haste to present a professional image. e.g., get the mayor and some 'Finnish shouty' round to plant a Finnish birch tree, as a symbol of lasting growth.

      Went tits-up in 5 years.

      Wonder if the 'tree-of-growth" is still there, or massacred by its new owners. I understand car parking spaces are at a premium in UK. No need for a tree, when the CEO can park where it once was.

      We - us Muppets - realised the problem long before, and quickly renamed it "No-hope road".

      1. Andus McCoatover


        "The Tree" has indeed gone, according to Goole's street view.

        1. Nigel 11

          Echoes of Digital.

          This is so much like the beginning of the end at Digital / DEC. Farewell, Nokia.

  5. Atonnis
    Thumb Up


    Nokia's superlative hardware couple with the speed, slickness and sheer potential of WP7 gives me high hopes for some absolutely excellent devices.

    Hopefully this partnership will show the world how tacky/shoddy HTC products truly are and how Android is just too much of a mess to have personal longevity to a user.

    1. Ian Stephenson

      You are..

      ...Steve Ballmer and I claim my £5.

    2. David Beck

      Atonnis, stop by the pharmacy, your meds are ready.

      Nokia RIP

  6. Mark Jan

    Management by Committee

    This is a sad day.

    I loved the old Psion products. Way ahead of their time made by a small British company showing how great form and software could meld to produce a world beating product.

    Nokia, manufacturers of great solid hardware but in need of a lean OS, saw the threat from MS and joined forces with Psion.

    Even Bill Gates saw this as a world beating strategy.

    And it all went wrong...

    Just goes to show how management by committee doesn't work...

    You need that visionary, that leader with a fire in his belly, who instinctively knows what the future is and caters to it. Psion, Nokia et al once upon a time had that and they threw it all away.

    It's a sad, sad day.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      I think sadly this is endemic in almost all tech firms these days, they set up so many levels of bland management to keep us tech proles in line, that the company just turns in a paranoid safety state in its own right. The management have no idea about tech, they rely on the market goons to feed them what they think Joe Public wants. The techies design it as requested and no one is allowed to step out of line and suggest radical ideas.

      We can't have these techies coming up with ideas?! If they come up with ideas that people actually want, the management are all out of a job! We need crap products that are never quite good enough just to keep the Joe Publics on the upgrade treadmill forever!

      Long gone are the days when the Sinclairs and Psions were given the "props" they so rightly earned.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hmmm. Will Qt survive this? Is it counted as R&D?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      No. Qt is dead.

      If Symbian is dead and Meego is DOA what is the point in Nokia investing in Qt?

    2. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      The Libre Community Will Take Over Qt

      Remember, it is GPL. And too many people depend on it, including KDE.

    3. ricegf

      Stick a "fork" in it became LibreOffice. MySQL became MariaDB. What shall we name the Qt fork to restore freedom to one of the best cross-platform development environments in the free software world?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        QT fork

        How about instead of "cute" (Qt) we name it Mgr (Minger) ?

  8. Paul Shirley
    Jobs Horns

    how do you differiente a platform meant to avoid fragmentation?

    Windows minimum hardware spec and licence fee rule out budget and probably even midrange phones for the next couple of years. Nokia have ceded that market, by the time WP7 runs on lower end hardware Microsoft will have killed Nokia. They always kill their 'partners'.

    What's funnier is the crazy idea that Nokia can differentiate on a platform sold on the promise that fragmentation will not happen, that operators ability to differentiate will be strongly constrained to give end users a better experience. So how does that work here?

    I suspect the reality is: Nokia will in fact stand only because so few will adopt WP7, if there are only 2 or 3 major WP7 brands it doesn't take many subtle differences to differentiate them. Nokia's brand is going to simply melt away, people will think Microsoft when they see these phones and barely notice the Nokia branding.

    This isn't even long, slow suicide, they've knelt down and invited the killing blow. Idiots.

    1. Schultz

      "This isn't even long, slow suicide"

      They are, after all, standing on a burning platform, so whatever suicide they choose they should better make it quick!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      Kneeling down?

      It's not so much kneeling down as grabbing one's ankles...

      And Elop isn't even Appalachian.

    3. JonP

      how? by making better handsets than everyone else...

      ... and Nokia are quite good at that.

      The other side of all this is that Microsoft NEED to get a decent mobile device out there - the current trend seems to be towards mobile computing and they could do worse than Nokia for hardware.

      This could be like you say, a long slow suicide - but equally it could be the thing that makes them both.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "a lot of value moving in different directions"

    I read "run away! run away! every man for himself! run away!"

    I know it's not what he's saying; he's saying he can choose which side of the burning platform he's jumping off of. And he's choosing this side. Oh well.

    Whichever way he's jumping he's in for a mighty cold landing. Problems differentiating with Android but not with wp7? Why would that be, because the former doesn't cost royalties and the latter does? Is paying through the nose for a losing proposition the new "extra value"? I've heard that wp7 is "pretty good". I've heard that about symbian too. It's high on "... when the next version will come out" again. We've heard that one often enough too.

    But more importantly: What point is there in having a vertically integrated company from hardware to services with a large, vital, middle part missing? With a big chunk missing you'd get a company that's dependent on another for its sales to itself. And that other company isn't their benevolent sugar uncle. So, I think the next step would be to split nokia in two.

    The days of skunk works are pretty much over. The superstructure doesn't allow it and the brass doesn't think enough out of the box either. Best to spin out the chunks that work or can be made to work instead of leaving room for the whole company to gaze into the abyss left by the missing part.

  10. maxki

    lots of elops

    thats it

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My dear

      let us elop

  11. justincormack


    Nokia is not going to win in services either - look at the Ovi music store.

    WP7 phones are hard to differentiate with Microsoft locking down the platform specs to try to stop Android style fragmentation.. oops.

  12. jmal555
    Thumb Up

    Analysts' oversights.

    Windows Phone

    Nokia chose to join up with the less than loved giant because the other options were slow death with dated or delayed platforms or to become an OEM for Google competing with agile Asian manufactures and losing out the Services battle rendering investments like Navteq practically worthless. Nokia chose the option, where it has most influence on its future. This alliance enables:

    New, modern OS with better usability (which has been the problem with Symbian). Even though it's early days for WM7, the initial feedback has been good and much better than S^3 reviews

    MS has an army of coders developing the OS, which will enables Nokia to save significantly in R&D cots

    MS has enormous marketing engine and budget

    Even if the first N+MS phone is not perfect, both companies have huge resources to push forward and improve the products over time until the product is mature enough (think Zune player) This is a luxury many companies don't have.

    MS enables Nokia a quick, yet expensive access to North American market. Even few per cent market share with MS has more media value than Nokia's individual attempts to win over North America.

    Nokia's alliance is not unique. HTC also has WM and Android phones in its portfolio. Nokia has the advantage due to its size and can use it to affect how WM will be developed in the future and how it will be integrated to Nokia services.


    Symbian will be around for a long time, but as a S40 version. Nokia has built different versions of emerging markets for a long time and today S40 Touch phones offer nearly the same user experience as the older S60 phones, such as N97. Even if S60 would be totally discontinued, the development of S40 can offer nearly similar phones as current S60 for emerging markets.

    Analysts seem to forget the massive potential, which lies dormant in emerging markets. As Elop mentioned, the next billion users are waiting to access internet. Nokia with a strong foothold on those markets can offer that access. These markets have grown up with and customers have aspired to own a Nokia phone and eventually gotten it are an easy target for Nokia to build upon with new services in addition to internet, such as Nokia Money and Life Tools.

    Nokia could offer WM7 phones for these markets, but due to hardware requirements, those phones will be too expensive for the masses. S40 will offer similar user experience, but much more cheaply.


    On important thing to remember is that Nokia and Microsoft contract is not binding, leaving Nokia with the option to check out anytime and this might be the reason for Meego being left as an alternative platform. Meego will be developed on the side, creating new and exciting products until something so strong comes along that Nokia no longer needs Microsoft. This may never happend, but the exit strategy exists.

    Another thing analysts have missed is the embedded Meego. Today Meego and WM are strong contenders for car computing. Navteq has worked years with car manufactures, so there's even more potential. Nokia builds its future on two platforms which have practically untapped market so far.

    Meego will become Nokia's 'Skunkworks', where new technologies are tested, competitive advantage is created and exit strategy is being secured.

    1. Daren Nestor

      On your meego point

      I really hope this happens - the N900 with Maemo is a wonderful phone let down because all the apps are written for symbian - witness ovi maps, for instance (which is way better than any other free contender, incidentally).

      I was looking forward to the meego N9 or whatever they're calling it now that's supposed to be released later this year - I saw it as the first step to actually produce a line of meego phones with full app support, but now it looks like it'll end like the N900, unsupported research phone.

    2. foo_bar_baz


      "Symbian will be around for a long time, but as a S40 version."

      S40 does not use Symbian OS, it is an OS. Symbian was open sourced, S40 has always been proprietary.

      1. jmal555


        yes you're right technically, but the features of S60 trickle down to S40 platform and the new S40 phones act and look like simplified S60. S40 has followed the S60 development for some time now and despite being simpler platform (no multitasking, etc) it's used widely on lower end and mid range phones.

        Pretty much like iPod Touch vs the new Shuffle.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Analysts' oversights.

      Is this a copy-and-paste job or did you actually use your own words here?

      "Meego will become Nokia's 'Skunkworks', where new technologies are tested, competitive advantage is created and exit strategy is being secured."

      The problem is that Meego (and Maemo before it) were already "skunkworks", and had Nokia's management got their shit together, it'd be in actual mass-market products by now. Sadly, the skunk has been left to piss itself again, and it'll be the other "industry partners" than end up taking it somewhere, potentially with Intel in the lead as they seek to get their kit into devices.

      1. jmal555

        100% my own words.

        My own words, based what I saw on the webcast today.

        As I mentioned in my post, Meego could also be the exit strategy for Nokia in case deal with MS goes sour.

      2. mcepl

        It is much worse ...

        > ... had Nokia's management got their shit together, it'd be in actual mass-market products by now.

        I saw first N800s in 2007 at the GUADEC conference and my first reaction (as everybody else, who was at the conference and wasn't employed by Nokia) was: "Why in the world Nokia didn't put cellphone chip to this ... this would be absolutely awesome phone." Maybe N800 would be just a research phone (as N900 is now), but in 2010 they would have real selling platform which would give Android run for its money. Oh well.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Analysts' mistakes

      "Symbian will be around for a long time, but as a S40 version"

      S40 is not based on Symbian. It is based on the internal 'Nokia OS'.

      "Meego will become Nokia's 'Skunkworks', where new technologies"

      But if you say you aren't going to try to create an eco-system, aren't going to ship phones in volume, who is going to waste time developing apps for it? If you are not going to ship phones using it what is the f***ing point of developing it? So you can demo some nice new UI tricks which Android developers can copy and put on 'real' phones ( you know - phones that manufacturers make and actually try to sell)

    5. /\/\j17


      New, modern OS with better usability (which has been the problem with Symbian).

      Usability has never been an issue with Symbian, but then Symbian is just an O/S and doesn't have an interface.

      Nokia's series 60 UI, now THAT has some issues - many of which were fixed in Series 80, Series 90 and countless other still-born projects.

    6. jmal555


      I get thumbs down for analysing Nokia's strategy. Love it.

      I love to read what bloggers and geeks write about tech companies, but don't seem to understand anything about global strategy. Only thing they analyse is if a particular phone model suits their current need or expectations.

      Just look at Gizmodo or Engadget, who do exactly this, and also only concentrate on US operator provided phones & their tech specs and not on global business models and long term strategies.

      Luckly The Register has wider understanding and provide quality analytical news...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: haha...

        "I love to read what bloggers and geeks write about tech companies, but don't seem to understand anything about global strategy."

        And you do? For example, did you read about how Nokia were getting punished in the developing world? And yet you seem to think that riding the magic carpet sprinkling Symbian Series Ancient on them is going to reverse the decline. These people are going to demand decent products, and of the major vendors, the Android brigade is most likely to reach them first, at least at the top end initially.

        You can actually deploy Linux-based stuff on the kind of hardware that the developing world is wanting at reasonable prices. I imagine that there are people in (picking a random place) Kenya with a higher specification phone than the one I have, which probably wouldn't run Linux, but then it's an eight year old model which was probably one of the last generation that couldn't comfortably run some flavour of Linux or other. Move forward a year and phones were shipping with more memory than a Unix workstation had once upon a time.

        Symbian might be handy for low-end embedded devices, but it's not totally alone, and clearly Nokia's competitors don't seem to be held back by not using it. If such technical insights are incompatible with "global strategy" then maybe such "strategy" is nothing more than sticking labels onto things and high-fiving the brand manager.

    7. SuccessCase

      Nice try

      It's good to be positive, but the reality is Nokia are now a hardware company based in Europe, competing with the far east. Beyond this tough intensely competitive core business they have no strategic assets that aren't hopelessly outclassed. Yes, emerging markets may have huge growth but even for emerging markets, Nokia only have a short time before hardware is cheap enough and affordable enough to run Android. Symbian has many loved features, but as a whole is ugly, convoluted and past its' sell-by date. A software OS is an ecosystem. Being first and having a large footprint is everything. Nokia have missed the "New Wave" boat. Who really thinks Meego can achieve the buy-in and scale to compete with iOS or Android? And that will be the problem, the staff will be working mechanically as robots with no real belief. They can do it, but need a one in a million inspiring leader who knows how to run a software business, total focus and belief and a corporate structure channeling all energy forward to success. Do you see that happening? Win phone 7 *is* their best bet but will not return any strategic advantage to Nokia. Microsoft now win that prize. I the long game it is everything.

  13. Real Ale is Best
    Dead Vulture

    RIP Nokia indeed.

    I wonder if they were spooked by the Oracle - Android spat?

    1. Goat Jam
      Gates Horns

      The have a Microsoft Trojan Horse

      as their CEO.

      They were never going to go in any other direction

  14. TheOtherHobbbes

    So, er....

    "Nokia was hopeless at strategy, rubbish at marketing, and couldn't write software."

    ...nothing at all like BallmerSoft then?

  15. Pahhh

    Whatever.... but what about Qt?

    Frankly Nokia been an irrelevant phone company for a while. From making great phones with simple interfaces to producing stuff that really doesnt capture anyones imagination.

    Concerned whats going to happen to Qt though. Its a great toolkit.....

    1. ThomH


      Trolltech (as were) will be spun out and will survive happily on its own terms, just as it did for almost 15 years before the Nokia purchase in 2008.

  16. Tom 15


    Am I the only one to fail how being one of the manufacturers for the untested and so far unpopular Windows Phone 7 along with HTC and Samsung puts them in a better position than being one of the manufacturers for the best-selling and popular Android along with HTC and Samsung?

    Am I the only one that would love to buy Android on Nokia?

    1. MarkOne

      No you were not the only one

      We were all hoping Nokia went to Android.

      Unfortunately Nokia's CEO had other plans that involved his ex-colleagues at Microsoft. Who cares want consumers want.. I want my Microsoft stock....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        means having to sell everything for thruppence. That's fun for consumers, but for producers it isn't a business plan!

      2. Robert E A Harvey
        Gates Horns

        "Who cares want consumers want."

        ...and who cares what the Nokia shareholders want.

    2. Renato

      Re: Differentiate?

      >Am I the only one that would love to buy Android on Nokia?

      No, but a lot of the linuxtards here (including me) would love to buy MeeGo on Nokia.

      RIP Nokia.

    3. Charles Manning

      No problem

      Through vertical and horizontal leverages stratification.

      He just threw out a buzzword to make the question go away. It didn't need to make any sense.

      WP7 is a commoditising platform. Getting Nokia on-board gives it some street cred. It also gives LG et al an easy prime target to undercut.

      Of course Ballmer doesn't care whether Nokia survives or not.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Biggest buisness mistake ever

    not just in Nokia

    not just in the mobile sector

    the biggest full stop.

    Nokia R.I.P

    1. Marky W


      AOL / Time-Warner

    2. mcepl

      Which one do you mean?

      From the very long series of blunders they've made in the past five years?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Worst hyperbole ever...

  18. Anonymous Coward

    It is going to be interesting to see

    how Nokia can be different from all the other Microsoft phones when the Redmond god dictates almost every detail on how the phone looks, feels and works.

    I think left out the rest of the plan

    Move Company to US - somewhere around Redmond

    When company is broke and has almost no market share sell it to Microsoft

    Elop decides how to spend bonus check for helping Microsoft getting even for when Nokia pissed off Billy boy so many years ago

  19. There's a bee in my bot net

    More Differentiation...

    We'd like to differentiate ourselves by installing a crap OS.

    Really? That's your strategy? I would agree with AC on building better cheaper handsets...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "He's also signalled the end of Nokia as a high R&D spend technology company" and

    "we expect to substantially reduce R&D expenditure while increasing R&D productivity"

    Sounds like an mindset worthy of an ex-Microsoft staffer - become a patent troll with bags of mobile-related IP but precious little else.

    "but said he didn't fancy the prospects of being just Another Face in the Android Crowd"

    and that's better than being another face in the WinPho7 crowd? really?

    "value" will be added by services higher up the stack, so the operational and strategic independence that Nokia loses by partnering with Microsoft will be more than compensated by services - which Nokia doesn't have to share with anybody"

    but that, crucially, Nokia has no track record of delivering successfully.

    What's really at the heart of it?

    "Deep cuts to R&D and staffing globally"

    ... there it is.

  21. future3
    Thumb Up

    We can't compete

    We have absolutely nothing in terms of innovation that can differentiate us from Android competitors, so we'll just move to WM7 where we needn't innovate as much and concentrate on Hardware where we are half decent.

    Sounds like a plan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Would I buy a Nokia running Symbian? No.

      Would I buy a Nokia running Android? Yes.

      Would I buy a Nokia running WinMobileThingy? Possibly?

      Will the average pleb on the street buy a Nokia now? "Now with added Widows appeal!" Yes - they probably will.

      So us geeks understand what's going on, and see the missed oportunities? So what? It's the great unwashed masses that will think Nokia & Microsoft is a good idea.


  22. chr0m4t1c

    I think you missed something.

    "How does Nokia recreate the product-centric, almost skunkworks development culture of the 1990s, while retaining its global logistical strengths, such as its ability to customise for local markets"

    I would have thought that was obvious; you dump development of your main-stream OS and all (or most) of the developers along with it (Symbian) while keeping your current "skunkworks" project (Meego), you can always opt to move your most talented people across from the legacy one over time.

    At a rough guess, this looks like exactly what they're doing.

    Judging by the comments here and elsewhere Nokia have just leaped right over MS, Google and Apple to become the most evil mobile company in the world, which is quite an achievement in itself.

    1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

      @chr0m4t1c: You are talking about Finns

      They would never dare to screw over a company from the Land Of The Free Tycoons. Supporting freedom and all that.

  23. RichyS


    But Nokia /really/ needed to reduce their R&D spend (well, get some value out of it, at least).

    It appears that Nokia's total R&D spend is about 3 times that of Apple. And for what? Buying in WinPho7 off the shelf, it would appear...

    Here's a handy link:

    1. jmal555

      Two different companies

      I think you missed a point there, Apple produces 2-3 different mobile products at the time, and uses the same team to do the work consecutively. Apple doesn't have anything to offer to emerging markets and is only now apparently bring in iPhone Nano to compete in the mid-range handset market. And yes, Apple does sell iPhone in the emerging markets, but really has no market share there, except among the 'rich'.

      Nokia has multiple market segments and tens of phones for different customer groups. If Nokia was to concentrate on 2-3 devices, Nokia could cut the R&D staff in half and still produce as good devices once they get the usability sorted.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Isn't that exactly the point ...

        If the argument over global business model is the critical one, isn't that exactly the point? It's all about margin * volume, and they way thigns are going currently Nokia are losing margin because of their high internal costs, and volume because other companies can produce feature phones cheaper than Nokia can.

        Apple put all of their eggs in one basket, and while not perfect do it relatively well. One platform, mostly stable development environment, cross-phone app portability, target one market and maintain large margins. The lack of differentiation in hardware both reduces R&D costs, and makes applications easier to develop - and lets be honest smart phones are all about applications.

        Asian ODMs just focus on pouring out the devices as efficiently as possible, with not a huge amount of differentiation. Low cost devices so low marging, but low costs (no R&D) and high volume.

        Nokia seem to have spend the last 5+ years producing relatively expensive fragmented platforms, with little application portability due to the inability to pick a GUI framework and stick with it for more than 5 minutes, and because of that fragmentation failing to capitalize on any of their expensive R&D efficiently. A "smart phone" without applications is really an expensive feature phone, and an expensive feature phone is dead in the water before it gets started because essentially it is a market which competes on price.

        Nokia need to stop panicing about strategy - in the last 5 years they've had some major changes in platform every 12 months and every phone they produce is different form factor to the last one. It hardly encourages developers who don't want to have to do a major port of their app to every device. Pick a strategy which makes reliable and easy to develop for phones, and stick with it - developers will come, but only if you stop doing U turns which mean their apps don't run on the latest phone.

        As for Microsoft or Android - at the end of the day it's just an OS. For the most part the real world couldn't really care less - IMO a good OS is invisible and just a framework for running applications. It's all about the apps - so they need to keep developers happy,

  24. Nick L
    Thumb Up

    Customise WP7 - yes...

    "will Nokia be able to "customize everything" on Windows Phone 7 in order to differentiate itself?" "Yes!"

    I'm in Helsinki today, and there is only one topic of conversation I hear everywhere - from hotel to taxi to office to bus to airport... Some are positive comments, most are in shock.

    I personally think they needed to do something radical, and I can understand the logic here. I seem to be in the minority.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Due to restrictions with my choice of company provided phones

      ...I currently use a WinMob phone with "customized everything". With *nothing* added on software wise (just the pre-installed manufacturer/carrier bloatware) and using it pretty much exclusively for just text, Exchange e-mail and calendaring, and phone calls... I can say without a doubt that this is the most unstable and inconsistent consumer electronic device I have ever seen much less used.

      While that might sound like an attack on WinMob, I'm pretty sure the interface customizations are to blame although WinMob providing an unstable/inconsistent OS core could be contributing to the problem. Whatever my phone's real problem is, I would say this: be careful what you wish for. Being different doesn't necessarily mean better.

  25. Jedibeeftrix

    This remains an utterly cretinous move

    Meego no longer a platform = stupid stupid idea!

    No QT on nokia Win7 phones = stupid stupid idea!

    How does nokia manage to be this incompetent? It has thrown away its one real differentiation in owning the most open platform, and it has thrown away its one real developer advantage in using QT's cross-platform abilities.

    I would still prefer to have a Meego device but after today's symphony of unmitigated cretinism i simply don't trust Nokia to execute it competently. What will i buy next? Android probably.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Give it up, man.

        Sappeur won't take over the world even you post in every Reg article.

        1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

          @Destroy All Monsters: Never give up

          ..don't cha know ? One must fight to succeed.

          Seriously, I am not only posting about my programming language, but also about lots of other stuff on my site. And I do indeed think it helps other people to share IT security-related knowledge as opposed to the latest rant about the incompentence of company X.

    2. Sentient


      QT is for C++

      WP7 has silverlight and XNA.

      Since you cannot do C++ on WP7 QT doesn't make sense.

      Unless you want to do cross platform development. But that's not what these mobile platforms are very good at. Objective C(iOS) <> Java(droid) <> .NET (WP7)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Steen Larsen
    Thumb Down

    I would have loved Android on Nokia

    I dropped Nokia a few years ago due to crappy software. I would have loved to run Android on some cool Nokia hardware but that will not happen :-(

    If a smaller company like HTC can do both Android and WM7 why can't Nokia?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Nokia 6310i

    I think Nokia seriously lost their way six or seven years ago.

    Personally I don't think they made a good phone since the Nokia 6310i. I’ve been disappointed by the later Nokia’s that I have owned, it might be just a poor choice of phone on my part, but I’ve been particularly disappointed by the quality of the user experience of the later Nokia E series phones.

  28. M Gale

    So how do you differentiate...

    ...amongst the various and sundry WinMo7 devices that Microsoft no doubt would like to see?

    What happens if WinMo7 becomes as ubiquitous as its big brother on the desktop? Up the creek without a paddle, much?

    Stupid, stupid. You might consider Google to be some kind of Borg for Mobile, but bloody MICROSOFT? The irony, it hurts!

    At least you can take Android and run with it in your own direction, minus the Marketplace. Enjoy trying to do that with WinMo. Mind you, Elop is an ex Microsofty. That could explain why Nokia has just taken this cretinous decision.

  29. Ramiro

    No one to blame but Nokia themselves.

    How long can it possibly take to develop a decent, competitive moblie OS? Google did Android, Samsung did BADA in what, less than a year?? Perhaps not the most beautiful or perfect things in the universe, but both work acceptably well, and actually ship on handsets people want to buy. At least in Brazil, Samsung keeps realeasing new BADA models, so someone is buying them. Android's success is rather evident. Meanwhile, Nokia runs in circles, changing toolkits, changing directions, changing partners, and not shipping anything. That had to have consequences.

    Surely lack of resources was not the problem, lack of management competence probably. So they bring in a Microsoft puppet and now we have this, another high tech company, a national treasure ;), destroyed.

    That's bound to go down really well in Finland, I hope the Finns burn their offices down (well, not *really*), but they could all return their nokias and buy Samsung instead.

    1. ThomH

      Not really a fair comparison

      Bada is a clean up and opening of the OS they'd developed internally and deployed in various anonymous versions over the previous several years. Android (the company) was founded in 2003, bought by Google in 2005 and finally shipped its OS in 2007. So it took them about four years.

      Hence, if Nokia had chosen to start again from scratch in an entirely reactive way to the original iPhone, they'd just about be finishing now. Instead — as you say — management seems to have scrambled around for quick fixes for far too long, squandering the talent and quite probably killing the company, at least as anything other than a forgettable me-too hardware shop.

      1. Graeme Sutherland

        It's worse than that

        The first Android phones shipped in late 2008, so that's five years of development.

        So if Nokia had run under this schedule they'd still have another twelve months to go, and Android took another 12 to 18 months to really get up to speed from there.

      2. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

        Opening S40 would be A Good Start

        ..and not just the J2ME crap.

    2. mcepl

      They have developed THREE operating systems in meanwhile

      That's Maemo, Meego, and the open source version of Symbian. Oh well.

  30. Sander van der Wal

    What about Symbian on NTT Docomo?

    With Symbian in living dead mode on Nokia's, what about NTT Docomo's commitment to it. Will Nokia sell Symbian to NTT Docomo?

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Sell Symbian?

      It was open sourced, remember?

    2. Lance 3

      Franchise option

      I believe this is where the "franchise option" comes into play as Elop called it for Symbian.

  31. poohbear

    Suicide pact

    Isn't there a word for when two desperate parties decide to commit suicide together?

    Alternatively, MS might end up swallowing Nokia, and getting their paws on Qt. Implications for Linux?

    1. M Gale

      Implications for Linux?

      Microsoft try and sue people over the "intellectual property" contained in Qt, the FSF sue the shit out of them for daring to try that with GPL (well, LGPL) software, Microsoft back down and paint the whole exercise as a public gesture of friendship towards the open source community, meanwhile everyone else can smell the crock of shit a mile off and moves to GTK?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    I feel sorry for the Finns.

    They survived the change from making wellies to making phones. Why can't they do it again?

  33. Oli 1


    I dropped Nokia after my N95 8GB which was one of the last great nokia handsets in my opinion. I couldnt find anything to replace it with until the Motorola Milestone turned up.

    I was really hoping that Nokia would trial a few Android handsets at least, as their hardware is usually spot on, but the software always had bugs and updates were usually far and few between.

    This decision has just confirmed what i was suspecting a year ago, i will never buy another nokia.

    Sad sad day!

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Err, Mod??

      I'm moderating, and yes you are a muppet, and you whine more than anyone else about rejected comments without stopping to consider that I may have rejected them on the basis of simple dumbness. You're a pain in the arse.

      1. M Gale

        Oooh crikey.

        You really should be Anne Robinson's stand-in for when she has to take a day off.

        "You are the weakest link.. and a complete fucking muppet. Goodbye."

  35. wilgeman
    Dead Vulture

    New face new name...

    Is it MicroNokia?

    Or Nokiasoft?

    But in the MIcrosoft will take the "No" out of Nokia and it will be left for dead "KIA"!

    1. Levente Szileszky

      RE: new name

      "Is it MicroNokia?

      Or Nokiasoft?"

      No, it's simply Microsoft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I was thinking Sendokia?

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. ThomH

      Much more so

      And Nokia's flagship handsets don't currently meet them, so they can't just do an OS swap. They ship not only with the immediate bar of an incorrect screen size (more pixels than the minimum, but Microsoft give specific acceptable values), but all the Symbian^3 handsets remain on ARMv6 based processors whereas Microsoft have stipulated ARMv7, which is a modified and more recent instruction set. So it's not just a change, it's a need to move to more expensive components.

  37. Gio Ciampa

    Well that's my next phone choice sorted out...'ll be Android-based.

    Pretty much the only thing keeping me on Nokia phones was Maps, as you could download the map data using PC (later Ovi) suite and run the whole thing offline - I just hope that there will still be adequate data allowances available when my contract runs out so the Google equivalent is actually usable...

    1. pepper

      offline maps

      Right now I am uploading a map of the whole country ( dutchyland ) to my Nokia 6300. This website has all the information you need:

      You can even select who's map you want. It is just a map though, not a route planning program. It works as long as your phone supports java.

  38. xan

    return to their roots

    I guess the finns can go back to their roots making a hardscrabble peasant living on the northern fringes of Europe. All that high-quality technical eddication is probably superfluous now.

  39. Gilgamesh


    I imagine someone will be correcting that fairly soon.

    1. Gilgamesh

      I was wrong

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

  40. David Simpson 1

    Comfy seats and all that!

    So if using Android is like pissing in your pants to keep yourself warm is using Windows Phone like crapping in your pants to make your seat more comfortable ?

    This is like when the spider bites it's prey then waits for the venom to start digesting it inside out then it swallows what's left. R.I.P Nokia and goodbye to thriving European tech industry.

    But hey at least we still have ARM!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. John 62


        Isn't it the M1A2 now since they put the LCD screens inside? Anyway, the US standardised on diesel/kerosene/JP-8 turbine engines for various good reasons. There may be many bad reasons, but there was at least reasoning behind it.

        1. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

          @John 62: JP8 is Champagne For the Euroleopard

          b/c it is basically a "better" Diesel. I have no insider knowledge on which fuels it can consume, but I don't think it infeasible to burn basically every kind of fat, grease or oil, given sufficient R&D and money spent towards that. BMW even has a Diesel burning hydrogen.

          See this on the M1Ax:

          Does not exactly sound good to me.

  41. Mikel


    Nokia is going the way of Sendo. Lots of money to be made here yet, for the bold investor. This suits Microsoft too, as they have to get Nokia down to a chewable size before they eat it.

    Interesting is what this does to all of the other Windows Phone partners. Nokia gets to customize, or "fragment" WP7. Will HTC, Samsung and the others? Probably not. They've been betrayed.

    1. Neil 7


      "Interesting is what this does to all of the other Windows Phone partners. Nokia gets to customize, or "fragment" WP7. Will HTC, Samsung and the others? Probably not. They've been betrayed."

      Doesn't matter when Nokia are the only one producing WP7 phones by the tens of million - the other "partners" should have seen the light and moved on to squabble over the meagre profits to be accrued from Android.

      Though how Nokia expect to get WP7 down to the low end when they have to pay royalties to Microsoft and use high-spec hardware (1GHz ARM Cortex-A8s instead of cheap-as-chips ARM11's etc.) is anyone's guess.

      But then there's so much in this announcement that doesn't add up, doesn't make sense, reeks of lies and half-truths, that I'm past caring - this is asset stripping at it's worst and most blatant. Nokia are being sized up for a sale, nothing else. Someone should put a stop to it, perhaps even the Finnish government because as it seems even fraudulent, but they probably won't.

      Give it another 12-18 months and Nokia will be bought by Microsoft for a song, solely for it's manufacturing facilities so that Microsoft can try and pull off the same trick that Apple have, and the likes of HTC, Samsung, LG, SE etc. can go poke it, as far as Microsoft are concerned.

  42. Edlem

    Oh please. Hardly a suicidal tactic is it

    IT departments aren't even close to embracing iOS, Android or RIM to the same extent that they happily sign up to MS. Nokia, who every man and dog acknowledge produce good hardware but meh software, contemplate the two available mass market offerings and place their bets on MS surprisingly quite decent but still uncommon Winphone 7. Big surprise, absolutely common sense play.

    And who loses here? A really quite decent alternative to Android and iOS gets the sort of hardware supplier you want to use signing up. Nokia get a chance to not disappear off the map by ditching some OS that no bugger wanted to use. WTF with the bitching?

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Oh please. Hardly a suicidal tactic is it

      Actually, this man and his cat acknowledges that Nokia *used to* make good hardware. The N97 was a bit of a shock in that respect. The lens cover that actually scratches the lens if you use it, and pitiful GPS which couldn't keep a lock if you do something radical, like move!

      The way they handled both of these problems showed me something else, conceit towards their customers. This was the main reason Nokia weren't even in my short list for next phone long before they revealed their latest strategy... So glad I couldn't get their Qt development SDK to work on my machine. God I would be pissed right now if I'd spent time learning that.

  43. revdjenk

    Qt development will stop?

    Since Qt is the underpinning (as I understand it) for one of the two major desktop versions in Linux, KDE, could killing this development be one of the intentional effects of this barter deal that Microsoft has made with Nokia?

    And to think I had just tried the new LinuxMint KDE rc this morning, too!

    1. poohbear

      Yeah baby..

      I was wondering exactly the same thing.

      You must have a great mind :-)

  44. Christopher Rogers

    Royal Rumble

    Apple and Google waded in and slapped everyone already there. HP are going to try to throw a few punches with the fantastic WebOS and Nokia and MS are going to tag team.

    A serious amount of blood is going to spill and the mobile industry is going to be completely unrecognisable in 3/4 years time.

    RIM. What have you got outside of a potential Android compatible fondleslab?

    1. aThingOrTwo

      What have RIM got?

      QNX, The Astonishing Tribe, good carrier relations, strong brand, installed base.

      RIM actually did some of the things Nokia should have done.

  45. Levente Szileszky
    Gates Horns

    An ex-MS beancounter applies the only fix he knows...

    ...and it involves Microsoft - what's so surprising here?

    Elop is a classic worthless corporate beancounter, coming from the classic corporate sh!ticker pool of Marcomedia, Adobe then last time MIcrosoft - other than the checks he cashed he never left behind anything lasting.

    It's a clueless beancounter who sees Nokia as a phone company looking for OS and knows from his Microsoft overlords that they have an OS nobody wants but they need hardware - in his beancounter brain this is a pretty obvious decision, isn't it?

    Microsoft got SOOOO MUCH MORE than Nokia here, it's not even funny how Nokia managed to completely screw up everything including picking its new CEO...

    Bill because he must be laughing somewhere while on the phone with Ballmer.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      over the threshold

      I'm reminded of all those European folk tales where the evil one is invited into the house unrecognised, and then the inevitable happens...

  46. Robert E A Harvey
    Gates Horns

    In five years time

    It will be:



    *Chinese Android phones

    *HP & WebOS

    * The odd Samsung

    err.. that's it.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elop described Android as "attractive"

    He may yet find that that's what the customers think, too.

  48. Doug Bostrom

    SGI+NT=Wild Success!!

    Then: "We will ditch IRIX and use NT, thus distinguishing ourselves in the marketplace!"

    Now: "We will ditch Symbian and use Windows-Whatever, thus distinguishing ourselves in the marketplace!"

    Common factor in both cases is an exported Wormtongue. How long before Elop returns to Saruman?

  49. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I'd better get started on writing my own mobile OS, then...

    We've got two closed ones (iOS and WP7), Meemo/Meego's dead and buried, the headless chicken that's Symbian will finally stop staggering about after years and die too, Bada and BlackBerry are in the same category as Series 40 (i.e. little more than Java ME), which leaves Android which funnels all your data to Google.

    And to think they could have just fixed Symbian's UI about four years ago and saved themselves all this trouble. Or even just buy out SPB. Or do anything apart from have 24 different levels of management all re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  50. NX1977

    Nokia will have lost chnace of customers returning

    If Nokia offered an Android phone, I'd be back like a shot. Instead a loyalty of over 14 years ceased last year.

    Like many others I love Nokia Hardware build quality & spec, but couldnt stand Symbian any longer so jumped to a HTC Desire last March. So many other Nokia friends on support forums have now cropped up in the Android ones.

    Didnt that tell Elop & Nokia something about their customers?

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Forums shmorums

      The share of phone users that browse forums or even install applications on their phones is small. Most buy their phone based on a 5-minute hands on test in the high street. If Nokia can lose customers so can its competitors.

      Similarly, the big cash machine for Nokia is the low end S40. Getting rid of Symbian R&D and just buying a ready next generation OS is a good choice, despite whatever whining is going on in these forums. The low end remains the steady though unsexy foundation, all the talk about "Bye Bye Nokia" due to a change in the smartphone OS is overblown.

      As for MeeGo and Android, though the typical Reg reader probably loves Linux (I do), wants to tinker and likes the idea of a free as in libre phone OS, WinMo is a better choice to get a foothold in the USA and the corporate market. The US has always been Nokia's white whale.

      Lastly, all the conspiracy talk about Elop selling out Nokia is also a bit silly. Why do you all think he was brought in in the first place? A Finn couldn't have done the dirty work and expected to have a pleasant future in Finland, and Elop had the Microsoft connections.

  51. swareInTheNews

    The other death from this will be...

    If, as seems likely, this strategy fails Nokia and the company withers under M$'s WP7 directives then who in the corporate world in future will hire any ex-Microsoft execs?

  52. Jean-Luc

    wonder how it will pan out

    As an engineer/programmer, this is a sad day indeed.

    As biz/investor/consumer? Not sure. I recently had to use a Nokia (3600?) because my usual phone died on me. Bought in 2008, paid $300 for it.

    Using it was brutal. It was totally brain-dead in terms of UI. No, it wasn't a touch phone, but why were the functions so badly laid out? Why did one have to go down hierarchy to get at one set of preferences, another entirely for a slightly different setting?

    When I used my 3600 I had to first figure out how to take out the batteries to put my SMS chip back in so I needed to find out the model. Hours of browsing Nokia forums before I found out which model I had (type in a cryptic #xxx# number in the phone). Tons of different models with... minor differences and different ways to open the battery. Not a good way to rationalize engineering and marketing, IMHO.

    Took a J2ME-on-S60 class in 2007. Also brutal, this time with the lack of development power of the J2ME stack.

    Personally, I would have preferred the Maemo/Meego route over W7. But they should have had it running 2 yrs ago rather than pretending S60 was still in the running as it existed. How much longer would it have taken them to take their thumbs out of their butt at this point?

    On the Android side of things, the better phone manufacturers are already there and it is a crowded ship. Sidestepping by going to W7 is not without risk, but has potential rewards as well.

    Nokia should also keep their sights firmly on the low end, not-rich-enough-for-a-real-smartphone side of the market. Telecom companies make good money in Africa and development experts think cellular communications can really help things there (think farmer market price quotations/weather reports). I doubt that low-end Chinese manufacturers will be very good at innovating in that space, but it's not somewhere Apple will be interested in either.

    Lots of this is due to bad company management and marketing, not bad engineers. But it did result in bad engineering by good engineers. Is this the way out? Who knows?

  53. Shonko Kid

    "a lot of value moving in different directions"

    Even if Nokia ARE PAID $55 per device, they've got a bum deal!

    And as for trying to out-Samsung Samsung. I don't fancy their chances.

  54. Andus McCoatover

    Beautiful photo....

    Of Elop's new office.

    Nice sauna, followed by a pleasantly cooling dip...

  55. Mark .

    good article

    Thanks for an insightful article. A shame to see the Nokia-haters out in force in the comments. (If they don't use Nokia, why care about the announcement?)

    I'm not saying this seems a good move - but that's precisely because they're currently doing so well in the number one position, with Symbian, and it seems there's a risk to lose. But having said that, there's no reason why a company should stick with one technology - I guess they feel that Windows Phone is better for the future.

    No one complained when Apple ditched Mac OS for Nextstep, rebranded as OS X, after all. (Not to mention that Apple also did a deal with Microsoft - did that turn out bad for Apple?)

    It does occur to me that even if the move is a disaster for Nokia, their market share is so great that they might still be selling more than Apple. Which means - Windows Phone will be outselling Apple. After all the years of people poking fun at Windows Mobile, I will find that very hiliarious.

    "Symbian will be around for a long time, but as a S40 version."

    I see what you're trying to say, but I wish that they would ditch S40, and use Symbian for the low end - I think they'd wipe the floor providing a low end smartphone against the other "feature phones". But it seems Symbian will be phased out, whilst S40 is kept :(

    "I get thumbs down for analysing Nokia's strategy."

    Yes, it's sad - whilst petty moans about Nokia get modded up. Unfortunately there's a vocal minority on geek/tech forums that love to hate Nokia. This can't be representative though, since Nokia outsell everyone else. (They ship ten times as many phones as Apple, but who gets all the hype?)

    Indeed, the fact that the moaners are out in force at this deal makes me think that maybe it'll be a good move.

    I agree with you that the bloggers and geeks have no clue about the mobile market. You get people thinking that Apple are the number one company, or the first to make a smartphone; or that Nokia are a minor company, or don't make smartphones. Or they base their knowledge of market sales based on what they and their friends have.

    Just take a look at this comment posted:

    "Frankly Nokia been an irrelevant phone company for a while."

    Yeah right, irrelevant as the number one company. But as you say - what he really means is "I don't like them, therefore they're irrelevant." Well by that logic, I don't use Apple, so they're irrelevant.


    "Am I the only one to fail how being one of the manufacturers for the untested and so far unpopular Windows Phone 7 along with HTC and Samsung puts them in a better position than being one of the manufacturers for the best-selling and popular Android along with HTC and Samsung?"

    Because Nokia sell far more phones than HTC and Samsung.

    "Am I the only one that would love to buy Android on Nokia?"

    That would be nice. I'd also like to keep buying Symbian on Nokia. In fact, I'd like to buy Symbian on HTC or Motorola. I'm sure plenty would like to buy Android on Iphone ... or WP on Nokia. You don't get everything, though.

    "Judging by the comments here and elsewhere Nokia have just leaped right over MS, Google and Apple to become the most evil mobile company in the world, which is quite an achievement in itself."

    Not really - the whiners have always hated Nokia. God knows why.

    "It appears that Nokia's total R&D spend is about 3 times that of Apple."

    Good - and it shows in the quality of its products. The article is biased on several counts: Nokia have S40, Symbian and MeeGo to Apple's IOS; Nokia are also developing Qt which can be used for desktop platforms; IOS isn't just a phone OS, but was developed for the Ipod, so they don't have to spend as much specifically for the phone side of things.

    1. aThingOrTwo

      Comparison is wrong

      > No one complained when Apple ditched Mac OS for Nextstep, rebranded as OS X, after all.

      But Apple still got to control it's own destiny with NeXTSTEP/Mac OS X. No one else can use it other than Apple. So this is not the same thing.

      One of Apple's options was NT. I wonder why they didn't pick that...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      comparisons with Apple

      mark, there's a shitload of confused nonsense in your posting

      1) the nokia-haters are not out in force here. though friday's deal with redmond will surely swell their ranks.

      most people seem to be upset that nokia's going to die, just like every other company who chose to have a strategic partnership with redmond. nokia's r&d is surely fucked and that's a very sad thing. the other main concern is the death of symbian and the loss of a platform or two for mobile phone os'es. windows mobile 7 or whatever the fuck it's called this week will fail. so we'll be left with android or ios. nice.

      2) yes, apple did a deal with redmond. but that was to get 'em to provide orifice for macosx. it was not to provide an os which was critical to apple's hardware and fundamental reason to exist. steve wasn't stupid then and isn't stupid now. he knew what would happen to apple if it couldn't control the os for its products. nokia hasn't realised that and they're going to suffer. badly.

      3) nokia is not hated. it's pitied. the company is now doomed because of too many stupid management decisions and a complacent bureaucracy that was too slow to react when the industry changed. to go three/four years without producing something to match the iphone is just not acceptable for anyone serious. it's beyond belief for the dominant player in the mobile business. looking to microsoft for a solution shows how desperate nokia has become: they've totally given up.

      nokia's smart phone business is fucked. any profit margin will go to redmond in licence fees. assuming they can one day get windows phone 9 to work. nokia's cheap phone business will be eaten by the chinese. what's left? nokia's going to be the 21st century equivalent of digital equipment corporation. (kids, ask your parents about that once very fine computer company.)

      4) a comparison of apple and nokia r&d spending is very telling. nokia surely should have done better with that far bigger budget. perhaps all that went into radio. on the software side, nokia should have been able to do more than a so-so phone operating system or two for the hardware they controlled.

      btw apple's software is more than just an os for iphones and ipads: they ship an operating system for real computers as well; firmware for nice toys like time capsule, apple tv and ipods; and some ok-ish application software like aperture and iworks. with three times the spend, what has nokia produced?

      you'd also think some of that nokia r&d money would have been spent on getting developers to produce apps for their phone or doing slick integration with the internet. for example: compare ovi with itunes. now what did nokia get for their lavish r&d spending again?

      once elop's got rid of nokia's r&d and design people - balmer and gates don't need them - nokia won't have any way to add value or influence its own destiny. so they'll become box-shifters with a high cost base: easy prey for the chinese manufacturers. anyone remember when seimens (i mean benq) made mobile phones?

      what i don't understand is why nokia's board and top management has let all this happen.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't agree

      "That would be nice. I'd also like to keep buying Symbian on Nokia."

      Blimey? That's the first time I have heard anyone say that.

      "Not really - the whiners have always hated Nokia. God knows why."

      Not sure about that. All I have heard up til now was people liking Nokia, but hating Symbian?

      "It appears that Nokia's total R&D spend is about 3 times that of Apple." Good - and it shows in the quality of its products."

      Um? No. Nokia were pissing money up the wall is what that showed.

    4. fandom

      Oh yes, they did

      > No one complained when Apple ditched Mac OS for Nextstep, rebranded as OS X, after all.

      Sure people complained about that, they are probably feeling silly about it now, but at the time complain they did.

  56. Mark .

    Nokia disappearing?

    "Nokia get a chance to not disappear off the map by ditching some OS that no bugger wanted to use."

    I enjoy using it, it still sells as much as all Android sellers put together, and twice as much as the Iphone. There seemed to be no evidence of Nokia disappearing off the map - especially not as they're the number one phone company.

    Don't get me wrong, I do agree with the rest of your post - the alliance could do very well. (And yes, whilst I think that Symbian is fine, I think it is odd that the Nokia haters hear simultaneously whine about Symbian, but also think this is a bad move. If Symbian really is bad, then surely this is a good move? It also means that all the people buying Nokia smartphones don't care about the OS - so when the switch happens, we may well see Windows Phone rocket up to 30% market share, completely demolishing Apple.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm not sure that you have actually used an iOS or Android device recently if you think Symbian was anywhere near as polished.

      iOS changed the game when they entered the market, and Android have now caught up (or very nearly so). Symbian was not even in the same ball park.

      Winmo looks pretty, but isn't quite there yet. If Microsoft can pull their fingers out and use Nokias good hardware designers they might be onto someting.

  57. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule

    Finland will Win

    ..because hundreds of engineers will be forced to quit that bureaucracy called Nokia.

    They could bring Qt to Android, as Android is Open Source. Maybe they will brind L4 to HTC hardware.

    In a few years, Finland will be much more diverse than they are at the moment. And probably wiser.

  58. Andus McCoatover
    Gates Horns

    Let's try a Litmus test...

    Here in Nokia's homeland, we have a "jobcentre" called "".

    Now the interesting part is: Today, saturday, I searched all jobs in Finland with the keyword "Symbian".

    Got 14 hits. That's extremely low. In Oulu alone, I used to see 10 or so, maybe most have been pulled already...

    Guess I'll try it mid-next week, see how many come up. Bet: 0.

    If you want to try the experiment yourselves, maybe :

    ...should be interesting.

    1. Andus McCoatover


      "Today, saturday, I searched all jobs in Finland with the keyword "Symbian". Got 14.

      Tried this evening, hits at 5.

      Mercifully, no hits for Sybian. Yet.

  59. Andus McCoatover

    Oh, one further test.

    On December 6, (Independence Day) the Finnish president (Current incumbent: Tarja Halonen) holds a banquet at the presidential palace, Helsinki.

    Invited (amongst many other groups, veterans, etc, are all the leaders of industry which have contributed to Finland's success.

    Jorma Ollila was a regular.

    If Elop's not there, contributing to possibly 20,000 additions to the unemployment pool, I wouldn't be surprised.

    I'd think he'd be as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.

  60. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Deck chairs on the Titanic

    If ONLY Nokia's management had managed to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic - as it was they spent $Bn on strategy boutiques to decide what colors should be considered by the deckchair color sub-comittee if they ever got round to making any

  61. Average-Developer
    IT Angle

    It is not the end of Symbian

    I think it is not end of Symbian (do not mix with S60-UI framework it is killed already by Qt)


    I am sure “Symbian” will see the death of “iPhone” and “Adroid”.

    The final statement about the end of “Symbian” is exaggerated.

    The root is always money. “Symbian” generates money for Nokia, without “Symbian” Nokia is dead company. Getting more money by selling perfect hardware with other WM7 OS, why not if it is generates more money. The model Microsoft – Nokia will be always like that.

    Let us guess that what will be behind the stage:

    -It is too risky to go into this business model without seeing source code and design, what you are going to take as platform for revenue generator. It may be another burning platform with escaped El.

    - “MicroSoft” will not share source code WM7.0 with Nokia, hence only “Idiots”, but I do not see them, to put all eggs in this “basket”.

    -Nokia stuff will be isolated from any kind cooperation with works with Microsoft. Hence cutting R&D will be only in non-Symbian services that were made with using MS products, but still low quality. I think Microsoft is the best to do them better.

    -No development from Nokia the phone UI for WM7. Yes, It only means one thing the level of design and hardcoding in WM7 it is still high, that makes this completely impossible. (However Symbian still is simple to do)

    -The Nokia stuff has different opinion, without their support senior commanders are only descriptively speaking hired group. This plan can be easy failed with WM7.0 death.

  62. Andus McCoatover

    Still haven't got over my anger and utter disbelief.

    Now, we have an ex-Microsoft EO controlling Nokia.

    Complete tie-up with Microsoft.

    Didn't the Nokia board read...,_extend_and_extinguish

    ...before they let this muppet take charge?

    OK. Now, I beseech our Esteemed Reg. Journalists to start having a 'wikileaks' spasm at Elop's previous work. Think this may turn out to be pre-planned, and carefully engineered.

    Andrew Orlowski - there's a lot of meat on this bone, I believe. Just have to find where the dog has buried it.

    Whatever, the man to surely blame is Jorma Ollila, for letting this happen. Part of me is beginning to wonder if he got a back-hander for this, but knowing (I thought) his integrity, it's unlikely.

    My anger and incredulity, and that of my Finnish friends is indescribable. One foreigner has potentially screwed our job-prospects, pensions, social services (doubt the State can afford to pay as they used to), knock-on industries (e.g., University degree courses offering QT/Symbian/linux development, etc..).

    One guy can fuc*k us so bad, I almost want him hung, drawn and quartered. For his burning platform, I wish it had been here in the Frozen North. The surface of sea is a bit hard here at the moment....<KLUNK!>

    Am I being melodramatic? Well, time will tell.

    Ok, best not contribute to this any more. Too angry.

  63. Tralala
    Black Helicopters

    it's all going to end well - really.

    Once upon a time in the olden days Palm also decided to use winnows when it was under similar media fire.

    That turned out well didn't it?

    No similarity?

    No ringing bells?

    Any organisation hiring former MS execs should find out what they are really getting.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Nearly 200 commens at the time of writing and all but about three are by people who obviously want MS and/or Noikia to die and go away, trying to dress up their ramblings and wants as intelligent business analysis. So, thanks to the three or so which are good, well reasoned and generally interesting, but I wish I hadn't had to read through the rest to find them...

    1. Andus McCoatover

      I call Muppet! A/C who hasn't worked for Nokia, except perchance in a cleaning capacity.

      Daft Burgher!

      Now go back to stocking the shelves. They need 'facing'.

  65. SirTazOfMania

    What if?

    Since none of us were at these meetings prior to the announcement, consider this possibility...

    Microsoft, who envies Apple and the iPhone, goes into talks with Nokia. When everything is said and done, Nokia will be the sole WP7 phone manufacturer. They will call it the wPhone, manufactured by Nokia exclusively. In addition, Nokia will also become the sole manufacturer of the Zune, and possibly a future wPad. Microsoft will have their version of the "iPhone" somewhere in 2012 manufactured by Nokia.

    It's possible that Microsoft might purchase Nokia outright down the road.

    Food for thought :)

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goes without saying?

    I might have missed any mention of this in the analysis - too obvious, too cynical?

  67. Anonymous Coward

    The Elop Angle

    Let's see if I've got the pieces here:

    Elop starts as a chicken and bagel CIO until 1998. Then he's with Maromedia for 7 years UNTIL it's bought by Adobe.

    1 year at Adobe, then he jumps to Juniper Networks.

    1 year at Juniper, then he jumps to Microsoft.

    2.75 years at Microsoft, then he jumps to Nokia.

    And now he's been with Nokia for 6 months. How much longer do you think this gig is going to last? How much longer will Nokia last? By all appearances, he's either a corporate assassin OR a fall guy.

    I saw him promoting Live@Edu last year in Singapore. His habit of being associated with sinking projects now throws that project into more than a few questions.

    Just wondering...

  68. Potemkine Silver badge

    Managers don't make good entrepreneurs

    When a company shlashes its R&D, it is killing itself. Elop is burying Nokia.

  69. Nat Pryce


    On today's smart-phones *anyone* can easily create mobile services. How can Nokia compete with the entire web?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    My Liege

    As they say, revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Thumb Up

      Oh, what an article! Kudos for digging it up.

      Unbelievable it's almost 11 years old..

      Astounding bit of insight. Hope the author does well.

  71. Bill Coleman

    have we forgotten the business market...

    Maybe I've been drinking too heavily lately, but this move kinda makes sense to me. Nokia achieved dominance when the market was new by providing quality sensible phones that worked well and marketing them to business users...

    Lately the enterprise market has been in limbo. Everyone is building and marketing phones as fancy gadget toys. But let's face it, when it comes to budget approval, phones with native windows integration and enterprise support from a manufacturer with a credible market history and a reputation for building quality handsets at reasonable prices will win over iToys every time.

    In a perverse way, this could kinda herald a return to roots for the Finns.

    or you know... they are just plain f**ked! one or the other...

    1. David Beck


      The managers friend.

  72. JDX Gold badge


    Really, 4 pages of comments which all boil down to "us geeks know more about business than those paid $millions"? Geeks who know what an operating system is are the smallest fragment of the target market, in the real world the fact your phone can interact with your Outlook mail is a huge deal.

    WM7 is really a new start for MS and it's a pretty decent attempt for a 1.0 version. IF they can continue in the same direction then WM7.x might end up fairly attractive as iPhone inevitably loses ways to differentiate itself.

  73. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    No handset manufactuer makes money from services

    ... except Apple.

    And Microkia won't have the clout, or the shiney-shiney to force the Operators to be bit-pipes, and allow end-users to pay Microkia for their services.

    So, they will spend more on WP7 licences, make about the same on hardware sales, and the reduced margin kills them.

  74. Hayden Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Here's a thought... rather, a chilling tale.

    Those of us who are ex-USA companies will recognise the M.O of the "radical" US mega-exec. Come in, bet the farm on some new, unproven wild idea. Actively kill off the old business, 'cos its old-fashioned and unsexy. Then, when the new idea flops on its arse, quietly fade away in a cloud of bonuses and severance payments. Meanwhile the husk of the once-proud, revenue-rich company, gets sold to a competitor and gutted.

    Now, just imagine a wrecked Nokia, still with 50% of the GSM and UMTS IP in it's bottom drawer, being bought by..... Qualcomm! They would, you know.

    Then expect to pay a lot more for your "4G" CDMA handset in the future.

  75. D. M

    I'd rather

    see HTC bought Nokia.

    Anyway, I said before, Nokia to use WP7 itself isn't that bad. What's bad is WP7 will be the primary OS. Nokia badly needs a quick fix, but a quick fix should never be its primary plan. Now MS pwnz Nokia.

  76. Andus McCoatover

    Didn't want to post again on this, but...made me snort.

    Helsingin Sanomat: (Newspaper - English version)

    "According to Elop, one reason why Nokia decided against joining the Android clan was the fact that Nokia’s massive sales figures would have made Android a completely superior operating platform compared to anything else. This would have had a detrimental effect on free competition."

    Errr?? D'ohhh? "Completely superior"? "Free competition"?


    Now, maybe I understand Microsoft's contrition completely. Or, maybe I'm getting "Elop's Syndrome". Somewhere I've got 2 pencils and a clean pair of underpants. "Wibble".

    And, like I said, Andrew O., there's meat on this bone.

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