COMMENT: The recent announcement that Nokia and Microsoft will work together in an effort to survive in the brutal world of tablets and smartphones has little chance of success.The recent announcement by Nokia and Microsoft that they will work together in an effort to survive in the brutal world of tablets and smartphones has little chance of success.
Both companies are desperate and both companies have already proved that have neither the technology, nor the marketing skills to convince consumers to go with them. Competing against Google and Apple is going to be tough. Both Apple & Google have proved that they are great thinkers whereas Microsoft today is more of a follower.
Apple & Google are also, great software developers which is what the tablet and Smartphone market is all about today.
Microsoft has lost their software edge and stand little chance of getting it back unless they can out innovate their competitors.
Their offerings are fat and clumsy while Apple and Google are delivering software breakthroughs and sleek new capabilities.
Newly anointed Nokia boss Stephen Elop a former Microsoft employee was desperate, he had stepped onto the bulkhead of a sinking ship and after sending out several SOS messages he suddenly found a glimmer of hope in the form of Microsoft who was also sinking in a rough sea of competitors who are determined to keep both Nokia and Microsoft under water.
His chosen lifebelt is the Windows Phone 7, a new smartphone operating system that has already been rejected by consumers despite a multimillion dollar marketing campaign around the world.
New market share numbers released last week reveal that Microsoft has gone from 80% share of the Smartphone market in 2007 to less than 4.5% in 2010. Between 2010 and January 2011 Microsoft saw their share of this market fall to 2.5% despite the release of their new Windows Phone 7 OS and a global marketing campaign.
Nokia said that they are moving from their ailing system Symbian – which still has a large chunk of the bottom end market, which Telstra said this week is fast moving to Android and Apple Smartphones not Windows based devices.
Why then, did Mr Elop not opt to go with Google’s Android, the operating system with momentum behind it? The Guardian newspaper said that perhaps he feels more comfortable with the culture of Microsoft, where he worked until joining Nokia.
The cruel verdict from analysts is that two turkeys don’t make an eagle and that you can’t fault Mr Elop for his audacity that did step onto a sinking ship and then shout help.
Speaking about the new partnership with Microsoft, Mr Elop said that “the game has changed from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems”.
“An ecosystem with Microsoft and Nokia has unrivalled scale around the globe,” he said.
Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer who was at the launch but remained relatively quiet said “Nokia and Microsoft working together can drive innovation that is at the boundary of hardware, software and services,” he said.
He said that Microsoft’s Bing will power Nokia’s search services, while Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.
The new strategy means Nokia’s existing smartphone operating systems will be gradually sidelined.
Symbian, which runs on most of the company’s current devices, will become a “franchise platform”, although the company expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in future.
“It is a transition from Symbian to Windows phone as our primary smartphone platform,” said Mr Elop.
There was no specific announcement about when the first Windows-powered Nokia phone will be available.
Mr Elop revealed that the firm did consider a tie-up with Google’s Android operating system. “We spent time with our colleagues at Google and explored the Google ecosystem but we felt we would have difficulty differentiating within that ecosystem,” he said.
It was also revealed that talks with Microsoft only began in November, illustrating how quickly the deal has been pushed through.