Strong opinions, weakly held

Nokia falls in with Microsoft

Matt Drance bottom lines the Microsoft-Nokia “strategic partnership” with the following headline: “Microsoft Buys Nokia for $0B.”

I have absolutely no qualms about calling this new regime at Nokia a puppet government. This is far and away the most brilliant move of Ballmer’s tenure.

All the analysts are on the same page on this one — this is a huge coup for Microsoft. It’ll be interesting to see whether this deal turns out to be important in the long run. Can Nokia handsets running Windows Phone 7 carve out substantial market share somewhere between iPhone and Android? RIM seems to be having trouble, and is better positioned than Microsoft/Nokia.

Also relevant is Horace Dediu’s short history of Microsoft’s previous mobile partners.


  1. I can’t recall the last time I saw any Nokia phone. The BlackBerries I see are being replaced with Verizon iPhones. I’m interested to see if MS keeps Windows Phone 7 or drives at replacing it with an actual Windows derivative, as they seem inclined to do.

  2. I think Windows Phone is here to stay. It’s Microsoft’s last ditch effort to stay relevant in the consumer-focused mobile market against the onslaught of iOS and Android phones.

    Unfortunately, they’re late in the market, their first implementation is half-assed* (pardon my language) and they’re desperately in need of an injection of market share. Enter Nokia, who has the marketshare, especially anywhere but the US, but lacks a modern OS to compete (their hardware though is top notch, as Engadget and Gizmoodo reviews seem to suggest).

    I don’t see how mashing together two enormous monolithic companies with extremely divergent company cultures will help make them more nimble and competitive. Usually it takes years for them to figure out how to work together, during which time the more valuable people usually jump ship, leaving behind the less capable folks to manage the enormous task of trying to catch up to more nimble competitors.

    • As an owner of a Windows Phone (the htc HD7), I’ve been happy with some of the features (like the minimal UI, the superb keyboard), and really frustrated with others (confusing marketplace, lack of quality apps, no HTML5-browser, etc.). I really wish I had an iPhone instead.
  3. As Sherif mentioned, Nokia is really big in developing countries, but I wonder if the markets in those countries will be able to afford the higher cost of the upcoming Nokia/WM7 phones. Regardless, by my reading they are still at least a year behind iPhone and Android. They would need to do double-time over the next year just to break even. I’m not sure that’s possible.

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