More On The Microsoft And Nokia Partnership - InformationWeek
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2/15/2011
11:25 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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More On The Microsoft And Nokia Partnership

Nothing coming out of Mobile World Congress is getting near the attention that the Nokia/Microsoft partnership has received. Love it or hate it, the news is surprising and controversial. There have been quite a few events happen since the announcement was made.

Nothing coming out of Mobile World Congress is getting near the attention that the Nokia/Microsoft partnership has received. Love it or hate it, the news is surprising and controversial. There have been quite a few events happen since the announcement was made.Last week, right after the announcement, 1,000 Nokia employees walked out in protest. Nine disgruntled shareholders have written an open letter to other shareholders with the intention of ousting Nokia CEO Elop and to "return the company to a strategy that seeks high growth and high profit margins through innovation and overwhelmingly superior products with unrivaled user experience." Meego would be the platform powering those products if these shareholders have their way. We'll see on May 3 how the vote goes. Everyone has this mentality that Elop came from MS as a Trojan horse and rammed this deal through. The reality is, key executives and the board of directors were involved in this decision and supported the move to Windows Phone. People need to get over the emotional fanboyism.

Chris Ziegler at Engadget has posted a 10 minute interview with Stephen Elop. He asked some great questions and clarified a few things.

As has been stated, Symbian will continue to live for a few years. Series 40 will move to the spot beneath smartphones at Nokia and will be called "mobile phones" by the Finnish company. They will likely be the freebies and ultra-low cost phones carriers give away with a contract. No mention was made of Series 60, but given that likes to run on higher end hardware, it will likely be supplanted by Windows Phone.

There has been a lot over the deal with Microsoft being worth "B's" and not "M's" to Nokia and this was taken to mean Microsoft is writing Nokia a big fat check with at least nine zeros. This isn't true. Elop elaborated a bit in the interview. Nokia will be paying Microsoft a licensing fee, which hasn't been disclosed. The value in billions to Nokia comes from the overall partnership with Microsoft, the global reach, potential market share, the service assets Nokia brings to the table, etc. In other words, it sounds like a straight up business deal, not a bribe or payoff as some have charged.

Elop sees the future as a three horse race between iOS, Android and Windows Phone. I think he may be writing off RIM a bit too quickly. It depends on what the Canadian company can do with QNX and when. Three or four players, either way that corresponds with what I wrote earlier. What is interesting is Nokia may have courted RIM before ultimately walking down the aisle with Microsoft.

The last bit of info I found interesting is Motorola, in no uncertain terms, has pretty much banished Windows Phone from its devices. Motorola, previously a good partner with Microsoft on releasing Windows Mobile devices has decided to put all of its resources behind Google's Android platform. After the Nokia announcement, this decision had to be easier. I have to wonder what is going on in the executive offices at HTC, LG, Samsung and anyone else currently in partnership with MS. I am sure MS will state they are going to treat their partners equally, but you have to think they will treat Nokia more equally than others.

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