back to article Microsoft inks Nokia deal with phones set to fly in 2012

The marriage between Microsoft and Nokia was today splashed in ink with the two companies signing a definitive deal for their 10-week-old strategic union. Under the new alliance, the two tech firms will build a number of Nokia Windows phones. The devices themselves are expected to ship in volume at some point in 2012, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've said it before...

    ...and I'll say it again. I believe this will be the death of Nokia and do damage to Microsoft as well.

    1. stranger

      Re: I've said it before...

      I keep wandering, what is the chances that Microsoft is doing to Nokia what it did to Sega.

      They will take the phone OS know-how from Nokia, and sale the improved OS to other phones!

      1. Jim Coleman


        Obviously you know something the Nokia board of directors don't. Quick! email them!

        Actually don't bother.

        1. David Beck

          I know something the Board didn't,

          what was going to happen to the Nokia share price once the deal was leaked/announced. Had they known I suspect they would have been far less quick off the mark to believe Elop. He certainly didn't tell them they were going to wake up a few weeks later 30% out of pocket on Nokia shares (8.45 EUR on 9 Feb, 5.975 EUR today). Has he actually bought any Nokia yet, or is he still holding MS?

      2. Bram

        Microsoft & Sega???

        Was there anything much between the two of them? I think Sega was [retty much down and out becuase Sony beat the sh!te out of them with the playstation and n64 mopped up the rest

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Don't agree

      I think this is great for Microsoft as Nokia have a lot of experience in making a good phone. Although they may struggle to produce a device with good battery life as the clock speed will have to increase massively to run WinMoPho7

      But it's not exactly good for Nokia, if WinMoPho7 fails to catch on they have no plan B.

      1. Jim Coleman


        After the problems Nokia have been having with Symbian, WP7 *IS* the Plan B.

    3. Mark Jan

      It's also been said court...

      Seven years ago, The Register reported this:

      Sendo accused Microsoft of maintaining a "secret plan... to plunder the small company of its proprietary information, technical expertise, market knowledge, customers and prospective customers... Microsoft gained Sendo's trust and confidence through false promises that Sendo would be its 'go-to-market-partner'."

      Now, just substitute Nokia for Sendo (or any other number of companies MS has shafted over the years). Nokia is already dead.

    4. Rex Alfie Lee

      Poor, poor Nokia...

      Who cares about Microsoft in this case?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bearing in mind...

    It took nearly 4 years to get the latest Symbian phones out, 1 year seems quite optimistic.

    That said, Nokia can reduce the amount of testing they do considerable (it's way over the top, but that's why Nokia phones work so well) - that's why it took 4 years. And I suppose the Windows OS is already 'finished' whilst the latest Symbian kit required the OS to be updated as well.

    Still, One year? I'm not holding my breath. Unless they buy in HW from a third party. Which will be crap compared with in house stuff.

    1. Rob Beard
      Thumb Down

      Nokia phones good? Nah!

      Sadly my experience of Nokia phones of late was been awful. We have quite a few where we work and we've had no end of returns of the Nokia C5-00 phone. In the past week we've had a couple fail, get replaced and then fail less than 24 hours later.

      It's quite possible that they're a bad batch, but over the past few months that we've been getting C5 phones lots of them are failing in various ways and means.

      It is a shame though, I remember when Nokia phones used to be great, now they just seem to be going down hill rapidly.


  3. Adam Trickett

    Bye, bye, Nokia

    Goodbye Nokia, it's been nice knowing you.

    Hello our new Android overlords..!

    1. Jim Coleman
      Gates Halo


      Bearing in mind the press are pretty much agreed WP7 has a far brighter future than Symbian ever did, I don't get your negativity.

      1. Lewis Mettler


        It is not that making a Microsoft phone is a bad idea.

        The bad idea is focusing entirely on one OS. Particularly one that has not proven itself in the marketplace.

        If you really just compete with Motorola, HTC and others making phones then you do not limit yourself to one solution. Particularly an unproven one. One with different economics. One with a company proven to abuse its partners and competitors.

        Nokia management is very poor. And it will likely mean the demise of Nokia itself.

        Of course, they could wake up and decide to put up an Android phone too. Should be easy enough to do. Then they could actually compete against the handset makers that cover all the bases and try to follow the market rather than dictate it.

        Elop still thinks he is employed by Microsoft. He is not. But, thinking so will ruin Nokia.

  4. Michael 36

    phones set to fly

    Is this to replace the flying car?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flying Nokia phones

      Have previously only been sighted in Naomi Campbell's household.

      It didn't end well.

  5. Jim Coleman
    Gates Halo


    Whichever way you look at it, whether you're an Apple, RIM, Windows Phone or Android fan, you have to agree that competition is great for the consumer - providing more choice, and keeping the mobile companies on their toes.

    I have no doubt that the millions of Nokia WP7 phones that will ship with the Mango/IE9 update, will spur the other OS makers to produce a browser that will beat IE9's HTML5 rendering speed, for example.

    1. DrXym


      I do think competition is a good thing for phones. I'm not so sure how the death of Symbian and one less phone OS represents more choice though. It's less choice with Nokia relegated to being just another WP7 OEM with limited scope to tailor the software experience.

      As for IE9's HTML5 performance I don't see how what it does on the desktop maps onto what it does on a handset. It may not even be the same codebase. Furthermore, the performance advantage isn't as massive or significant as claimed, e.g. Robert O'Callahan wrote a couple of decent pieces about it in comparison to Firefox. Potted summary being that IE9 did better than Firefox in some tests, and in those cases the regressions in Firefox could be fixed relatively simply or IE was "cheating", e.g. by using JS timers that fired faster than minimum value set by the spec

      1. dogged

        IE9 Mobile

        was demo'd at MIX and proved to be scarily faster than browsers on Android and iOS, mostly due to the hardware acceleration built into the browser.

        I think that's what he meant. Not desktop.

      2. Jim Coleman

        Soooo wrong.

        Right, let's look at the ways in which you are wrong...

        1. The death of Symbian, and Nokia taking on WP7 represents greater choice because Symbian was never seen as a competitor for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. WP7, combined with Nokia's muscle, is a competitor, hence there is now greater choice. It's a four-horse race, instead of a three-horse one.

        2. Regarding IE9, I'm talking about IE9 for WP7, not the desktop. At MIX 11 the Speed Reader HTML5 test was done on an iPhone, a Nexus S and a WP7 phone. The WP7 phone won. Oh and yes it is the same codebase as the desktop.

        There, corrected you. My pleasure.

        1. DrXym


          1) Your reasoning is bizarre. Symbian^3 was explicitly designed to power smart phones and there are models in production to prove it. Symbian^4 was in development until it was killed. It's absurd to say killing a smart phone OS somehow increases choice.

          2) It's highly unlikely to be the same codebase at all. It might share elements, just as webkit / gecko shares elements across platforms but the rendering code is likely to be totally different. As it is in Gecko / Webkit. As for hardware acceleration, it was a BS claim for IE to make on the desktop and it's a BS claim to make on a phone. Most of the time inadequacies in rendering speed in particular tests usually have little to do with the render speed and more to do with other factors such as CSS rule matching, JS execution and so forth. I provided you links demonstrating those points.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Good for Industry?

    Or good for Microsoft shareholders?

    Microsoft will decimate Nokia until it's stock is worthless, buy up anything worthwhile and then cast them aside.

    Nokia R.I.P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I don't understand how a joint development agreement means MS will decimate Nokia. MS haven't bought Nokia, all they are doing is paying them to use the Win OS on their phones, and do some joint development work. Unless Elop really is a inside man of course.

      The same commentators here who complain about Symbian being out of date seem to complain now Nokia are trying to do something about it. They had three choices - WinPho, Android, or keep going their own way (Symbian, Meego etc). Their own way would take longer than they had available before things went really pear shaped. Android would have been a good choice, but then so may be WinPho. We just don't know yet.

      1. Lewis Mettler

        more than 3 choices

        It is false to assume that Nokia could only put out one phone and therefore must choose between Microsoft, Google or even Apple or RIM.

        If you are going to focus upon making handsets, you do not limit your choices to only one OS. That is just stupid. Who knows, Apple may decide to license iOS. Not likely, but it could happen.

        What is stupid is for Nokia to focus on Microsoft at the expense of Google. That thought is a Microsoft thought. Elop still thinks Microsoft butters his bread. But, it does not.

        The success of Nokia depends upon them to be present in all of the OS markets. Why restrict yourself? Lack of resources? Hardly. Many others in the industry with far fewer resouces will have not only Microsoft phones but Android as well. If Android does better, they succeed. If Microsoft does better, they still succeed. But, if Android does well Nokia dies off.

        Why focus upon one solution when you can cover the market. Others have done so. And others will continue to do so. They will remain alive and well as Nokia risks death. Likely death.

      2. Carol Orlowski

        Problem is...

        you trust Microsoft too much.

        They are putting top Microsoft execs in at the top levels in Nokia.... That's a little bit more than the phone agreeement..

  7. Anonymous Coward

    <- The face...

    ...says it all

  8. Kevin7


    Where is the demand for Windows powered, Nokia phones? My Spider-sense isn't tingling for this one...

    1. Jim Coleman

      Oh boy

      ...and because you don't want one, the rest of the world can't want one either, because everyone has the same mindset as you.

      1. Paul Shirley


        ...and because you want one, the rest of the world must want one as well, because everyone has the same mindset as you.

        ISO,Android,Symbian and WP7 all have their screaming fanbois. So that's the niche sales sorted. More interesting is the bulk of the public who really don't seem to give a shit what's running their phone, any story you tell them about WP7's supposed superiority will interest them less than how much it looks like an iPhone (not good for WP7), how cheap it is (Nokia+MS price gouging not good) or even what colour skins it has available!

        The magic lure of Microsoft branding doesn't work on normal people like it used to...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does he mean Microsoft or Nokia?

  10. Anomalous Cowlard


    From Microsoft's point of view, sure: if it works out = win, if it does not, at least they got rid of competition = win. The first might be win^2, as it includes the second and not only means that they have Nokia by the balls but also that this can be exploited to much profit.

  11. Levente Szileszky

    Two incompetent, horribly mismanaged group won't make one successful...

    ...and with VP Belfiore at helm at MS' phone division (they guy who sank the Windows Media Center project then turned Zune into a nonexistent product on the market) and this absolutely clueless beancounter Elop who never left any trace behind at any company he worked at previously (Microsoft, Adobe etc) the only explanation is that Elop will drive Nokia into ground as soon as possible, leaving to his MS masters to pick up Nokia's hardware and distribution for next to nothing.

    A former accountant, Elop, who with his first CEO move managed to wipe out over 30% of Nokia in as little as 4 days and a golden boy at MS who cannot screw up so hard to not to be promoted again what better duo you want if you are a Nokia shareholder, huh?

    1. Jim Coleman


      If I was a Nokia shareholder I'd be glad they were dumping the twisted abortion that is Symbian, and not adopting the awful crapgasm that is Android.

      1. Goat Jam
        Gates Halo


        For Jim to become a Nokia shareholder he would need to sell some of his MS shares first.

        But why bother? Nokia shares will be worthless in 2 years, Microsoft will buy up what is left of Nokia's rotting corpse and voila! Jim will own Nokia shares by proxy!

  12. NoneSuch Silver badge

    ...and now for something completely different.

    >I don't understand how a joint development agreement means MS will decimate Nokia

    Really? You don't see how contractually obliging your company to only use an OS which has an installed base you can count on your fingers is bad?

    You cannot see that you are then financially tied to its success (or failure) and you have little, if any control over the development of that software. You take what MS develops and are forced to make it work on your phones come what may.

    It was a dumb deal for Nokia; it has already cost their stock heavily and the slope on their stock price is still going down.

  13. messele


    What on earth is taking them until 2012 to launch the first models? At this rate by then there will be no room left. It's perhaps fitting that this announcement occurred on the same day that Nokia lost their crown of the world's largest handset manufacturer (by revenue) to Apple.

    I cannot help but think this is not going to help Nokia out of their dead-end alley at all but Microsoft will simply suck their life-force as they already have with so many others.

  14. Johnny Tremaine

    I'm pretty much with the consensus on this one:

    Nokia as a going concern won't be around in five years.

  15. Rex Alfie Lee

    Nokia's death knell...

    Nokia has sold themselves out & now become another nothing company that belongs to Microsoft. This will be their end & probably the dumbest decision they've ever made. They may have some money but they no longer have integrity...

  16. Rex Alfie Lee

    Microsoft's OS...

    The only way M$ can sell their phone is to give something away with it. Nobody really wants it & the way it functions; without Copy/Paste & state recording of every thread so that any new program is the only one running means that yes it'll be quick, "relatively" but it also means when it craps itself as all OSes do & M$ does this better than most, this state recording may or may not work.

    Their first update managed to permanently brick some phones & others, read most, needed to be reset to the original settings. With most people that would mean a trip into the sales & service centre to get it fixed. On still other phones the update just didn't work. Good job Microsoft, business as usual.

    I wonder if M$ will continue to try & buy customers with their crap. When they crash & burn I'll be one of the first laughing evilly...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Win phone has cut and paste and it does multi-task.

      The phones that were 'bricked' by the first update were brought back from a factory-reset and this was only a tiny amount of the 10% of one model of one manufacturer's phones which had a problem. No other phones were caused any troubles by the first update. I have not heard of a single problem with the second update.

  17. bamalam
    Gates Horns

    Bye bye Nokia

    It's Sendo all over again. This will be disastrous for Nokia. They now have no control over their future unless they realize their mistake and go with MeeGo.

  18. Funky Chicken

    Perhaps Nokia is being smarter than anyone's giving them credit for.


    1) They're getting a large wedge of cash from MS, which will presumably pay for the development of the more advanced hardware that WP7 needs.

    2) They pay a per handset license for WP7, not a huge up front development cost. If the market is lukewarm to them, or MS don't improve the OS enough, they don't lose much.

    3) They've promised "disruptive technologies" (which everyone seems to have forgotten). Suppose that's Qt on Android and iOS, in addition to present and forthcoming Symbian/MeeGo units? That would change the whole game. It would also explain why they've divested only the commercial/licensing arm of Qt, while retaining its ownership, developers and roadmap, and are continuing to develop it for Symbian, while also revamping its UI (its only actual weakness).

    It could well be that the whole MS "desperate gamble" is actually a win-win. If the W7 handsets sell, they win. If they don't, they have a competitive Symbian (hell, do some Apple marketing and call it "CuteOS" - all that matters is that it runs Qt under and atop a sexy UI) with an industry-wide programming API that they own, competitive hardware that MS effectively paid them to develop, and legendary Nokia build quality.

    If such a thing pans out, Nokia could end up doing to MS, in the mobile space, what everyone thinks MS is planning to do to Nokia.

    I'd quite like to see that.

    1. Rex Alfie Lee
      Dead Vulture

      Nokia has no failure alternative...

      Nokia are dumping QT, well trying to sell it. They have also already dumped MeeGo & that will mean that the developers that only do MeeGo will go. They have no reliable alternative now that they've dumped this platform. To move to Android now when most Android hardware has become as reliable as Nokia of old leaves Nokia hanging out to dry. They can't catch up. The board have made a stupid mistake & Nokia wouldn't have needed the money as they still account for the largest share of non-smartphone sales in the world.

      Since the world is moving to smartphones in a big way & Nokia had already a pathway in this arena which they've dumped as well, they have this reliance on Microsoft, a monopolising company that distorts every business alliance they've ever had. Problem here is that no-one really wants Microsoft in the mobile arena because they're just not good at developing progressive technology. They bought everything they ever had.

      Nokia are screwed...

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