back to article What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Nokia’s new chairman says the company has an alternative strategy prepared, in case Microsoft’s new version of Windows Phone doesn’t live up to expectations. Except he won’t say what it is. Risto Siilasmaa made the comments last week to Finnish broadcaster YLE. Analysts have been getting nervous for some time, and Microsoft …


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  1. Nick Thompson

    "What third-party developers are supposed to do is not clear. Will all today's applications break? Will there be a legacy runtime?"

    Uh, what? Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8? Do you have information which suggests otherwise or are you trying to cause trouble?

    1. Jess

      Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

      1. What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?

      2. With Microsoft's track record, why would anyone believe that until it is released?

      Until the announcement that made the Lumia obsolete, many people were saying that WP8 would be available for them. I'm sure some claimed that information came from Microsoft.

      1. Spearchucker Jones

        Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

        Not sure what the big deal is either. Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either, which has what, 50% share of the Android estate?

        Oh wait, this is Microsoft, and Google is, like, soooo perfect innit.

        1. Avatar of They

          Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

          Point is something doesn't run on 4.0 that ran on 2.3 android and people complain but HTC just go, "Here is our new phone, but it, it is the Variation X."

          Nokia only have the Lumia, they no longer have the fanbase to immediatly hook up to their new phone. Because they have lied and shafted them so often in the past (me included with the N900)

          There isn't the app alternatives in winpho 7, the development culture of people changing their apps to suit the next gen because it is new and not very liked.

          The Nokia plan is based on one phone that seems to be a reasonable phone, but there is no rapid evolution or development of new phones, they seem content with peddling the same limited spec of a phone.

          What is interesting is that the massive upgrade in hardware requirements kind of kills off lumia and all those people on previous forums of the samsung galaxy saying you didn't need quad core. Well windows 8 seems to be wanting more and more power to work.

          So the lumia by default will become old and tired needing Nokia to come out with the next gen' of it.

          Like every other phone maker. Galaxy 1,2,3 the HTC desire, incredible, sensation and the iphone 1-4.

          Elop just needs to make that new Nokia phone and do what everyone else does to the blogosphere, offer the next model and apologise. Automatically putting him one step up from Jobs who never apologised. Hey he could even just slag off all those that put money into his product, worked for Jobs and Schmidt.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

            "What is interesting is that the massive upgrade in hardware requirements kind of kills off lumia and all those people on previous forums of the samsung galaxy saying you didn't need quad core. Well windows 8 seems to be wanting more and more power to work."

            Actually there have been Lumia 900's spotted with WP8-developper. So technically it IS possible to run WP8 on that hardware. Microsoft just need some fairytale to get customers dumb their perfectly good 1-year old phones for "the next best thing". And it seems advancement in cpu and gpu power is that fairytale.

            I've been screwed over with WM6.1 and WM6.5 so MSFT won't get my money no more. I don't forget and I don't forgive. That man's new charity business is funded with my (and billions of others) money.

            The problem is that an innocent company (Nokia) is in the fireline. Between MSFT-greed and customers rage and disgruntlement.

            But Mr. Gates would propably call it: collateral damage.

        2. Paul Shirley

          Re: Android apps have forward and backward compatibility

          Spearchucker Jones: "Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either!"

          ...there are vanishingly small numbers of apps targeting ICS (and surprisingly many that don't even require Android 2.x). And guess what, they will run perfectly happily until you try to actually call a specific ICS feature and its trivial to either catch the exception or check the platform before triggering one.

          My app compiles against 1.6, targets 1.5+, modifies it's behaviour for changed OS behaviour on 4.03+. Because I'm lazy I simply removed the 1 code line not supported in 1.5 rather than handle it at runtime. I fully expect the same apk to carry on running on Jelly Bean and Android 5.

          The WP7/WP8 compatibility is strictly one way and even that depends on recompilation, how well that works only Microsoft know.

          1. Spearchucker Jones

            Re: Android apps have... @Paul Shirley

            So you're suggesting that if I keep writing Windows Phone apps, but use the Mango (or even pre-Mango) tools I'll be ok? Because we know these run on Tango and Apollo (Windows 8).

            This must be a good strategy right, because that's how you write apps for Android that target everything from version 1.5/6 all the way through to Jellybean.

            Jesus, the circular logic Google apologists and fandroids will use to defend their little corner and shovel dirt onto anything that mentions Microsoft is... just crazy.

            Paul, you might just save yourself some time by using Phonegap. Your apps will be no less hobbled. And then maybe go learn something from

        3. David Hicks

          Re: ICS/Jellybean apps

          Actually, (and I'm just starting to experiment with android development) it appears that google supplies a support library that allows apps built against the latest APIs to work on platforms all the way back to ~1.6

          Not much of an issue there then really.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

          "Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either, which has what, 50% share of the Android estate?"

          But some (flagship-)phones WILL get the upgrade to ICS e.g. Sony XPeria NXT-range (if they don't come with ICS already). The Lumia's WON'T get the WP8 upgrade so it doesn't matter if WP7-apps will run on WP8. It's the WP8-apps we're worried about.

          And lets be honest. IF Wp8 comes to market THEN no developper will want to program for WP7 anymore. Not to mention how long will MSFT maintain the WP7 marketplace when WP8 is around? If I remember how quickly MSFT dismissed Windows Mobile 6.5 after Windows Phone came around then I fear the worst. And apparently I'm not the only one with those fears.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?

        Newer iOS apps don't run on older phones either. Even newer Mac apps don't run on older Macs. This isn't anything new.

      3. Nick Thompson

        Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

        "What good is that for Lumia owners if the converse isn't true?"

        The availability of WP8 doesn't stop people making WP7 apps. Until WP8 has a market share significantly bigger than WP7 expect most new apps to be WP7 based unless they actually require the new features.

        "Until the announcement that made the Lumia obsolete, many people were saying that WP8 would be available for them"

        Then many people wern't paying attention, MS said a long time ago that that WP8 would probably not be on existing hardware due to performance reasons. I've never seen anything official saying otherwise.

        The only things in WP8 which I'd particularly like in my lumia 710 is the new start screen, which is coming in 7.8, and better background multitasking for things like tracker apps (which I don't really see why they couldn't put into WP7, although I'm not holding my breath).

        Personally I feel the mistake was trying to build 'flagship' products based on WP7, I bought the 710 because it was cheap, lovely to use and has awesome UI performance compared to cheap androids. Paying 3x as much for a slightly different case and camera was always a bit dumb. WP8 by contrast supports multi-core, NFC, removable storage, higher res etc and is more suited to a high end phone.

      4. James 47

        Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

        Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

          Having totally missed the point try looking at it this way - how many apps sold today will run on a system that only can run Win 95?


          That is how many apps that will be sold next year for the (extremely small) Win Phone 7.x base.

          MS killed the platform to try again - that is how much they value their current customers..

        2. Richard Plinston

          Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

          > Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7

          More relevant is: could you run WM6.5 apps on WP7 ?

          And BTW, does that mean you have been wasting your life playing computer games for 17 years now ?

        3. Paul Shirley

          Re: Win7 cant even run all XP games

          James 47:"Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility."

          Considering how many XP games won't run on Win7 or run so badly it's not worth doing, MS aren't as good as you think.

          1. Sentient

            @Paul: Win7 cant even run all XP games

            My student projects which were using DX7 on Win 2K still run fine on Win7.

            Both at home and at work I never encountered an issue with backwardscompatability on MS unless it's about drivers.

            The other day I upgraded a windows 98 based db for a non profit to a Win 7 pc: no problems. (Well I had trouble transfering the software because the win98 pc didn't have an USB port and it's floppy drive was non functional.)

            So which games are you talking about actually?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft have said 100 times that windows phone 7.5 apps will work in in Windows 8?

          "Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility."

          You mean: "Considering I can run SOME Win95 games on Win7..."

          I tried carmageddon II. It wouldn't run same as Pro-pinball The web.

          Anyway, Windows Phone 8 is NOT the same as Windows 8. It "shares" the same code. But don't expect to run that doom.exe on that phone.

      5. CheesyTheClown

        Then it's a proper Nokia device

        I'm not sure if you know this, but Nokia is a telephone producer. I developed software along with Nokia for MANY telephones and often times, not even the developers could upgrade the OS without a JTAG cable and solder points.

        Microsoft never said that Windows 8 Phone would run on all existing hardware. They said it's pretty much a whole new OS from the ground up designed for multi-core processors.

        Nokia has been pretty consistent for years making sure that if there was a new feature... like a new ring tone (intentional exaggeration) you would need to buy a new phone.

        Nokia's business model (been on the inside) has always been, get this one shipped, make the next one. I still am utterly amazed there are still that many people stupid enough to keep falling for this over and over again.

        In case you don't know, Nokia is Suomi for "hahaha SUCKER!!!!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did they?

      I though they had said they would recompile all the WP7.x apps in the store so that they would run under the new, and totally different, kernel in WP8.

      Having to recompile and target two kernels/operating systems is a lot different from apps just running without any work.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      For the second time in a few years Microsoft has come out and said their current phone OS is dead and they are starting over.

      So Apple and Android move forward by evolution, MS moves forward by extinction - kill of the current platform and start over - maybe this time it will sell..

      This means just about every Win Phone developer stopped any effort on the dead platform and is concentrating on learning the new platform - again.

      And while Apple and Android move forward there is more then a big enough customer base to support continuing development on the older release - and the changes are not so drastic as MS approach so multi release development is possible.

      How many Win phone developers are going to chase the almost non existent Win7.x base?

      I sure hope you are not in charge of marketing or product development somewhere - you really do not have a clue how the real word works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clueless

        Perhaps prematurely killing Symbian and ignoring the N9's success wasn't such a good idea after all, eh Nokia?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia's hardware + Android + Pureview camera, please?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or same plus Harmattan. Or choice of either OS to be safe ;)

  3. AbortRetryFail

    Lagging behind

    The comment claiming that everyone else "lags some months behind El Reg" on reporting news did make me smile in the light of the fact that The Register was 24 hours behind everyone else on the "Hitchhiker shot while researching 'Kindness of America'" story and a full week behind everyone else on reporting on the sale of, and these are by no means isolated incidents.

    I'm not saying that you (the author) don't have your finger on the pulse and I'm not knocking the Reg, but it does seem to lag a day or two behind the mainstream media on mainstream tech stories.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear, Nokia

    You've left your crown jewels in the hands of a man called Risto. Next we'll be told that Plan B is a Palm with hair on it.

    1. Thomas 4
      IT Angle

      Re: Oh dear, Nokia

      Wait, wait, wait....Nokia had a Plan A?

      1. VeganVegan

        Re: Oh dear, Nokia

        Yes indeedy!

        It's called the Burning Platform.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear, Nokia

      Reminds me of Brian Blessed and the Palm Pilot ;)

  5. Miek

    "Nokia’s new chairman says the company has an alternative strategy prepared, in case Microsoft’s new version of Windows Phone doesn’t live up to expectations. Except he won’t say what it is." -- They will be filing for Bankruptcy, mystery solved!

  6. Joe K

    OS wars

    Maybe some people just want a phone that works well, that has a good contract, and couldn't give a monkeys about what OS it runs.

    What about those people?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OS wars

      Ultimately, the contract is down to the telco. As for your other too requirements; they do exist, at a price.

    2. 5.antiago

      Re: OS wars

      "What about those people?"

      The commenters on El Reg downvote those people

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plan B

    Nokia has a joint venture with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks, which provides telecommunications network equipment, solutions and services. It also offers Internet services including applications, games, music, maps, media and messaging through its Ovi platform. Those are (unexciting) options. Or it could go back to making footwear, and give Microsoft the boot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NSN as Plan B?


      Since their purchase of Motorola's mobile network business a couple of years ago, NSN has been hurting too. They're currently halfway through their process of eliminating 17,000 jobs from all parts of the company but mobile broadband.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      >> Nokia has a joint venture with Siemens, Nokia Siemens Networks

      a.k.a "the millstone" - quoth the Telegraph on their last round of bad news (including 17,000 layoffs)

      Nokia Siemens Networks has only recorded two profitable quarters since it was established in 2007, and is now facing increasing competition from Huawei, the Chinese telecoms company, and Ericsson AB.

      Plan B for your parachute failing to open isn't to deploy the sea anchor...

    3. RAMChYLD

      Re: Plan B

      Or it could be the reason Elop doesn't know the plan yet- only the investors- the plan is to stuff Elop into a giant shoe, put on a catapult, and have the investors scream "You're fired" at the top of their lungs before launching said shoe towards the ocean.

      And then, they'd just elect one of the investors as CEO. Hopefully one that's far more competent than Elop.

    4. mafoo

      "Back to the burning platform, the lifeboats are sinking!"


  8. Jess

    Actually let people buy the N9 and the Pureview 808?

    I know more people interested in those than a Lumia. (And that was before MS announced they were obsolete.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually let people buy the N9 and the Pureview 808?

      Damn straight.

  9. hewbass

    3rd Ecosystem?

    A point lots of people seem to conveniently forget is that the top three ecosystems only 18 months ago were:

    1. Nokia/Symbian

    2. Apple

    3. Android

    Now the Symbian position was almost certainly not sustainable because it was horrible to develop for, but there was also a nice migration route: Symbian -> Qt (with something else underneath. Like Meego, Maemo, Meltemi or even Symbian, but which nobody but the core OS and toolkit developers needed to worry about).

    Nokia themselves destroyed the possibility of there being a 3rd ecosystem that they could participate in.

    Windows Phone might one day be the third ecosystem, providing it can get past Bada, and doesn't get clobbered by Tizen, Firefox mobile, or more likely some Android derivative from China, but Nokia will have flushed themselves down the toilet long before then.

    There is also the very high risk that Nokia will take Windows Phone down the toilet with them: the other phone manufacturers will look at the experience of the worlds largest phone manufacturer deciding to switch to Windows phone and then imploding within 18 months, and conclude they don't want to touch WP with a barge pole.

  10. g e

    I think the new plan is...

    ... based from news I read elsewhere, the plan might be to sue Google over patents under (presumably) Microsoft's background puppeteering instructions.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: I think the new plan is...

      Yep. I can see that happening too - Nokia as the new SCO.

    2. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: I think the new plan is...

      I don't know why they haven't done this before. Remember, Nokia get money from >Apple< with their patents.

    3. David Hicks

      Re: I think the new plan is...

      Yup, that's what I've been waiting to see - Nokia, armed with a portfolio of patents that actually do have some substance, from the late 90s and early 00s, decide to take the nucleur option and destroy the industry on their way down.

      I think it's a pretty real possibility that (because they're failing as an actual producer) they'll decide at some point to let the lawyers take the leash and make everyone else's life as hard as they possibly can. Except MS, of course.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Elop has fired so many talented people in his lust to snuggle deeper into Ballmer's lap that they've not got a huge number of options ahead of them. This is the problem when you outsource; you can do so much less yourself when you find you need to. So sadly a plan B is likely to involve yet more outsourcery.

    I would love them to revive Meego (as my N9 is just brilliant) but without the intellgent people left who made it in the first place I doubt they can. it is one of the traversities of the modern age that Elop was allowed to enact such a catastrophic strategy in the worst way possible.

    Don't forget you can email with suggestions, he answers his emails but don't expect anything but hubris in his replies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: capability

      Yes he fired a lot but made up for it by hiring and promoting a few of his MS cronies. Plan A by the board is to get acquired by MS, they only care about lining their pockets, and could care less about their workers.

      After spending years and tens of millions on Meego, then killing it in its third trimester, then doing the same to Meltimi, spells conspricy to be aquired by MS or incompetent leadership. They have chosen yet a third plan B and have wisely chosen it to fail even quicker then the past two.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Re: capability

      I'm just as helpful too - you can also contact me any time on

  12. EddieD

    They're doomed!

    I love Nokia, I think their reliable and functional devices did more than most to popularise mobile phones, but I think they're time is nigh.

    Tying with Microsoft was always a risky strategy, and the decisions the Microsoft have had have alienated a rapidly declining userbase, and I don't see anything that can help, no Plan B.

    Their returns for the next few months are liable to be close to zero - who, unless they get a free phone upgrade promise, will get a current generation phone that will be close to obselete and non-upgradeable, so the already threadbare bottom line will be below sustainable levels.

    It's a shame, it really is.

    1. hewbass

      Re: They're doomed!

      "Their returns for the next few months are liable to be close to zero"

      I think they'll be ecstatic if their returns are good enough to be close to zero!

    2. Two Sheds

      Re: They're doomed!

      "but I think they're time is nigh"

      An unusual use of an incorrect "they're" instead of "their" rather than the more usual other way round.

  13. SiempreTuna
    Thumb Down

    Android HAS to be Plan B ..

    Either that or the whole W8 thing is a cunning ruse to help Microsoft aquire Nokia for a song ..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android HAS to be Plan B ..

      No it doesn't, there are other options. They could license the BB10 OS. If RIM don't screw it up it should be a far superior OS than IOS or Android given it's QNX core.

      Or they just evolve the series 40, move up to Java ME 7 when it's ready and put series 40 software on smartphone caliber hardware.

      1. Rob Dobs

        Re: Android HAS to be Plan B ..

        Web OS is now free, and HP is just releasing the GUI for the pad version as opensource as well!!!

    2. Steve Evans

      Re: Android HAS to be Plan B ..

      Not that cunning. Everyone has been saying that since Elop arrived!

  14. Antony Riley
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft Windows Image Problem.

    I don't think it matters if Windows 8 isn't great, I think the problem is that the requirements of a mobile phone's operating system are very different to that of a desktop PC. Reliability is far more important, everybody hates their phones being unreliable. Windows might be a associated with a lot of things but reliability certainly isn't one of them (to the general public, I'm ignoring IT professionals which have windows 7 PCs which never crash, because they know how to use a computer).

    As far as Nokia goes, I think they've already signed over their soul to satan. Which is a shame, as far as their brand goes, at least outside of the US, they shouldn't be in this mess.

    They've suffered from no good overall strategy for a long time, and unfortunately when they did get around to choosing a single strategy it was too late and they chose the wrong one. Maybe they have some sort of backup plan, but I think I agree with the article that they've burnt all their bridges and the chairman is selling snake oil.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Microsoft Windows Image Problem.

      > Windows might be a associated with a lot of things but reliability certainly isn't one of them ...

      Windows 8 has been said to be a rewrite of the kernel to make it modular. Any release will be a beta until SP2.

      Windows RT is not only based on that rewritten kernel, but is on hardware and configurations (dual core SoCs) that have not been used by Microsoft before. This will be a double beta of both the kernel and of the implementation.

      Windows Phone 8 is apparently a derivative of Windows RT and will be running on the dual core SoCs plus will have phone and other features distinct from RT and different than WP7. A triple beta.

  15. squilookle

    I like the look of these new Nokia phones and of WP7, and when my contract is up I will consider them. I will also consider a few different Androids, as I have been an Android user since the G1 and I'm happyh with it, but I owe my loyalty to noone and will jump platform if it benefits me.

    So I will weigh up things like whether or not the phone does everything I need, battery life, cost etc. The lack of certainty over the future of the phone and software will be a mark against it, but we'll see what happens.

    I have some time left yet, so the W8 phones might be out by then. However, my point is that I think MS have made a mistake in leaving too many unanswered questions about the future, at a time they need users, app developers and hardware makers to invest in their platform. I'd like to see a choice of more than 2 mainstream platforms, whatever anyone thinks of Windows.

    1. hewbass

      I have a friend (a former Nokia and Symbian employee) who claims that WP on Lumia is the best mobile phone experience he has ever had.

      On the other hand I won't have one because I don't like the idea that MS get to dictate what I can use my device for and what I can attach it to (I have a bunch of other kit and services that adhere to open standards that MS will not support).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Plan A) Windows Phone 7

    Plan B) Windows Phone 7.5

    Plan C) Windows Phone 8

    Plan D) Windows Phone do the Fandango

    Plan E) Be bought by Microsoft

    1. 27escape

      Re: Obvious

      your plan E should be plan B

      MS buys Nokia keeps patents dumps everything else, Elop gets a big payrise and welcome back party (oh you never really left?)

  17. Chris Miller

    Secret plan

    Does it involve seizing his golden parachute and crying 'Geronimo!'?

  18. petur

    Obvious to me

    Of course Elop doesn't know plan B...

    Plan B is to dump Elop, get somebody sane as CEO and start hiring those maemo engineers back :)

    1. hewbass

      Re: Obvious to me

      Unfortunately it was the Nokia board who decided the WP strategy and appointed Elop to implement it.

      I hear rumours that the shareholders are all American hedge funds, so presumably from their view (where the success of Nokia was invisible to them, since by 2011 it was all in China and India, and not at all considered by US based web pundits) something drastic needed doing to save the company, such as partnering with the obvious safe hands of MS.

      Nobody got fired for partnering with MS. Well at least until now, although quite a few people have been made redundant or bankrupt. There's always a chance for someone to be first though, if the Nokia board manage to get their skates on and fire him before they are redundant or bankrupt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious to me

      And take a darned close look at the N9 to see why some folks were/are desperate to get it in markets where it was permitted to be sold ;)

    3. RAMChYLD
      Thumb Up

      Re: Obvious to me

      Heh, what I was hoping for too.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Nokia’s comeback has had everything: lots of press, good reviews, everything except sales"

    Because money can buy "lots of press, good reviews", but if your product is shit, then outside American (which always falls for "lots of press, good reviews"), you won't sell very much at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: "Nokia’s comeback has had everything: lots of press, good reviews, everything except sales"

      This is why everyone gave rave reviews to Windows ME, Microsoft Bob, Windows Mobile etc.

      The thought process of you, and people like you, is as follows:

      1. Is review of MSFT product bad?

      2. If yes, reviewer is clean. If no, reviewer is ONE OF THEM.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Nokia’s comeback has had everything: lots of press, good reviews, everything except sales"

      "your product is shit"

      Unfortunatly in the case of the Lumia 800 it is shit indeed. Although majority labeled the L800 as the best WP7-phone. It's bloody fragile, has a horrible pentile screen, crippled bluetooth stack, no proper local PC syncing. I think the N9 is a much better executed job while the Lumia 800 looks to me like a rush-job by crappy chinese Compal.

      Oh wait... it IS a rush-job done by crappy Chinese Compal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Nokia’s comeback has had everything: lots of press, good reviews, everything except sales"

        The lumia is fragile? There is a video on cnet of someone hammering a nail into a piece of wood, with the screen of the phone.

        Fragile? I think not.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their alternative strategy...

    ... Is to go bankrupt.

  21. Phoenix50

    Stand Aside...

    Bob Shitpeas / Barry Vistakin - can we get your take on this article ASAP so we can get on with discussing it rationally?


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stand Aside...

      What's to discuss?

      Windows Phone had already failed. The handful of users that were stupid enough to believe that Nokia and Microsoft would look afer them and give them a upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 and it's new app format had all be screwed over.

      The only Plan B is to let it quick with whatever you can get your hands on.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Stand Aside...

      Unfortunately I think it's too late now even for Android to save them. Microsoft raped them, then poisoned the wells so thoroughly that even if they were booted out, there's no way to turn round by recruiting the staff back, spending a fortune reviving their market image etc, before the cash runs out. This mysterious plan must be a firesale before bankruptcy.

    3. Miek

      Re: Stand Aside...

      Not heard much out of Dogged on this one? Any thoughts on a Plan B or is Plan A working just fine.

      Have we got an extra AC today?

  22. That Steve Guy

    Plan B

    Right now the only valid plan B is for Nokia to have secret talks to Google about joining the Android market in the event Win Phone 8 tanks.

    I truly cannot see anything else offering them a genuine lifeline than to stop putting all their eggs in the M$ basket.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The taking of Pelham 123

      Plan B is to enforce plan A!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plan B

      Oh please. Android is not the solution.

      If they go for Android then they'd still be paying MSFT tax. Just as e.g. Samsung, LG and HTC do.

      They had their own Lunix based OS (harmattan) which was very well executed. It had the potential to become the only real iOS killer and could bridge generic consumers and Linux-geeks.

      As for S40. That's a feature phone OS which was to be replaced by S^3. It had been on life-support for ages and is only resurrected because Nokia's agreement with Microsoft forbids them to persue another smartphone OS for the next 3 years. Nokia is tied with chains to MSFT until at least late 2013 or early 2014. All this "plan B" stuff is nonsense.

  23. hmmm

    Plan A has failed

    I'd buy a Nokia Android. It would at least keep the company alive while they indulged Elop's fantasy about the MS ecosystem. Nokia should then look at Amazon for inspiration, and create their own Android ecosystem until such time as the MS-ites are forced out.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia's Plan B

    I could get in trouble for leaking this, but the plan involves a really good Windows Phone 7-styled Android launcher. We'll just release a firmware update and pretend it is from Microsoft.

    If that doesn't work we'll just bump the version number up in Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 7 drop and claim it is a new version.

    You didn't hear that from me.

  25. Julian Taylor

    The Osborne Effect

    Elop's strategy, like MSFT, has always been to deal with bad news by releasing news of an, often mythical, hot new product that will reverse the company's fortunes, save the planet, smash the evil empire of Infinity Loop. This is known as the Osborne Effect (after Osborne computers, not Ozzy) and he seems to have done this a lot in the past (Juniper etc)

    Mind you, it could be a lot worse. Imagine if Elop decides that the best way out of Nokia's crisis is a merger with RIM?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS will buy them (or partially)

    The moment the share price props low enough or when Nokia have burnt all their cash and are close to collapse MS will step in and buy the patent portfolio then use it in the usual MS way.

    I see no way out for Nokia as the Chinese manufactures will crush them.

    Stephen Elop should do the decent thing and walk the plank into shark infested waters for being the most incompetent captain since Francesco Schettino, he broke both the Osbourne and Ratner rules of no-no business practice simultaneously.

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: MS will buy them (or partially)

      How low?

      US$2.13 at the moment.

      Next quarter will be even more dire than this past quarter, so expect the market to factor that in the price soon. NOK will then be a delisting candidate, and will be forced to go OTC, which probably means MS steps in gets them for nothing, which was always Plan A IMHO.

      1. Philip Lewis

        Re: MS will buy them (or partially)

        US$2.02 and in freefall

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: MS will buy them (or partially)

          US$1.84 and another 4%+ waxed today.

          Looks like it will be OTC for NOK quite soon.

  27. AbortRetryFail

    Plan B

    I think Nokia's Plan B is to release a series of critically-acclaimed Hip hop / acoustic / soul / rap songs and... oh, wait. Sorry. Got confused there.

  28. Furbian

    Do 'customers' actaully matter here?

    MS and Nokia appeared to have developed a mind set where ditching platforms, switching to new ones when they 'think' it's a good idea, and last but not least even selling phones that they admit are technically obsolete?

    ..and I thought Apple were arrogant! True my old iPhone 3g is no longer updated after iOS 4.2, but it's also over three years old. Android phones now have an ecosystem where people are in a state of near frenzy waiting for the latest updates to be released for their phones.

    Yet against all this the only Windows phones out there are already a dead end for updates (bar minor tweaks). No doubt Windows 8 phones will arrive with great fanfare and a major selling point encouraging people to get one will be what runs on them and not on Windows 7.5 (maybe 7.99 at the time) phones. If they were going to make sure that everything that runs on a Windows 8 phone is backwards compatible with 7.5, it would make them a little pointless as upgrades or new devices wouldn't it? Such assurances are worthless anyway, they did the same with the Xbox, offered support on the Xbox 360 for it's games, and one day decided that after improving the software emulator a few times, that they were not going to bother with it any more. A good number of Xbox titles I have were wasted as a result.

    So secret Plan B? I'm just not interested.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a simple, two-part plan

    1: Buy RIM

    2: Pin remaining hopes on Blackberry 10

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a simple, two-part plan

      1. Collect RIM.

      2. [???]

      3. Losses!

  30. J. R. Hartley

    It's obvious:

    Plan B - see Nortel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's obvious:

      They didn''t use protection either?

  31. Gaja Sutra

    S40 can be plan B

    Currently Nokia has discarded all work on Qt, but support clearly and publicly two types of development: Windows Phone AND Java on S40. I think Oracle and Nokia are working together for improving Java on S40 (cf. not really advertised change of major version number in Java Runtime for S40, even if changes for developers seems currently small). The enemy of my enemy is my friend (and we can tell that Nokia and Oracle clearly share Google as enemy).

    Nokia Asha hardware is clearly fastly improving (311 has capacitive touch screen, WiFi, network and/or WiFi positioning, etc for less than 92€ without VAT). It has all the features used by many smartphones users for a quarter of price of many smartphones (Its bigger feature lacking is probably integrated GPS positioning).

    Oracle Java and JavaFX software is clearly improving technologically and need devices to be deployed. Developers on S40 already use Java (MIDP, etc.) and a more friendly JavaSE-like API will be very good path for evolving. JavaFX 2.2 (to be released probably this month) add support of touch screen and support of screen size even in QVGA size (see commits in OpenJFX project at OpenJDK). Do you know many devices in 320x240 pixels currently, except small and low-priced phones?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: S40 can be plan B

      Yeah right,

      I can get an Ascend G300 for £100 that blows that POS Asha out of the water.

      1. Gaja Sutra

        Re: S40 can be plan B

        Mostly yes except some points.

        Nokia is sometimes better than Android, when you don't want 3G subscription then you don't have always data. But Android make progress to support deconnected mode (I dislike always connected mode).

        Nokia is slow for updates, but has approximately two years of support for its devices. Android support is frequently worse.

        This Android has more features, but clearly less autonomy: it is always the same choice between features and autonomy (RAM need energy even when not used, bigger display screen need more energy).

        NB: My personal choice for features/autonomy would probably be between Asha and Ascend, and near Ascend. But my choice of support would be more Nokia than Huawei. Happily, I have a smartphone since 18 months, and i will not buy another before many months, then I will wait and see in marvelous world of phones (knowing that when I will need to buy a next smartphone for replacing current, it will probably be at less than 100€).

        NB: With Swype keyboard, Wi-Fi, GPS with maps usable offline (even OpenStreetMap), EPUB reader and some others applications, I am happy (phone capability is probably not strictly necessary).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: S40 can be plan B

          ICS is coming to the Ascend and you can root it putting what ever you want on.

          The way Nokia is going you'll be lucky to have them around to give you 12 months support let alone 2 years.

  32. Chris 171

    Heres hoping its Symbian....

    Still can't figure out whats supposedly so badly wrong with it.

    I can do more with my N8 than any other smartphone & its over a year old!

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Heres hoping its Symbian....

      But does it do the very latest mode10.0 shite, like the ability to pay for things you didn't even know you wanted simply by looking at them out of the corner of eye or being able to see all the people in the pub, what their favourite colour is and which of them has the most up to date fart app.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heres hoping its Symbian....

      Most Symbian expertise is currently being 'knowledge transferred' to Accenture teams in India and China (there might be a little bit left in Finland). I don't think chipset manufacturers are willing to spend money on developing for it any longer either. One manufacturer insisted on outsourcing (ironically from India to the UK) its multimedia chipset work to Accenture so its own engineers could ramp up on WP7.

      Symbian is dead. Even if there was a glimmer of light I doubt maany of the original engineers would work for Nokia or Accenture again. Bridges burned.

  33. Steve Crook

    It's all terribly reassuring

    There is one good thing in the Nokia train crash, in that it proves that no matter how big the company, no matter how dominant it might be in its chosen market place or how much cash it has to hand, it's still possible to fuck it up to the point of no return.

    The problem pit is alive and well in the corporate multinational. Hooray.

  34. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Plan B?

    You can't keep changing your OS like musical chairs. Their apps which make them stand out, like the Maps Suite on Symbian is a shade of its former self on Windows Phone and they'd need to re-do their aps and all their server side stuff again (e.g. the online store).

    The only way they can go is row back to Symbian/Maemo/QT. If they start doing nonsense like licensing WebOS/BB 10/Android they're going to spend another year or two re-arranging the deckchairs while Titanic sinks.

    What they can do is put a Dalvik interpreter on Maemo, port everything's not already running under QT to QT so they're not painted into this corner again, and get the damn thing out there.

  35. Steve Evans

    Plan B

    Would, implosion, liquidate assets and switching the lights off for good count as an "alternative strategy"?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sue Google?

    Isn't that their plan? Claim that Google/ASUS haven't licensed some of their patented technology and then sue them for it?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Plans

    A: Upgrade to an 808 Pureview when my contract runs out in a few months; or

    B: stick with my N8 until it dies on me, or can no longer connect to the services I currently access with it.

    I am really not looking forward to finding the ultimate replacement for either of these. Maybe it'll be a featurephone and a decent compact camera.

    Elop should join the ignominious ranks of the likes of Osborne and Ratner. It's the least he deserves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Plans

      Unfortunately Symbian phones are the ONLY ones that are capable of proper 2-way call recording (with 3rd party apps even automatically). This is an absolute necessity for me since more and more countries ban cellphone and driving.

      There used to be some featurephones like e.g. SE K750i, which could also (manually) record calls but Sony only makes those crappy android phones. Sure, they have bravia this and that but that one feature that they used to have on their normal phones for ages is simply gone. I hate this! All those new phones are only good for surfing the web and that stupid facebook-twitter crap. But as a phone; they sound lousy and lack this one important feature.

      So I'll either stick with my current Nokia 701 or "upgrade" to Nokia's last Flagship.

      I have no choice :-(

  38. Wang N Staines

    Plan B

    Can't Nokia skin the w7.5 to look like w8?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plan B

      1) No. Only MSFT can do that. Remeber WP7/8 is a MSFT OS not a Nokia OS.

      2) cosmetic upgrades have been promised by MSFT themselves as WP7.8. So there's no need for "Nokia" to do that. Unfortunatly it's not because it LOOKS like WP8 that it can RUN WP8-apps.

      Nokia could however 'skin' Symbian or Meego/harmattan to look like WP7.x (with the legal problems associated) but why would you do that? You go for either Symbian or Harmattan because of their unique look and feel. Besides It's not because you LOOK like WP8 that you can run WP8-apps.

      And that's the sore point here.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plan B

      They're doing that... it's called WP 7.8.

      But why would you want 4 columns of Metro tiles on your phone, or even the Metro UI at all?

      It's disgusting.

  39. Mike Brown

    what i dont understand.... that if we can all see the issues and problems, why cant the nokia board? They must realise that by burning all thier platforms, and relaying on MS to save there skins is a huge gamble, that looks more and more unlikely to work. Everyone also warned at the time this wouldnt work. SO why are they pressing ahead with this? What do they know that we dont? Have the board got a secret arrangemtn with MS; when MS buy nokia they all get a big fat bonus and kushy MS job? Does Elop have some sort of jedi hold over these people? DO they all have shares in apple/google?

    Nokia seem to be trying to fail. And they are doing it spectacularly.

    Whats going on?

    1. Manu T

      Re: what i dont understand....

      "Whats going on?"

      Ask Scully and Mulder ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: what i dont understand....

        *whistles X-Files theme*

  40. gurmit

    do you think it would have been different if he choose Android instead of MS, and kept maemo / meego going. YES i think, i for one would have bought a nokia (like N9) with android. I think elop failed to factor in that a lot of people detest MS, since we've had to put up with their desktop software for too many years. Any chance a consumer can choose something other than Windows, then they will, human nature to like something different. He did the right thing with Symbian, but should not have not made that public (very BAD). Seems to me somone at the helm should know basic common sense like that. He did the right thing with aquiring smarterphone, since s40 was a mess. seems to me that elop is somone who wants success but makes mistakes, he's good and bad if that makes sense. maybe the MS deal was too good to turn down, don't forget MS paid nokia to adopt it. i fear the worst for nokia since people won't move from android or ios, since they've already has their MS experince for past 20 or so years, your flogging a dead horse with that. people are not too fussed by a super dooper camera that makes the phone thicker. its hard to see what a good plan b is now.

  41. gaz 7

    Relaunch Maemo

    Wont happen of course, as Nokia have dumped most of the Devs.

    Just switched from Maemo to Android, and Maemo is the better OS in so many ways. yes it has rough edges, but better than Android even ICS.

    Other than that Nokia's first step would be to fire the Oaf that is Elop - in any other world he'd be a banker!

  42. Guillermo Lo Coco

    Nokia will have a chance in me only if they make it with Android.

    Nokia will have a chance in me only if they make it with Android.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Nokia will have a chance in me only if they make it with Android.

      So would I - I'd buy a Nokia Android handset in a shot, and no doubt enthusiastically praise it to anyone I could. Whereas in reality, the NoWin partnership is what created me.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their alternative strategy...

    A bottle of Whiskey and a shotgun.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Meego + ACL is the way to

    I have always said (well for a year or two at least) that MeeGo + support for Android apps (whether officially or inofficially supported by Nokia) is the best option for Nokia at this time. And I believe so more than ever. Leaving the Intel partnership was also a mistake at the hardware side, with every indication that Intel's Atom processors will overturn ARM competitors in performance/watt either as soon as at 22nm (2013) or at 14nm (2014). That could have provided Nokia with differentiation at the SoC level.

    I do not count among those who think that Android would be a good option for Nokia. But Windows Phone is clearly a disaster.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeah nit whats the hardware spec

    i find it most telling that all the reply's here have all stressed the look and feel of the OS on all these noka devices NOT One has mentioned that all these devices from a hardware POV are not fit for use in 2012/13 ,

    sure you can try and make the case that end users do not care about the hardware inside, only its style and options to get on the net, but that ignores the simple fact that without a reasonable base hardware in these devices there's not much hope to provide modern software updates etc, and today people even if they don't realize it are looking to buy fastest dual and quad ARM cortex devices.

    the lesson being you can always try and fudge some kind of software update to provide new options for the users, but if the hardware crap running single core and slow dual cores then your screwed, there's a very basic reason MS have been hammering up the mantra about the original cortex A8/9 ARM devices need to get better hardware for 2 years now since they announced the W8,

    the implications being MS meant the current line of Nokia devices now and in the near future coming down the line at the time that will be on sale, ask yourself the question if Nokia provided a range lets say 5 devices for argument of nothing but Cortex "quad core" 1,2 to 1,7 Ghz 1gig to 2gig ram with dual/multi boot MS ARM windows and linux/Android/other Nokia OS then would you look at it and really consider them, can/will the Nokia board and investors see the value of pay now in a better minimum base Quad hardware and base QHD screens etc and make it happen by late 2012/early 2013 at a good price and

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: yeah nit whats the hardware spec

      With Symbian and to some extent MeeGo they don't need the latest quad core phones that burn holes in your pocket, they can get the same performance out of slower and cheaper hardware. Of course, if you buy your phone looking at the spec sheet then yes, Nokia's hardware always comes out looking worse, unless it's the camera.

      With WP multiple cores are simply unsupported, however needed they may be.

  46. sisk

    What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

    Easy. Bankruptcy or selling the company. If Windows 8 flops they're going to be out of all other options.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

      Do a Lenovo, of course! Sell themselves to ZTE or Huawei but under a non-destructive partnership.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

        If You think like an exec, instead of a tech, then obviously plan B is:

        Quietly find a buyer.

        Once deal is set, announce a "merger".

        Board members get pensions/positions in new "merged" company.

        Stockholders get stock in new company for Nokia stock and gain a few cents.

        After a year, announce retirement of entire Nokia line of products/services/lable.

        Redundant execs get golden parachutes, grunts get the door.

        Stock in "merged" company (which had been slipping since the merger) gets a boost at the news.

        See? A perfectly viable plan that keeps the stockholders happy, and enrichs the current board members!

        What about the products you ask? Don't be naivé! This is business, not a factory line!

  47. GKLR

    Plan B: Firefox?

    If Windows 8 is a lemon, or since it is from bloatware central an orchid of lemon trees, maybe Nokia should beg Mozilla to let them run Firefox OS. It would probably run better on more reasonable hardware; it has a developer community (something Nokia has never gotten right) and would probably come at the right price - free.

    On the other hand Nokia could go back to selling timber and gum boots.....

  48. Tinker Tailor Soldier

    SMP and the WinCE kernel

    "Plan B is for an interim, Windows Phone Classic (aka 7.99999) to take advantage of multicore processors and (perhaps) higher resolution screens."

    Oh Joy, yet another author that doesn't understand that the WinCE kernel can't do SMP and that was the whole point of moving to a shared kernel.

  49. Magnus_Pym

    Symbian dead?

    In case no-one has noticed Nokia is actually Launching a new symbian phone. It looks quite good too.

    1. RegReaderInLancs

      Re: Symbian dead?

      The 808 PureView is being released on the Symbian platform simply because WP 7.5 cannot support the imaging technology. WP 8 will, in theory, which means that there should be some WP PureView phones in the future.

      I wish Nokia hadn't got rid of the MeeGo dev team as it's a great O/S. A MeeGo/PureView device would be a success, I'm sure.

      I've always had a soft spot for Symbian as well. One of my all-time faves is the E7.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real secret Plan B of Nokia, revealed

    Sacking Stephen Elop.

    Of course, nobody tell this to Mr Elop!

  51. Jay 2

    Re-inventing the wheel. Again.

    The only way Microsoft and Nokia is going to get out of this is to stick with Windows 8 and whatever hardware platform it comes on, and then try expanding on it. This is opposed to pressing the reset button and almost starting from scratch every other model/year.

    Generally (I know there are exceptions) if you buy a newish smartphone nowadays be it iOS or Android then it should run the next OS revision (any if you're lucky maybe the one after that too).

    Or to put it another way. Changing the wheels every so often doesn't help the momentum...

    1. N13L5

      Re: Re-inventing the wheel. Again.

      Microsoft has enough cash to keep pressing the reset button, but that will either kill Nokia, or result in Microsoft owning Nokia soonish.

      Maybe the latter was the plan anyways.

  52. N13L5

    Nokia should let us install the OS of our choice without voiding warranty

    I can install any OS I want on my PC.

    Why do I have to have retards like Elop tell me what OS I must run on my phone?

    So Nokia gave up making their own OS.. fine.

    Just put all your engineers to making the needed hardware drivers for Meego, Android and Symbian. Put a small MicroSD card with a polished installer in the box, that lets you choose the one you want when you turn it on for the first time.

    I think Nokia couldn't create a stronger sales argument than that for themselves. OS agnostic, freedom to run what each user feels comfortable with. Make source code available, the whole world will improve your phones at no cost to you, Nokia. Be the anti control freak company, just solve people's problems and sell phones. You'll have a following of people who love you, that will grow until you too can go into content selling.

  53. Andus McCoatover

    Think I might have spotted the Plan B..

    Went past Nokia's office in Peltola (district of Oulu) a week or so ago. It used to be a home to both Nokia and NSN.

    Noticed the NSN sign had gone from the side of the building (they've relocated into one site in Oulu - well, two adjacent, actually)

    Stagger me, huge poster replacing it, featuring the N9....

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