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Can Nokia Windows be a smartphone contender?

Rory Cellan-Jones | 16:32 UK time, Friday, 11 February 2011

So what do we think of today's love-in between two giants of the technology world? A marriage of excellent hardware and the latest and best mobile operating system which together will produce world-beating phones? Or, as one cynic put it, two turkeys coming together, and failing to produce an eagle?

Rumours of a deal between Microsoft and Nokia have been circulating for some days - but what was announced this morning went much further than many had expected. In effect, Nokia is handing over its future - in smartphones at least - to Microsoft and Windows Phone 7.

That means bye-bye Symbian which will be allowed to wither on the vine. The loudest laugh at this morning's news conference came when one journalist quizzing the two Steves, Ballmer and Elop, described his publication - "All About Symbian".

It's amazing how quickly Nokia's Symbian handsets have gone from being the hottest phone you could own, as the N95 once was, to "the phone your dad has" in the words of the analyst Ben Wood. So can Nokia Windows really become the third horse in the race, giving Apple and Android a run for their money as Stephen Elop claimed when I sat down with him and Steve Ballmer today?

Well it would be an achievement even if it overtook the Blackberry maker RIM, written out of the race by Mr Elop, and let's not forget that HP is also staking a claim to be a big player, with its new WebOS phones.

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The two partners each bring something the other needs to this marriage. Nokia does know plenty about building great hardware - its N8 was a top-drawer piece of kit, with one of the best cameras you could find on a phone, but let down once again by Symbian. The Finnish firm also has long-standing relations with the big network operators and a residue of goodwill, in Europe at least.

Microsoft contributes rather less. After years of underwhelming Windows mobiles, with software that felt like a bad day on a PC desktop, its latest operating system has proved a refreshing change, even winning the approval of Stephen Fry. But, despite the good reviews, Windows Phone 7 has so far made little impact on consumers. All we know is that around two million handsets have been delivered to shops but not how many have been taken home.

Microsoft has been clear that this is a non-exclusive agreement with Nokia, so other manufacturers will still be making Windows phones. How keen the likes of HTC will be to do that when all Microsoft's attention will be on its new buddy's phones is not clear.

In theory, marrying some of the great hardware expertise of the Finnish company which invented the smartphone with the software skills of a business with extraordinary research firepower at its disposal should be a no-brainer.

But both firms will need to show that they can move faster. Stephen Elop, in that infamous "burning platform" memo, worried about the slow pace of innovation at Nokia. And, while Windows Phone 7 was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last February, it did not hit the shops until October.

This year's mobile phone industry beanfeast gets underway in Barcelona on Monday, and I will be trying to keep up with the flood of announcements of new handsets. The rest of the industry has been watching today's events with fascination - but with no word on when the first fruits of the marriage will be unveiled, Nokia Windows' rivals will be intent on galloping off into the distance.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    As a developer this is music to my ears. I have developed websites, desktop and server applications for years using the .Net framework and C# language. The only thing stopping me developing for the Win Phone 7 was uncertainty of the platform going forward. This (in my eyes) makes things a lot more promising because of the commitment made by both companies to make it work. Nokia need to make it work for core business reasons. MS need it to work because they are investing millions in Nokia subscribing to their framework.

    I looked recently at replacing my iPhone 3GS and didn't want another iPhone due to various reasons (iTunes!). Android doesn't appeal to me as I know users who have complained about the reliability, response times of the OS and problems with carrier updates. The only thing that stopped me changing to Win Phone 7 was that I was disappointed with the handsets on offer. The memory was limited at 8Gb and the HTC designs just didn't grab me. Pretty lame in fact. Moving from a 32Gb iPhone 3GS to a 8Gb HTC was just not going to happen.

    I know a few Win Phone 7 users who love the OS. Having used it briefly it really is intuitive. Nokia handsets have always been well built and feature rich from a spec point of view so I think this is really promising.

    If anyone thinks that MS is going to fail to make an impact here then they should think again. Sure, MS and Nokia might not take over the Smartphone market but I think they will take a pretty good chunk.

  • Comment number 2.

    I remember going for a job with Psion in their London HO around the time of the Psion 3c. They asked me what I thought about Microsoft CE which had just been announced and I said MS getting into handhelds would be a serious threat to Psion and sooner or later, they would have to take it on board. No way could a UK single-device take on Microsoft. They got the hump and I was shown the door.
    In the intervening period, byebye Psion handhelds and now byebye what their OS morphed into.
    Very sad but if I could spot that was a bit inevitable, surely they should have. Wish I'd got that job but look on the bright side - I'm still in business!

  • Comment number 3.

    I couldn't agree more with SuperG. As a C#.NET web/win developer this deal could give budding developers the confidence they need to spend the time and money creating content for the platform. This should bring the big Sat-Nav players to the platform and encourage hits from iPhone (Angry Birds, SIP clients, GOOGLE!) to create WP7 content.

    So long as Microsoft can keep control of the quality of the platform and minimise the variations on the phone specifications, both reasons Android is destined to fall apart at the seams, they will finally force Apple to market realities and at least charge reasonable rates for their iPhone.

    Elop was right on the money that Nokia STILL don't have a competitor to the iPhone which is inexcusable. Taking off-the-shelf parts, adding their expertise and adopting a common platform can only be good for both MS and Nokia.

  • Comment number 4.

  • Comment number 5.

    Unfortunately for Microsoft, they are getting a taste of their own medicine in the Smartphone race. For years, Microsoft has done all it can to convince consumers that computers are synonymous with Windows and especially pushed the idea that none of the perfectly descent Linux alternatives should even be considered. Now, having been too slow off the mark with Smartphones, Apple and Google between them have made Smartphones synonymous with iPhone and Android, and even though, by all accounts, Windows Phone 7 is a decent alternative, no-one's bothering to consider that. And unless they can produce something exceptional from a collaboration with Nokia, I don't see how this can change.

    Microsoft have a lot of reasons to worry. They are on the back foot with Smartphones and iPad and Android also look like they are ahead of Windows in the touch-screen tablet PC wars. If people start buying iPads on Andriod tablets instead of pre-installed Windows laptops, or more people start cottoning to to the fact that there are alternatives to Windows on all kinds of computers, Microsoft are going to be in big big trouble.

  • Comment number 6.

    SuperG and StephenC have hit the nail right on the head - there are a lot of C#/.NET developers out there, and the skills are directly transferable. And, as Robert Scoble has just been saying, it's all about the apps. So, with a pool of developers who can just wade in with not much of a learning curve, and the commitment from the 2 companies, I don't think it will be the write-off some people are expecting. Watch this space..

  • Comment number 7.

    In many ways this makes sense, strategically and tech wise for both companies.

    This will have a big impact in developing regions, where nokias are still the most popular. So in a way its a medium to long term curve ball by both players if they get the os to work and utilise the hardware.

    Guess its down to Apple to release an iPhone mini/lite, as ppl who can and want to pay for a iphone have to a great extent. So wheres their offering to the masses like nokia/ms and android are doing?

  • Comment number 8.

    As a Nokia user for 16 years this announcement did not surprise me. The Symbian OS has been poor at best when compared against the Nokia Series 40 (the original simple system). If the Microsoft system can do the things that Series 40 does with added features it will be great otherwise it will be another sparkly gadget that does not perform well.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm encouraged by the news - as soon as my contract is up I'm dumping my iPhone for the chance to get a choice of hardware configurations that suit my requirements at a competitive price and not just the "one size fits all" that is apple's offering. I want an OS that works with all the Internet, i.e. Flash enabled, which w7 will be by then. So I'll have the choice of android or W7. This opens up the Market and will be a good thing. Nokia make great hardware and I've heard that android 2.2 and w7 are both excellent. More power to the consumer is a good thing. I've dipped my toe in the closed world of iTunes and don't like it at all.

  • Comment number 10.

    They're making it out to be a "marriage", but to be quite honest I don't think either of them had much choice: it really was a question of jump into bed with each other, or both forget any future in the smartphone market.
    As for me, I'll stick with my iPhone 4: competition will only force Apple to up their game again, which is good news for me.

  • Comment number 11.

    Two turkeys?

    More like two drowning men clinging to each other as they disappear below the waves.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's all a bit late. Windows 7 Mobile came too late to the smartphone OS market, and Nokia has been haemorraging smartphone handset market share for the last 3 years. People want the latest thing in their smartphones and the combination of Microsoft and Nokia looks double-tired. If they've only started work today, it will take them 6 months to get a device to market, and in that six months a quarter of smartphone users will change their phone. Once on a platform (Android, iOS or RIM) people don't like to move as their already emotionally and sometimes financially invested in it.

    Their only hope is to take on RIM for the corporate market. Companies will buy Windows and the solidity of Nokia - and MS Exchange intergration will help too. But the consumer market? No.

  • Comment number 13.



    This was really the only choice for Nokia, and allows them to focus on what they are very good at, making excellent handsets.

    I haven't seen Windows Mobile 7 yet, but have heard good reports. But however good the mobile OS is, the biggest winner in the smartphone race is going to be which platform offers the best and widest range of apps. And that race is long from been decided.

  • Comment number 14.

    Interesting to see the enthusiasm from the would-be Windows devs. You should have a look at the enthusiasm people showed for Nokia's last few OS adventures - those people all got royally shafted; what makes you think you won't be next?

  • Comment number 15.


    Am I the only person dismayed by this ?

    I have always liked Nokia's independant software, or the heritage
    of it's Symbian based system, especially having been hooked on Psion
    PDA's for many years.

    If Nokia want my continued custom (when my treasured Nokia E90 dies( then
    this new alliance had better come up with something good, or I'll be happy to put my 15 years of loyalty elsewhere.

    For me Windows means bugs, bug fixes, updates, crashes, and other problems.

    Whereas Nokia and Sybian means that a purchase a device, it works and I don't have to constantly update firmware, software until the day it naturaly meets the electronic graveyard in the sky.

  • Comment number 16.

    Ok so doubtless this decision will please the followers of Microsoft and .Net. Having used the WP7 development environment, in comparison with some others I find it offers a smoother and more sophisticated experience.

    However the real missing feature is the relative power with which Symbian could get into low level handset features not present in MS locked-down WP7. The cloud model can only go so far - if MS want armies of serious-minded developers on their platform they need to open up the device through APIs. Till then they may find it hard to woo the Android developers enjoying the features of native libraries. And who knows - this merger with Nokia may begin to facilitate that process.

  • Comment number 17.

    The only people really happy about this, are lazy developers that see this as a quick ticket to app development via .net.

    Nokia just did a Motorola, and killed their smartphone business. They went from a burning platform to another burning platform.

    No doubt their ex-Microsoft CEO had something to do with this decision, I wonder where his priorities were...

    Microsoft only look after Microsoft, they don't give a rats ass what happens to Nokia, who by the end of this will be an empty shell of their former selves. Microsoft will have gotten what they wanted out of it (WP7 not sinking without a trace) and Nokia will be scrabbling around as a bottom-feeder picking up the pieces.

    I'm betting 3 years from now, they will be desperate to join OHA (if they shareholders haven't revolted by then)

    This decision will be seen as the key demise of Nokia several years from now.

    Congratulations Stephen Elop , your true masters back in Redmond will be most pleased.

  • Comment number 18.

    >Congratulations Stephen Elop , your true masters back in Redmond will >be most pleased.

    Seconded!



  • Comment number 19.

    So long as he's got Microsoft share options and not Nokia ones he'll be doing fine.

  • Comment number 20.

    Death of Nokia, I have been waiting a year for the first Meego phone as the N900 rocked.

    Now Nokia have dumped Symbian there's no point in buying any phones using that OS and with Meego DOA I'll give that a miss. They spent years making QT a viable platform independent framework so people could write an application and have it run on Symbian, Meego phones as well as Meego/Windows pc's. This death knell will destroy that hope.

    Nokia's phones are considerably under powered when compared to WP7/Andriod phones they have great battery life and good performance because Symbian was designed to squeeze every watt it can out of the processor.

    Had Elop suggested a scrapping series 60 UI for symbian or having each phone model run Andriod/WP7/Meego, or even moving to Andriod I could see a future. Instead in five years I think they will have the same relevence SEGA have in todays gaming market.

    Windows Phone 7 has strict guidelines on screen size, storage, buttons which were designed to stop market fragmentation. So how is Nokia going to differentiate themselves? At least with Andriod they could potentially strip out the google services and put in their own Ovi ones.

    Since Elop looks like some kind of trojan horse from Microsoft I'll be avoiding WP7 as well. After 13 years of Nokia phones (I like Symbian btw) my next phone will be an andriod one (thinking Desire HD or the Xperia Play)

  • Comment number 21.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'll stick with my N900 until the excellent Maemo community support for it runs dry and then get myself something like a Nexus S. See ya Nokia. Thanks for my current phone, it's truly great. You should have done more with it rather than give up half way through. I'm by no means the only one who feels like this. Witness reports of 1000 Nokia employees walking out and the comments here: http://conversations.nokia.com/nokia-strategy-2011/

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't get the strategy. The move from Symbian to Maemo vis Qt was sound, just really, really badly executed. What makes them think that a move to a completely new OS won't be really badly executed?

    Symbian needed a decent UI and that was it. If they couldn't manage that in time then how are they going to do this?

    We'll see but I'm using my Android handset these days. The N8 is an awesome piece of kit but who's goign to develop for it now Symbian has bee mothballed?

    In saying that, this may not be a bad move if they execute quickly - the iPhone is becoming increasingly boring and Android a bit predictable.

  • Comment number 23.

    No.

  • Comment number 24.

    A sad day for Nokia.

    I left Nokia due to its reliance on the Symbian platform - Nokia was right to abandon it. It has proved unreliable in today's smartphone market, MeeGo was Nokia's future; it just needed content partnerships not OS partnerships (content is what's sold iPhone). It needed deals with Amazon not Microsoft.

    It needed was a fresh, new take on mobile technology and not jumping on any bandwagon going - neither Windows or Android are a fit for Nokia.

    There is more in this for Microsoft than Nokia.

  • Comment number 25.

    For all those used to .Net and C#, mobile phones do not yet have eight cores running at over 3Ghz with hyperthreading and gigabytes of RAM. You will have to wait a couple of years for that, until then you are going to have to make do with two cores running at a 1 GHz and a couple of hundred megs of RAM.

    To be honest you sound like Mubarak a couple of days ago.

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't see this making much difference for either company. People like Apple stuff because it's cool and fashionable. Google has a lot of fans because of its search engine, Gmail and other free stuff. Microsoft is the company that makes the OS you get on your PC whether you want it or not, that wants you to validate that it's genuine every few months, reminding you that Microsoft is all about making money. Microsoft is the opposite of cool. This has about as much chance of becoming the next iPhone as the Zune had of becoming the next iPod.

  • Comment number 27.

    Microsoft's desktop OS's are buggy and unreliable (not to mention badly designed - why can't I right click "select all" for files?) so if their phone OS is equally bad then this is a non starter. People might put up with freezes and "not responding" on their desktop, but not on their phone.

  • Comment number 28.

    26. At 9:29pm on 11 Feb 2011, Julian wrote:
    People like Apple stuff because it's cool and fashionable.
    This has about as much chance of becoming the next iPhone as the Zune had of becoming the next iPod.
    --------------------------------------------------

    No, no, no! You people just don't get it. People like Apple "stuff" because it works, it works really well, it's brilliantly designed, it's not buggy, it doesn't crash all the time, you don't get stupid error messages that you can't understand, you don't get security holes that need plugging every five minutes, it's really intuitive, it's easy to use, you don't get viruses, it does exactly what it says on the tin... etc etc... You think we buy Apple stuff just because it looks pretty? Think again. Yes, it does look pretty, but that's only because the designers take their philosophy right through to the end of the process.

    Until Microsoft/Nokia/Anyone else, learn these lessons, they'll always be be playing catch-up to Apple. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure plenty of companies make better hardware/software than Apple, but they don't think things through right to the end with the user in mind, like Apple does. This is why we buy Apple "stuff", because they use their brains when they design their stuff.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have worked in the mobile industry (UK) for the last 7 years and have seen Nokia go from being the top mobile manufacturer to one of the worst. Handsets like the 34/3510, 6100, 6230i were what made Nokia(easy to use, reliable etc). They created an incredibly loyal customer base which Nokia has been living off for the last 4-5years. This loyal customer base continued buying Symbian based handsets under the false assumption that Nokia were still good; they were used to the brand therefore kept buying it. However this loyalty has gradually waned with the proclivity of far superior handsets (and their respective OS's) gradually eating into Nokia's market share. And quite rightly so. Symbian was terrible! From a retail point of view we saw 25%+ returns on the N95, and N96. The OS was slow, laggy and complicated to use. Not to mention incredibly buggy and unreliable. This move to Windows 7 should rejuvinate a flagging brand; WM7 is quick, easy and looks great. Finally a good decision by Nokia!

  • Comment number 30.

    This is, most probably, the end of Nokia. Of course, they can put the Ctrl/Alt/Del buttons on a phone, but would you like to use them when your phone crashes in the middle of a conversation? This is what Windows is best at - being expensive, buggy and unsecure. Who wants that on a phone?

    I am quite pleased with my N97 mini, and was looking forward to the E7 that was promised months ago but never delivered. I guess now I'll need to see who makes an Android phone with a sliding keyboard.

  • Comment number 31.

    It amazes me people saying too little too late.

    Outside of the US Nokia wipe the floor with all competitors.

    I am not talking about just the mobile phone market. Even when you bring it down to the smart phone market Nokia are far and away the world leaders.

    Now if you go to the US market Nokia are way behind, but they are still the world leaders.

    Apple and iOS are being left behind if you look at the latest figures, even in the US market. Android is the up and coming OS, but even it has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with Symbian.

    The only thing Apple and iOS have is the profits, and that is purely down to Apple tax and iSheep who are more than happy to be fleeced.

  • Comment number 32.

    Too late for me, I'm afraid. I was a loyal Nokia user since I bought my first mobile. They were all great phones, solid, reliable... right up to the 6630. I still use my 6630 as a spare. Then came the N95, lots of gadgets, flaky as an apple pie. I lost count of how many times mine went back for repair, or didn't because there was no point. In the process the phone got replaced twice but the new ones were just as bad.
    When my contract expired I got an hTc Desire. It's a beautiful phone. The hardware works. The software works. The upgrade to Android 2.2 came quickly (thank you 3). I can't think of any reason to go back to Nokia.
    And as for Microsoft… After years of Windows PCs I got sick of all the time I was spending re-installing the operating system, restoring from backup because Windows had lost my user settings, hardware suppliers who refused to fix hardware faults until I had wiped my system twice….
    I bought my first Mac a few months ago. Because it's pretty and sexy? No. Because it actually works. It does what I need it to do. And when I need to run a Windows only program Parallels Virtual machine is a little bit of magic that allows me to do that too.
    As I said, Nokia and Windows? ...Too late

  • Comment number 33.

    It will take a lot to catch up to the Iphone rave , and the android solution presented by google. All good as it creates competition and better products to utilise

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm a former Android user who decided to ditch it and take the plunge with Windows Phone 7 - not because I had a problem with Android but rather because I loved the look of the user interface on WP7; it is how I always wanted mobile phones to look, with a coherent, beautiful design ethos throughout. It's a very different beast from previous Microsoft attempts to enter the mobile market.

    Microsoft has evidently not succeeded in getting that message out, because the largely adverse reaction to this link-up with Nokia suggests an aversion to Microsoft's mobile platform that simply doesn't exist amongst those of us who've actually used it - clearly not enough of us. Which makes this a smart move for both companies.

    Nokia has the mobile reach - and the best hardware, especially its cameras. All it lacked was a decent operating system. Microsoft has potentially the best operating system in WP7, once we get the imminent software upgrade to iron out the bugs, glitches and omissions in the first release.

    So, each company can offer the other the very thing that each lacks - and needs - in order to succeed in this area. Hardcore Nokia fans may be disappointed by today's announcement, but it's been clear for quite some time which way the wind was blowing. Symbian could never compete with the iPhone. WP7 can. In light of that, I believe that Nokia have made the right decision.

  • Comment number 35.

    William Palmer #31.

    but there's no denying that this deal will principally benefit Microsoft. (did you see Steve Ballmer's evident delight at being able to go "all the way"?)

  • Comment number 36.

    Are we forever going to repeat the mistakes of the past?

    I remember sitting next to a senior symbian exec on a plane years ago, he was telling me that they had recognised the problem with getting wide acceptance...the problem was that they were only on a few phones..and they were going to be a big software company. I told them I thought their system was locked in by huge dev kit costs..but that was they way they liked to do it. The idea for all big companies is that you keep the price high for development and you only get the cream of volume brands come knocking (and you give it to them for free).

    A few years later I bumped into another exec...he said things in the future were going to be amazing being of going open source....
    But boat missed again...too little too late, following.

    Then Nokia, so great at producing hardware, great and owning the experience. Now again and again they have produced great phones, but with limited appeal because they charged for all the decent sofware, and their dev partners were big players who charged a lot for their products.

    Now its clear first from apple and then from google android that the phones that fly are the ones with all the apps. And you can make great apps cheaply if you lower the entry barriers..and the cheaper they are the more are sold...the better a phone looks.

    So what do Nokia do? They join up with microsoft...another player that thinks the way they do...dominate with proprietary.

    Nokia are superb at producing hardware...why don't they make android phones, microsoft phones...they shouldnt be worrying so much about the os. just back both of them and see which one flys.

  • Comment number 37.

    On the mainstory comment about Nokia's choice not to go to Android, please dig deeper into the analysis that is already there. We can get the surface news anywhere...(Apple blah Android blah Microsoft blah blah).

    Nokia's handsets are suffering serious competition from the low end China / India manufacturers. They have to go up market (i.e. appl or msft) not downmarket (android) where anyone with a small dev team can produce core phone software off the reference platform and launch. Android will quickly become low margin with multiple entrants competing for volume. Volume takes time to pick up so be careful in comparing pure retail volume with 3 platforms at different stages of maturity.

    this is a risky move but with appl a closed platform, msft is the only other option and perhaps, if people would forget the fanboy religion, is a neat solution and not a me-too apple or android.

  • Comment number 38.

    @Graphis

    I was with you up to the 'isn't buggy and doesn't crash' bit.

  • Comment number 39.

    Rory Cellan-Jones.

    "So what do we think of today's love-in between two giants of the technology world?"

    here's what Nokia employees and investors thought:

    "Investors punished Nokia shares with a 14-percent decline. Meanwhile, about 1,000 employees walked off the job, using flexible work-hour plans to do so, apparently protesting Nokia's deal with Microsoft."

  • Comment number 40.

    @Graphis - iPhone not buggy? Doesn't crash? Have you ever used one? I own one and can tell you that it is and it does!

    I agree with the first two posts and to other's here. WP7 is as solid as a rock, there are already miriads of developers out there chomping at the bit to get their chance to develop on it. This deal should convince them that the effort is worthwhile now there is a solid deal to get some decent hardware for it.

    In the overall game it's no bad thing to have another player in the game - this Android/iPhone thing was never even a competition.

  • Comment number 41.

  • Comment number 42.

    @jr4412 #41

    This is meant to be about Nokia and Windows, but I couldn't let that past: the iPhone exploit to which you refer requires a lot of technical knowledge, and also requires you first to jail-break the phone. That doesn't mean it's ok, but ANY piece of electronics is vulnerable once you have physical access to it. That's why Apple give you the remote wipe option. If your device gets stolen, remote wipe it - job done. Now let's get back to the article shall we?

  • Comment number 43.

    Musric #42.

    from the same link (emphasis added):

    "By using a modified jailbreak, they gain access to the iPhone 4 (running iOS 4.2.1) file system and install an SSH server, which is launched automatically on booting. Since jailbreaks which are active during booting are available even for the latest iOS version, a passcode is not able to protect against this scenario."

    "Now let's get back to the article shall we?"

    gladly. btw, seems you haven't contributed yet.

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear jr4412,

    How does your added emphasis alter what I said? My point was:
    1. you still require physical access to the device to jailbreak it, or to install the SSH server if it has been already been jailbroken.
    2. any device to which one has physical access is vulnerable.
    3. The vulnerability in this case is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Apple give you (unlike either I believe Android or Windows mobile) a method of remotely wiping your phone as part of the standard package.

    I'm unclear as to how the fact that the jailbreak is "modified", or the fact that jailbreaks are active during booting (of course they are, it would be fairly pointless exercise otherwise) have anything to do with my comments. Feel free to enlighten me.

  • Comment number 45.

    Musric #44.

    "1. you still require physical access to the device to jailbreak it.."

    er, yes. that's where "lost or stolen" (#41) came in.

    "2. any device to which one has physical access is vulnerable."

    yes.

    "3. The vulnerability in this case is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Apple give you ... a method of remotely wiping your phone.."

    for which it needs to be switched on and able to connect to the service provider, n'est pas? a simple Faraday cage would prevent that. sure, Apple's mechanism can help you if you are dealing with particularly dim-witted thieves -- but, typically, they wouldn't be trying to get your passwords, etc off the phone anyway.

    feeling that I have done my best to "enlighten" you, I'd now appreciate you making a contribution on topic. how about it?

  • Comment number 46.

    a simple Faraday cage would prevent that

    Or you could just hold the phone by the edges :-P

  • Comment number 47.

    _Ewan_ #46.

    had me laugh out loud.

    cheers.

  • Comment number 48.

    Yes, jr4421, I shall make an on-topic contribution (not that you have yet, but in any case)...

    Nokia's market share is falling fast. Windows mobile currently has very little market-share, or exposure, in the European marketplace, where Nokia has traditionally been most strong. I do not therefore see how this was a sensible move on Nokia's part.

    MS may have an amazing new operating system for phones - I've not actually yet seen on in real-life - but at the moment I would have thought Nokia would have been better off jumping over to the operating system which seems to have the momentum behind it - Android. Unless Nokia intend to alter their focus radically and emulate Apple's policy of aiming for the high-end of the market where people are prepared to pay much more, and therefore they need to sell fewer units to turn a profit, I do not see this turning out well for Nokia.

    As for the rest of your post #45, all your points are perfectly valid, but would apply equally to any other phone that was stolen. As such, I'm therefore afraid I honestly still do not see how anything you state makes the iPhone any more vulnerable than any other brand, which was your original point, and what I was attempting to argue against. This can mean only one of three things: you're simply arguing for the sake of it (trolling), you don't understand what I'm trying to say, or I don't understand what you're trying to say. Whichever of those three it is doesn't really matter - it's clear that we are simply going to go around in circles, and so I shall desist.

  • Comment number 49.

    Musric #48.

    "I shall make an on-topic contribution (not that you have yet.."

    well, I thought #39 would count, but if you don't...

    "..I do not see this [joint venture] turning out well for Nokia."

    glad we can agree on something.

    "As for the rest of your post #45, all your points are perfectly valid.."

    thank you.

    "..but would apply equally to any other phone that was stolen."

    I disagree. yes, physical access means any device is vulnerable but it seems that with iPhones such exploitation is much easier, some of the exploits do not even require your losing the phone. I've listed a few articles (there are others), though some of these 'problems' have now been overcome through s/ware updates:

    "Vulnerability in iPhone data encryption"

    "Many free iPhone apps pass device ID to the app vendor"
    (this is more of an Apple policy problem than with the iPhone per se, nevertheless)

    "iPhone allows access to telephone app and address book despite passcode lock"

    "Web sites can launch iPhone applications without prompting"

    "I'm therefore afraid I honestly still do not see how anything you state makes the iPhone any more vulnerable than any other brand.."

    let me know whether reading the above will change your outlook.

    "This can mean only one of three things: you're simply arguing for the sake of it (trolling), you don't understand what I'm trying to say, or I don't understand what you're trying to say."

    while I wouldn't deny enjoying a good argument, I prefer them to be constructive.

  • Comment number 50.

    @MarkG
    I don't see why you think that MS will end up killing nokia.
    Yes, MS only really care about their profits, but thats the same with most companies. The difference is that microsoft NEED their third party manufacturers in order to continue in the market. Microsoft do not make their phones, so need HTC, Samsung, Nokia etc etc.

  • Comment number 51.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 52.

    Nokia had a choice other than WP7 or Android. It could have continued and produced product from its tie-up with Intel - MeeGo. This would allow app developers to also target Symbian as well but instead they are fuming as Nokia looks to have abandoned them. How do you expect to sell 150 million more Symbian phones if the apps for them are not going to be there? MeeGo would also have given them an iPad competitor and a way into Home entertainment and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) devices, two huge potential markets that Nokia have missed out on now because what developer can trust them after their lack of commitment through orphaning Ovi and Qt through this deal.

  • Comment number 53.

    I've been using a WM7 phone for quite a while now - it's never crashed on me, is fast, and the interface is amazingly intuitive. I would personally rate it above Android because of that (yes, I have used Android phones too). Developed apps are also not slow, as trial apps I've developed using .NET/Silverlight for it run exceptionally well.
    I'm pretty sure that Nokia will produce great WM7 products and it will be interesting what impact they have in the market.
    In the end, however, it does all come down to what is hot and what is not. What is the must-have and what is yesterdays technology. This is where marketting has a big influence, and Apple are one of the best at this. If Nokia can get back some of the marketting skills they once deployed and make their phones the ones to show off in the office or down the pub then they will be successful.

  • Comment number 54.

    Wow. People who are ignorant really shouldnt be allowed to post here.
    Comments like "I dont want a Windows Phone because it will just crash" and "Apple stuff doesnt crash or doesnt get viruses" are just laughable.
    First off, dont believe marketing, of course Apple "stuff" gets viruses.
    Secondly, WP7 is a dream to use. It is very responsive (makes android look positively slow), is a new way of thinking, rather than just having a screen of boring icons, and *shock horror* actually works exceptionally well.
    This partnership could work out great for both companies. Nokia have always made good hardware, and WP7 is great software.
    No wonder google are worried and have to spout nonsense about turkeys.

  • Comment number 55.

    So many new names on here, today, all posting strangely similar messages about how good this will be for Nokia and Microsoft.

    I find it indicative of Elop's apparent lack of grasp of the market, that he can sit there and say that this will lead to a three horse race: Steve, we already have a three horse race:
    RIM - number 1
    Android - number 2
    iOS - number 3

    It's worth bearing these fact in mind, because this deal is all about last year's market figures, and how well certain companies in the marketplace reacted to it. Android grew 888% last year. That's what last year's story is. It is incredible. Forget your own subjective views, or your urgent desire to fire up Visual Studio: Android is a roar-away success, and consumers love it. Say anything to the contrary as much as you like, but saying it won't change reality.

    Against that sort of story, the only way a COE of a competing company can justify his wage cheque is by holding his head and remaining objective.

    So, what do we see?
    Well, if you're Blackberry, you hold your nerve, and say: yes we lost market share, but there's almost no way of holding it against those sorts of figures
    If you're Apple, you say: yes, we HELD market share, but only because we opened up new markets, in the far east and the middle east, where a pent up demand existed. Those new markets won't be there next year.
    If you're Nokia, you apparently panic, issue a missive that destroys your market credibility, and then announce a deal to join up with a company whose product isn't even in the picture - as if you'd planned it all along (which many of the tin-foil-hat brigade assume, of course).

    Even if Windows Phone 7 turns out to be the BeOS of smart phone operating systems, it's still looking a lot like it's going to become the BeOS of smart phone operating systems ("Oh, wow. I remember that. It was kind of cool. What a shame!"). Nokia may find redemption by sticking its name on the front of a devices above that vomit-green and baby-blue interface, but it seems unlikely, and if they continue to sink, they could find their new partners shunning them, for fear of being tarred with the same brush.

    Nokia should have learned by now: it is not the market's job, to find relevance for a product that struggles to find any for itself.

  • Comment number 56.

    As a Microsoft developer of (probably) too many years, I was surprised by WP7. It's good. It's not just 'good for version 1'. It's just plain good.

    Most of you won't have seen it. It's kind of... Spartan. European art-house, black and white. Not Walt Disney. The kind of thing you'd imagine, Nokia would themselves make to complement their solidly engineered devices.

    If fact, if Microsoft did their research and designed a product for Nokia, then it would probably look like WP7. Oh wait... now, how did that happen?

    Well done to both boards. You've obviously been sleeping together for longer than you care to admit but these days, who cares? The software and hardware are as good as anything out there. How could anyone screw this up?

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh wait...

  • Comment number 58.

    As a Microsoft developer I'm excited that my skills are immediately transferable to this device. In fact my real WP7 phone is arriving today, so that should be enough to move me from the tutorials and spur me into action. The fact that skills are transferable, and the fact that there are a great number of MS guys chomping on the bit to develop for this OS should be an indicator that it will succeed. As Microsoft developers, there are plenty of us who have worked in industry who possess the skills and rigor to produce rock solid apps using a wealth of mature tools. I'm not saying that those same tools, rigor and quality aren't available in Android and Mac land, but for the former, because of the strict spec that Microsoft imposes (which is a good thing) we can concentrate on functionality, rather how our apps look on a multitude of different specifications, OS versions, and resolutions. I believe firmly that Nokia have made the right choice here.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think the marriage will work over time. Since this is non exclusive, HTC will not worry too much and they will continue to create WP7 phones

  • Comment number 60.

    Nokia was told by many users, critics, and a few aliens that the gig was up and it was time to be bold. Symbian was no longer fit for purpose and was as embarrassing as my gran poll dancing at a funeral (her core strength is amazing by the way).

    "We are in a dark tunnel and need a torch PLEASE HELP!" screamed a desperate Nokia, "Step into the light and all will be good" said Microsoft, and Nokia did. Most said "err, we said be bold not stupid DOH!".

    From a strategists position (ok then mine) Nokia has bought itself some seriously needed time to reinvent itself, while jumping into bed with a previously discredited but extremely talented giant pumped up by a new mobile OS. This OS looks all shiny and has an army of skilled programmers ready to lay siege to the platform now that they know there is going to be a serious market to ply their wares to, and serious market there will be.

    For many perhaps less vocal Nokia devotee's this news may well keep them with the brand, a tad bit longer anyway, as they will be curious to see the fantastic hardware married with a far better interface and albeit slowly emerging app market better than the OVI store, which less face it, wont be that hard.

    The Microsoft doom sayers forget one thing, Microsoft's determination to succeed in this area. In a market owned pretty much exclusively by Sony by the time they entered they thought "why don't we build a gaming console?". The world shook with the booming sound of laughter rocking Sony's HQ at the time, those execs didn't have a dry pair of pants between them when they stopped. They ain't laughing now.

    Yep, there will be a lot of convincing to do and rather than a new market for them it's an old one, but BOTH parties WILL gain enormously from this coupling (I read it in my scrabbled eggs and they are seldom wrong and always tasty).

    Nokia now gets time to devise and implement a longer term future while dumping it's deadwood, and Microsoft get some tasty rock solid hardware for WP7 to play on with more people likely to give it a try and convert to, if only from curiosity to begin with.

    Nokia needed to be brave and they have been, but being heroic doesn't mean that blood isn't going to be spilled along the way to a brighter future. Supermarkets will be stocking cut price coffins in the aisles next to your favourite pasta in the vicinity of Nokia real estate some time soon BOGOF.

    Although the hardware ticket to enter the WP7 show wants a full price at the moment, I wouldn't be surprised if that price gets a little lower now Nokia wants to perform, especially as they can get it to a wider audience probably more reliably & cheaper than anyone else.

    I for one salute Nokia's step, and hope it works out for the best, as good quality competition will mean lower pricing and innovation for end users while putting the brakes on a single app store dictating what can be sold & how.

    Fruit is good for your health but anything can be damaging if overindulged, and robots may not feel obliged to follow Asimov's Three Laws when their builders views on users privacy already seems suspect.......

    PS
    My gran is taking bookings if anyone's interested.

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm a Symbian fan boy, I've loved it from way back in the Psion days. However these days it's less Minority report and more 'Do you want to play a game?'.
    It may look pants but I can do more on my Symbian mobile than my wife can do on her iPhone! Even including all those funky apps!
    However all good things come to an end, and even I have to admit the Symbian interface is starting to look dated, and lets face it looks and 'wow factor' sell devices.
    Worse still it sounds like the modern hardware which have more in common with PCs than the old Mobile phones do not sit happily with the core of the O/S.
    However I have serious doubts about dumping it in favour of getting into bed with Microsoft. After all I was seriously weighing up if I should buy another Symbian phone or go iPhone. Nokia have made up my mind for me, as there's no point in buying a Symbian phone as in a years time the support won't be there.
    So is this the end for Nokia?
    I imagine there are as many Apple haters as Microsoft haters, so that shouldn't be an issue, and I hear the new OS works well (shockingly).
    However in the past I've found Microsoft tends not to understand the needs of it's users and instead spends it's efforts simply ripping off the market leader. We've seen it before when Windows ripped off Mac, Word ripped of Word Perfect and Excel ripped off Lotus.
    Now apparently Microsoft will turn all their efforts to doing a 'Lotus 123' on the 'iPhone' and doing exactly the same thing cheaper and better.
    It's a shame because while trying to beat the best they rarely innovate and doubles they will not realise that this is a unique opportunity to build a PC/Phone ecosystem where information flows between your phone to PC effortlessly.
    However, occasionally Microsoft get it right, as pointed out above with the x-box. Let's hope they concentrate on innovation and not just ripping off apple.

  • Comment number 62.

    As a basic Nokia phone user for 18 years, what I need is reliability and ease of use. I need to sync with outlook; then run with simple mobile Email and Internet. Since 2009 my Nokia 5800 has worked OK (I bought that to avoid a contract) but the OVI suit almost made me smash it and give Nokia the boot! Nokia blundered badly with that software and their hardware has been mediocre for about 3 years.

    MS is FINALLY getting things at least partially right these days so this might be a WP7 moment. However - I am not blind to the other options. I bought an Archos70 (Android 2.2) Tab and use it a lot, but it’s not perfect; which makes me wonder. What will be my next phone OS be? Android, Blackberry, WP7, iOS, or something else.

    I want to avoid Apple - because of Steve Jobs -- iTunes "We now OWN your soul, and you can’t even have flash dude!" attitude. A company that even lock the battery away from you is one small step away from paranoia.

    It is hard to “like” Elop for going Microsoft. He has upset a LOT of people by doing it and it IS a serious risk; but he might be right.

  • Comment number 63.

    For right now and on paper the deal seems ideal, but it'll be interesting to see how the resultant product stands up to the competion it'll face at launch. It's an almost sureity that the first Nokia WP7 device will be competing against the iPhone 5 (or whatever it ends up being called) and the 'Ice Cream' build of Android on the seemingly endless deluge of handsets and tablets from Asia. Throw in RiM and whatever they manage to do with the Playbook that transistions to handset hardware, and the nacient WebOS from HP and the market is so saturated (and the existant fan-people so loyal) that I think actually moving handsets will be a severe challange.

    Add in the fact that neither Nokia nor WP7 have yet managed to really dent the North American market (which may not be the be-all, end-all monetarily but certainly drives a large portion of global media/mindshare exposure) and things look bleaker. The WP7 experience *is* good, but how many people do you know that have played with one in a store, let alone own one? I haven't because I live in Japan and none of the carriers stock a WP7 device and I've yet to even see a single person with a WP7 handset in either South Korea or China on my travels. These are not insignificant markets, but Microsoft doesn't seem to even *want* to compete.

    I really wish Nokia and Microsoft well with this, diversity of choice and competition will be good for all the technology users out there and I have no doubt that they can bring a great product to market. It's going to have to be *damn* great to make people switch though. If I was Mr. Elop I think I might quietly add a few Android devices to my product roadmap, just in case.

  • Comment number 64.

    Mr Elop strikes me as a bit of a loose canon.

    What they should have done is kept the deal secret until they had something to shout about.

    Ideally they should have developed Rim, Android, Windows and maybe even kept developing their own stuff and then done a deal with which ever worked the best. But then that would have cost big money, and would have been dificult without buy in from the provider.

    Having said that with this plan Nokia will loose big money and possibly the business as well. With no viable platform until at least 2012, the question has got to be how will Nokia survive, how many people will invest in an Phone with a dieing ecosystem?

    The Future may look bright with Microsoft, but unfortunately we live in the present and that's not looking so rosy.

  • Comment number 65.

    We can be fairly certain that Microsoft will attempt to 'do an Xbox' with Windows Phone 7; push and push and push billions of dollars at the problem, with no expense spared.

    The trouble with this strategy, is that - if we look at what happened with the Xbox - while is a well-liked and popular brand, it doesn't 'own' that market by any stretch of the imagination (and, crucially, didn't prove useful in helping Microsoft drive the adoption its own preferred hardware standards, such as HD DVD). This state of affairs was achieved through an expenditure of sums of money that would have been enough to rescue all of Europe's trouble economies: as popular as you perceive it as being, Xbox will NEVER break even, because of the amount of money that has been spent getting it where it is.

    Xbox is a success that appears to have no logical purpose for it's existing, because, by any objective economics, it's a failure. Much of Microsoft's legendary 'cash pile' isn't there anymore, because it was spent on the Xbox.

    Furthermore, the console market has become a wasteland, in which only the big palyers have any place, because hardware is invariably sold below cost, with the hopes of software somehow clawing back the margins.

    Try applying that business model to phone handsets, and see where it gets you. Now try imagining what it will be like for a company that has volunteered to specialise in making the hardware, in all this crazy market-think.

    Nokia? Doomed? Yes, I would say so.

  • Comment number 66.

    Fascinating to see how this plays out, but I suspect Android is a bigger threat in the long term than Apple.

 

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