Holy crap! Nokia is in talks with Microsoft about Windows Phone devices?!

Holy crap!

I don’t believe I’m writing this, especially after publicly ridiculing even idea of such a thing  for a year now. But given the source of the info…

Here it goes–  in his weekly op-ed Mobile-Review’s Eldar Murtazin just posted that during the past month, Nokia has started talks with Microsoft to expand their cooperation. The talks were initiated by the new Nokia management.  And they are talking not about the technology exchange, or more Microsoft apps on Nokia phones. They are talking about the creation of new line of Windows Phone devices, which could be sold under Nokia brand, via Nokia distribution channels and have some typical  Nokia features.

Damn, I can’t believe this may be happening, but given Eldar’s pedigree and former hits, Nokia Windows Phone doesn’t sound as ridiculous to me as it did just a few hours ago.

If this is true, all the brave talk of Nokia’s being back with new Symbian and new Meego, all the proclamations about the confidence in their software strategy, all of that was just an empty boasting. Nokia is throwing in the towel and giving Microsoft the keys to it’s software kingdom. I still can’t wrap my head around this.

I just hope that this is temporary measure, until Nokia gets it’s own software house in order, and is finally able to produce the versions of Symbian and Meego OS that can compete in the marketplace, and when all the goodness of QT, promised for so many years, finally materializes.

Update: Now that I had time to sleep on and think about it, I’m starting to see a lot of positive possibilities in potential Microsoft Nokia Windows Phone 7 deal. Of course, if Nokia and Microsoft doesn’t bungle this up.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Anonymous

    This story is just too bizarre to be true.

    Windows Phone 7 has already failed. It’s out of the game. Sales have been abysmal, and there’s nothing on the horizon to turn that around.

    You’d have to wonder what trick Microsoft could possibly have to boost sales. I don’t believe it’s possible. OEMs will start abandoning Windows Phone 7. It can’t go on like this forever.

    So why on earth would Nokia want to join Microsoft’s failed Windows Phone 7 platform? There is no logic in it. Nokia’s MeeGo will do much better than Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 did.

    MeeGo has all the basic OS functions already working, such as Copy/Paste and Multitasking. Windows Phone 7 doesn’t. MeeGo is more open than any other major mobile OS, unlike Windows Phone 7, which is the most closed OS ever devised. Microsoft’s intent on taking all profit (by locking the OS down) has reduced Windows Phone 7′s appeal.

    Nokia can learn from Microsoft’s mistakes, but taking on Microsoft’s failed mobile OS would be to immerse itself in Microsoft’s fail.

  • Anonymous

    How anyone didn’t see this coming is beyond me.
    Step 1 the earlier tech deal
    Step 2 an american CEO
    Step 3 the London event – clearly an air of admission that they have to fix their position in the high arpu, high subsidy US market

    Just remember, most rehab programs are 10 (12?) steps? :-)

  • Maxtor12

    This is just BS by Eldar who is trying to show that Nokia’s Meego and Symbian strategy has failed. Eldar is alsways trying new ways to discredit Nokia and make them look bad. Eldar’s “former hits” include making the ovi browser out to be a desktop browser trying to compete with IE, FF, and chrome.

    If Nokia was going to use an outside OS, it would be Android and not some fringe OS that few want.

  • Bigmonk666

    It just might be true….because the new Nokia CEO (go look it up) has been recruited from Microsoft.

    Facts….Apples to Apples……its a new product so….if you check sales performance of the iPhone in its first quarter you will see that its way ahead…give year I am sure the user base will grow.

  • Raj

    I agree if nokia wants to take any OS why not Android … WM7 is no where…

  • http://twitter.com/NokTokDaddy Steve Barker

    This could make perfect sense for both parties: MicroSoft get access to the world’s .argest phone Mfr’s markets, technology and infrastructure and Nokia get the keys to North America.

    HTC are another Mfr who build identical models for two OS’s and Nokia are even better geared up for diverse production of otherwise identical devices.

    The battle is all about market share right now, and WP7 and Nokia both have to convince and reassure the markets that they have something to offer and are a force to be reckoned with. For Nokia in particular, a collaboration with MS could be enough to finally win US carrier support.

    Nokia’s huge Symbian customer base (outside US) is huge and loyal, so I don’t see aproblem there – they will continue to buy into what they know and trust.

    Nokia’s Maemo (and now potentially Meego) market is very small (and I am one of them). Selling Meego outside this very happy band of geeks will require huge resources and acess to North America.

    At the end of the day most of Nokia’s devices are S30 & S40-powered. Introducing WP7 will make no impact on these sales whatsoever.

    This is business – not some daft idealogical squabble as to what’s better; an open or closed OS. A good business partnership will offer choice and confidence to the market and that’ what I see here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ubetido Hartmut Meier

    Anything they attempt at this point in time would be better than their current miserable excuse for a flagship (N8).

  • Anonymous

    The only possibility I can see here is that either this will be a US only line of phones, Nokia will run this in tandem with Symbian in the same way that Samsung do Bada and Android or it’s bollocks.

    Given it’s Eldar I’m more inclined to go with the latter.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. How is yours holding up?

    You do have one to make that call, right?

  • http://twitter.com/don_afrim Don_Afrim

    no chance! i don’t buy it, it’s a big crappy lie that’s what it is! Microsoft WP7 is dead! How many did they sell.. little to none! MeeGo at this point is better than WP7 and it’s not even finished yet. Stop the lies, Microsoft is out of the game and they better watch out because I somehow have a feeling they will lose their dominance in the PC market.

    WP7 is dead and that’s all there is to it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GNURBEV5BOTPO7RNMU7AYEWZ64 Johann Aschenbach

    Crap indeed, and not holy. Just another line of Eldar’s famous Nokia bashing.
    All reasons discussed why Nokia should not and will not adopt Android are even more valid to WinPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/mikkybukky82 michael

    WP7 is not dead , its just the beginning.How many android phones were sold on the first month of launch? Nothing….and its doing pretty well now. WP7 already has 4500 app in 6 weeks of launch in the US.

  • guests of common sence

    Eldar murtazin is the one who defamed nokia n8 .and i still dont believe he is going scott free after that
    i still dont believe people actually give a care to what he is writing

  • http://twitter.com/molbal Bálint Molnár

    Better than a Droid phone… but no way!! Nokia uses Symbian and MeeGo! It’s super effective!

    OR

    Why don’t they make also Win7 and Droid phones?

    OR

    Dualboot – Android+WinMo7? <- A phone like this would kill everyone :P

  • http://www.facebook.com/ubetido Hartmut Meier

    Unfortunately yes, i was stupid enough to shell out $700+ for this abomination, however fortunately for not stupid enough to keep it.

  • Anonymous

    Eldar is a fool…this has been released to draw attention to himself and his cause

  • Anonymous

    I certainly hope this is bullshit.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/cesarcardoso Cesar Cardoso

    Looks like Eldar has become a tool in Nokia’s internal warfare.

    It REALLY seems that somebody wanted to send a strong message to its own middle management, “get your act together or we’ll relegate you to Windows Phone shippers” – we must remember, ‘partners’ CANNOT customize Windows Phone much beyond harmless tiles and some things like that.

  • Ramin00008

    Stefan Elop was a microsoft guy.
    Now he is CEO of nokia. So it might happen.. if so then i can safely say, Elop is gonna kill Nokia. i hate it.

  • Ramin00008

    Stefan Elop was a microsoft guy.
    Now he is CEO of nokia. So it might happen.. if so then i can safely say, Elop is gonna kill Nokia. i hate it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Otto-Gustafsson/100000609100003 Otto Gustafsson

    Everyone who thinks that Eldar Murtazin is a mobile-guru should read this. Until last spring he was a good source for rumors but nowadays he is just a troll: http://the-ultimate111.livejournal.com/34727.html

    Eldar is one piece of the media war where Nokia should be invisible in the media for its market share, continuous profitability, user base and applications. Only bad, negative and desperate news about Nokia are allowed to change the attitude of the people away from Nokia towards Apple and Google. Like “Apple and Android soars, Nokia struggles”, what you see every day in the News, if Nokia is mentioned at all.

    Today Nokia has made a good choice by not selecting outhouse OS. Android or WP7 would be big mistake for the company. Today NONE of the Android makers is profitable. WP7 is not selling and you have to pay a license for Microsoft to use it. It is an unfinished OS with a lot of bugs, like was Windows Mobile before. Symbian is probably the best mobile OS today, but media treats it like there would be something very badly wrong with it. Most of the analysts don’t know the difference between UI and the core of the OS. Symbian UI has been bad, but now it is smooth, acceptable and going to be better by updates in the beginning of the 2011.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    What a bunch of hypocrites! Using WP7 is MUCH more like “peeing in their pants” than using Android. At least they could customize Android to make it look how they wanted and add whatever new features they wanted, without control from anyone.

    With WP7 they’ll look EXACTLY like everyone else who makes WP7 phones. How is this not peeing in your pants Nokia?

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. All big Android phone manufacturers are selling millions of each Android device. Some of them are not profitable because most of their business is STILL not about Android, and they lose money on all their other phones that aren’t Android. HTC which has most of its revenue from Android is extremely profitable and growing quickly. The others just need to phase out all their other phones and start selling Android only, and they’ll be very profitable, too, soon.

    Stop spilling out Asymco’s Apple propaganda.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    I think there was just one. Microsoft had 8.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    I think there was just one. Microsoft had 8.

  • Anonymous

    calling bullshit on this.

  • Stu Axon

    Meego is fucked in that case – they should just ditch Symbian go all Meego.

  • Anonymous

    If true (doubt it) Then Android would be a much better business opertunity as Symbian / meego is also based on linux like Android.

  • Anonymous

    OH wow, should be interesting to see how that turns out. Wow.

    http://www.anon-web.edu.tc

  • http://twitter.com/chrismaurice Christian Maurice

    Android had only one phone and launch in 2 or 3 country. WP7 is 9 phones in 30 country. And the smartphone market is bigger now.

  • http://twitter.com/rurikbradbury Rurik Bradbury

    But Samsung’s strategy would not work for Nokia. There is no serious momentum behind Bada and there never will be.

    These leaks/rumors are very damaging for Nokia: they should either partner with WP7 or Android; or they should stay the course and be 100% dismissive of partner-OS talk.

    Even if it’s a US-only partnership, it would still badly damage their perception among developers — a disproportionate number of important developers are in the US, and this is a terrible mixed message.

  • http://twitter.com/fahrertuer Dirk

    Do you guys still believe, what this Murtazin guy has to say? All I’ve seen from him recently is anti Nokia nonsense with no factual contents

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit Judson

    Asymco has never claimed that Android hasn’t made smartphone companies profitable, although he wonders about long-term commoditization, like every other analyst. Not sure what propaganda you’re referring to here, but since I dislike propaganda but like Asymco, I am curious as to your thoughts.

    You are right that Asymco has had a bevvy of Apple articles lately, but he’s discussed RIM and Windows Phones recently too.

  • Guest

    When exactly did Nokia say it was their flagship? It simply never was, so stop whining that something didn’t live up to your imagination.

  • matthaus

    I tend to have the contrarian view, Lucian. Elop/ Green are not ignoring the software mess their predecessors have produced, they actually are cleaning up. I don’t know any specifics about the latest developments or the validity of Eldar’s claims, but I know that there were informal talks about this since September (http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/23/nokia-windows-stephen-elop/). Part of the problem from Nokia’s side seems to be that MeeGo phones are delayed form what I hear. That’s partly due to tech issues and to Elop/Green wanting to nail the MeeGo launch.

    I am becoming way more upbeat about Nokia if Eldar’s news are true. This means that somebody in management is tackling some of the brutal truths.

  • matthaus

    I tend to have the contrarian view, Lucian. Elop/ Green are not ignoring the software mess their predecessors have produced, they actually are cleaning up. I don’t know any specifics about the latest developments or the validity of Eldar’s claims, but I know that there were informal talks about this since September (http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/23/nokia-windows-stephen-elop/). Part of the problem from Nokia’s side seems to be that MeeGo phones are delayed form what I hear. That’s partly due to tech issues and to Elop/Green wanting to nail the MeeGo launch.

    I am becoming way more upbeat about Nokia if Eldar’s news are true. This means that somebody in management is tackling some of the brutal truths.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    I think he did. He had 2 particular articles where I thought he twisted the stats to show how bad Android makers are doing in a way that suggested they are doing bad BECAUSE of Android – which is completely false. I think he did the misleading on purpose so I dislike him for that, even though he’s from my own country.

    In the first article from summer he was “demonstrating” how Android makers like Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and LG (without even mentioning HTC if I remember correctly) were doing poorly and was saying something along the lines “How has Android helped these manufacturers? It has’t! They are barely profitable or some are not even profitable”.

    Of course what he failed to mention was that he was considering the TOTAL revenue of these companies, which maybe sold 100 different non-Android phones and 1-2 Android phones each – and from that he concluded that they are doing bad because of Android or it’s not helping them at all. Pretty flawed assumption, no? Although everyone seemed to fall for it, and started spreading around the Internet that “Android phone makers don’t make any money (implying: because they are using Android)”.

    And in the second one I noticed, he was comparing all these phone manufacturer’s profits in a chart that basically showed that Apple’s profits are 10x the ones of HTC, for example. And he was implying that because Apple’s total profits from iPhone are 10x (or whatever) bigger than HTC’s total profits from Android – then HTC is not making ANY money. Again, very flawed view because he was comparing total profits of a big company vs a small company, so of course total profits of the smaller one will be smaller. The whole chart was useless because the comparisons didn’t make sense and it portrayed HTC as a company who is making NOTHING from Android, even though they are making a killing with Android, and growing 20% each quarter, mostly because of Android, since I doubt they are selling much with WM6, WP7, or even Brew.

    Sorry if I’m not clear enough in the second paragraph. It’s hard to explain his nonsense, but try to read it again. I’m sure he’s good at analyzing data or whatever his job is, but I think he’s trying to put Android in a bad light on purpose by making up charts and misleading his readers.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    I think 2011 will be the year when all the lines will be drawn – which of the modern OS’s are going to become dominant and which are going fail from Android, iOS, WebOS, WP7, Meego and QNX. In 2012 this should be clear for everyone.

    It’s really too bad Nokia is failing already with Meego (all the delays and now these rumors). I think Meego would’ve been a much better competitor to Android, because it can play on all levels and all types of devices, just like Android. If Nokia gets their strategy right in 2011, they might even catch up to whatever sales WP7 will have and outgrow them much quicker. However, I doubt they’ll get the strategy right.

    What’s the right strategy for Meego? It’s Android’s and WP7′s strategy, yet it seems to me like they are using the iOS/WebOS/QNX strategy. They need to not only let Meego be used by other companies (in a much better way than they let Symbian), but also PROMOTE Meego to other phone manufacturers! This is SO important for Meego’s success, because no single-company OS can succeed anymore, without being relegated to niche status at best.

    But I doubt Nokia will actively promote Meego to other phone manufacturers the way Google and Microsoft did it, because Nokia has a conflict of interest. They want the whole OS to be their “competitive advantage” (which as I mentioned is a mistake). And even though they want the OS to be their competitive advantage, they are willing to use an OS (WP7) which gives them NO competitive advantage. How confusing no? I bet that’s the state of their long term strategies, too – confusion.

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit Judson

    Well, he’s definitely glossing over the total revenue vs. Android revenue trick, but he makes some good points despite that.

    It seems like both you and him are exaggerating here. Yes, the other companies’ revenues are not entirely Android, but no, they don’t have 100s of models each. I’d lowball HTC at 20 models, and Motorola has maybe 6 models of Android phone and no other current product. Motorola’s lack of profitability, compared to HTC (the best vendor I think), is a really interesting point.

    He compares their profitability to Apple’s, and facts are facts – not even decoupled from other revenues, all Android vendors combined (with their other product revenues combined) cannot approach the revenue of the iPhone alone (as far as I understood it). That’s a pretty amazing point.

    At any rate, there are qualifications to what he says. I think most of the time, he’s pretty good at laying those out. But I don’t consider it misleading. It is not a lie to say that Android vendors aren’t making nearly as much money combined as a single product line from their competitor.

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit Judson

    Well, he’s definitely glossing over the total revenue vs. Android revenue trick, but he makes some good points despite that.

    It seems like both you and him are exaggerating here. Yes, the other companies’ revenues are not entirely Android, but no, they don’t have 100s of models each. I’d lowball HTC at 20 models, and Motorola has maybe 6 models of Android phone and no other current product. Motorola’s lack of profitability, compared to HTC (the best vendor I think), is a really interesting point.

    He compares their profitability to Apple’s, and facts are facts – not even decoupled from other revenues, all Android vendors combined (with their other product revenues combined) cannot approach the revenue of the iPhone alone (as far as I understood it). That’s a pretty amazing point.

    At any rate, there are qualifications to what he says. I think most of the time, he’s pretty good at laying those out. But I don’t consider it misleading. It is not a lie to say that Android vendors aren’t making nearly as much money combined as a single product line from their competitor.

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit Judson

    Well, he’s definitely glossing over the total revenue vs. Android revenue trick, but he makes some good points despite that.

    It seems like both you and him are exaggerating here. Yes, the other companies’ revenues are not entirely Android, but no, they don’t have 100s of models each. I’d lowball HTC at 20 models, and Motorola has maybe 6 models of Android phone and no other current product. Motorola’s lack of profitability, compared to HTC (the best vendor I think), is a really interesting point.

    He compares their profitability to Apple’s, and facts are facts – not even decoupled from other revenues, all Android vendors combined (with their other product revenues combined) cannot approach the revenue of the iPhone alone (as far as I understood it). That’s a pretty amazing point.

    At any rate, there are qualifications to what he says. I think most of the time, he’s pretty good at laying those out. But I don’t consider it misleading. It is not a lie to say that Android vendors aren’t making nearly as much money combined as a single product line from their competitor.

  • http://nextparadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    The world would be much nicer if the top 2 OS’s would be Android and Meego, both open source and free, backed by 2 powerful companies to insure continous survival and innovation.

  • http://twitter.com/judsontwit Judson

    Oh, who am I kidding. He’s had a ton of focus on iPhone profits lately – as if that’s the most important part of market analysis – and many of the comments are no doubt caustic and actually really dislike Android.

    Sad to say I don’t think sort of dialogue was his intention.

  • Anonymous

    I stopped reading when I saw the name “Eldar”.

  • http://www.aadjemonkeyrock.com Aad ‘t Hart

    May be something else is happening, an acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft?

  • Anonymous

    yes, but he certainly seems to have some backstage informations.

  • Anonymous

    elop came from microsoft, but he was not a microsoft guy. he worked there only about two years, or something.

  • Techster

    It’s a shame people didn’t see this. WP7 will be the mobile OS that will dominate the smart phone market. Samsung see it, Nokia see it. HTC see it. Only one refuse to accept is Moto. Trust me, Moto will make WP7 in 2011, regardless what they are saying now.

  • http://twitter.com/grzegorz_maj Grzegorz Maj

    When such manufacturer like Nokia is coming, everything is possible in case of customization. This would be great win for Microsoft, and great win for Nokia. Meego is DOA. Who would write apps for this when you have iOS, Android, and Blackberry? How to market Meego, when all you see in TV is Android and IPhone(in Europe). MS has reputation, marketing power and synergies such as Zune music, or XBox, or Office. BTW Blackerry will do the same in 1, or 2 years. There are just too many OSes.

  • Lazyirish