Nokia ditches Symbian, embraces Microsoft Windows Phone for new handsets

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Nokia, the world's largest handset maker, announced on Friday its plans to ditch its Symbian mobile operating system and partner with Microsoft to make smartphones running Windows Phone.



Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop joined Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a joint open letter, detailing the strategic alliance between the two companies. Though Nokia remains the largest phone maker in the world, the company has been on a significant slide, losing market share to Apple's iPhone and handsets running the Google Android operating system.



The two companies plan to create a "new global mobile ecosystem" by jointly creating mobile products and services. Nokia and Microsoft intend to work together and "integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings."



"Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience," Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivaled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."



Nokia said that Symbian will become what it calls a "franchise platform," and will be sold on about 150 million devices in the coming years. But the company's strategy is a transition from Symbian to Windows Phone.



Elop made waves earlier this week when he released a 1,300 word internal memo entitled "Standing on a burning platform." The memo compares Nokia's position in the smartphone market to the story of a man on a burning oil platform, faced with the decision to die in a fire or plunge into the icy sea.



The memo depicts Nokia's Symbian and MeeGo platforms as competitive failures, and notes the tremendous success Apple has had with its iPhone and Google has had with Android in recent years. In particular, of Apple, he said that the Cupertino, Calif., company "changed the game."



In the newly announced partnership, Nokia will turn to Windows Phone to fight off the competition, while "innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging." The Finnish handset maker has said it will also "drive the future of Windows Phone" by contributing its expertise on global markets.



"I am excited about this partnership with Nokia," said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute."



Key elements of the partnership announced Friday by Nokia and Microsoft are:

Bing will power Nokia?s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing?s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia's line of devices and services.



Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft's mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft's Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience.



Nokia?s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.



Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem?s global reach.



Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.



Nokia's content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

Nokia said on Friday that it expects 2011 and 2012 to be "transition years" as the company works with Microsoft to implement the Windows Phone platform in its product lineup.



"Nokia is at a critical juncture, where significant change is necessary and inevitable in our journey forward," Elop said. "Today, we are accelerating that change through a new path, aimed at regaining our smartphone leadership, reinforcing our mobile device platform and realizing our investments in the future."
«13456714

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 266
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Really have to wonder about Atom's future now.



    Is it a just a budget laptop cpu or a smartphone/handheld device cpu?
  • Reply 2 of 266
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,054member
    So one declining giant embracing another.....



    Well this announcentment has probably saved Windows Mobile from a total rout scenario throughout 2011.



    I wish Nokia had bought palm when they had the chance, they really could have done something there without relying on a third party.



    Before the iPhone I would only buy Nokia's, they are good solid phones. Such a shame to see them drop into a tailspin since 2007, who knows maybe this will work out for them, I hope it will.
  • Reply 3 of 266
    Symbian was about on par with PalmOS. They were good OSes in their heyday but died a slow painful death. If Palm hung onto PalmOS too long, then Nokia really held onto Symbian too long.



    I am surprised Nokia went with Microsoft and not Google. Windows Phone 7 offers all the disadvantages of Android but at a cost.
  • Reply 4 of 266
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Elop made waves earlier this week when he released a 1,300 word internal memo entitled "Standing on a burning platform." The memo compares Nokia's position in the smartphone market to the story of a man on a burning oil platform, faced with the decision to die in a fire or plunge into the icy sea.



    There's something tragic about this, since the man in the story sounds like he's going to die either way.
  • Reply 5 of 266
    this strategy worked really well for Palm.
  • Reply 6 of 266
    Desperate but the right move. Going Windows is risky but a smarter move than going Android. The Android platform is jus too crowded, so much competition among each other that prices are pulled down that it wouldn't help Nokia so much financially..
  • Reply 7 of 266
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Nokia tried. Apple wasn't going to let that happen though, not with Nokia and Apple battling over patents. Buying Palm would have really aided Apple or Nokia if either had managed to buy Palm.



    Apple was the second highest bidder for Palm. Interesting enough, inside sources suggested Apple would have keep Palm afloat and continued to sell webOS devices.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    I wish Nokia had bought palm when they had the chance, they really could have done something there without relying on a third party.



  • Reply 8 of 266
    The only way this will work is if Nokia bought Apple and hired Balmer away from Microsoft so he could do for ApeNokia what he now does for Microsoft.



    Balmer the Destroy-a
  • Reply 9 of 266
    Ouch! Nokia isn?t doing so hot in the stock market: http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3ANOK



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    So one declining giant embracing another.....



    Well this announcentment has probably saved Windows Mobile from a total rout scenario throughout 2011.



    I wish Nokia had bought palm when they had the chance, they really could have done something there without relying on a third party.



    Before the iPhone I would only buy Nokia's, they are good solid phones. Such a shame to see them drop into a tailspin since 2007, who knows maybe this will work out for them, I hope it will.



    First of all, MS isn?t in decline. They are still growing their revenue and profits at a rate that outpaces the market each quarter.



    Second, the strategy of two less successful companies combining to compete better against others in a market segment isn?t uncommon, isn?t a bad move in and of itself, and has proven to be hugely successful in the past.



    Overall, I think WebOS would have been a better option, just as I think Android would have been a better option (but with a unique but steady UI that allowed for Nokia to differentiate itself, have it?s one Nokia Android app store that it approved and vetted, but not disallow other Android apps). The problem with these for Nokia is the problem they?ve had with Symbian, Meego, Ovi and every other piece of code? they suck at it. At least with WP7 they are paying MS for making an OS. And because of the WP7 sales being lower than expected MS needs them, too. This could work.
  • Reply 10 of 266
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    If the choice was between Android and Windows, I would have went with Android. Windows 7 is a big improvement over previous attempts, but Microsoft has been very slow to bring to market improvements. Further, it is years behind.



    I think Nokia's worry was with patents and copyright. Eventually, Android will come with a cost to users as there is little chance Android isn't violating somebody else's work. If Oracle wins its lawsuit against Google, companies using Android will be next.
  • Reply 11 of 266
    boogabooga Posts: 1,075member
    Hope Nokia does better than every other company Microsoft has ever partnered with...
  • Reply 12 of 266
    Holy crap! It always made sense but I really had a feeling Nokia wouldn't go for it.



    I suppose Nokia must have seen what most people see once they play with a WP7... it's the best mobile phone OS sans a bunch of tick-box features and a more solid App Store.



    Unfortunately there is a whole lot more to a mobile platform than simply having the best mobile phone OS like worldwide sales channels, mind share, confidence in the company, integration with other hardware and mobile devices and so on.



    Some of this Nokia can provide like relationships with sales channels and some mind share. I'm impressed that Nokia are backing themselves. I wonder if they will re-brand? Having "Windows" in the name of a consumer phone kind of sucks!



    Some Microsoft can provide. The early update being distributed (Apple style) by Microsoft through the Zune client is a big bonus.



    However some things are still totally lacking like the solid 3rd party hardware and integration iDevices enjoy as well as a Windows tablet that can actually compete with the iPad.



    Interesting times people, interesting times!
  • Reply 13 of 266
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Hope Nokia does better than every other company Microsoft has ever partnered with...



    It?s like an episode of House M.D. where a parasite has been inadvertantly keeping you alive when you should have been dead a long time ago, yet at the same time the parasite is adsorbing so much of your resources that you are now at its mercy and can no longer survive without it. See where I?m going with this?
  • Reply 14 of 266
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post


    There's something tragic about this, since the man in the story sounds like he's going to die either way.



    Sounds like they are jumping from one burning platform to another burning platform. They think a platform that has not shown any consumer interest is going to save them?
  • Reply 15 of 266
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    smart move for Nokia, and great news for MS.



    The next platform to die will probably be RIM's. My guess is RIM will go with Android.



    I'm surprised by the level of commitment HP is showing to WebOS, but I suspect that no matter how well they execute, WebOS will lose due to what is essentially a very late start from scratch.



    So we will end up with three platforms, iOS, Windows, and Android. My guess is that in the long run Apple and MS will have roughly equal shares of the market (maybe 25-30 percent each) while Android will take the rest (40-50 percent). Apple will be the most profitable, MS the second, and Android will be a failure from the perspective of a Google shareholder as I think Google will lose control of the platform. Android will become the "generic" platform embraced by no-name producers, and those producers may frequently choose to eschew Google services, particularly in the emerging markets.
  • Reply 16 of 266
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msuberly View Post


    Symbian was about on par with PalmOS. They were good OSes in their heyday but died a slow painful death. If Palm hung onto PalmOS too long, then Nokia really held onto Symbian too long.



    I am surprised Nokia went with Microsoft and not Google. Windows Phone 7 offers all the disadvantages of Android but at a cost.



    I guess Nokia didn't want to be just another android company. Is there really anything to differentiate ones products in Android camp. I think consumers are more loyal to Android, than single manufacturer.
  • Reply 17 of 266
    MS to Nokia: “You’ve got the looks, I’ve got the brains, let’s waste lots of money.”
  • Reply 18 of 266
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    I suppose Nokia must have seen what most people see once they play with a WP7... it's the best mobile phone OS sans a bunch of tick-box features and a more solid App Store.



    Unfortunately there is a whole lot more to a mobile platform than simply having the best mobile phone OS like worldwide sales channels, mind share, confidence in the company, integration with other hardware and mobile devices and so on.



    Some of this Nokia can provide like the sales channels and some mind share. I'm impressed that Nokia are backing themselves. I wonder if they will re-brand? Having "Windows" in the name of a consumer phone kind of sucks!



    So you are saying the WP7 is the best mobile phone OS if you don't consider any of the features of the competing phones?



    Sales Channels are provided by carriers not phone manufacturers. Apple is an exception because they also sell in their own stores.
  • Reply 19 of 266
    asciiascii Posts: 5,852member
    This is better news for Apple than if they had gone with Android. Divide and conquer and all that...
  • Reply 20 of 266
    stuffestuffe Posts: 391member
    Poor timing, given the recent advances in the mobile space and HP's aggressive WebOS schedule. It seems painfully simple and obvious to me that Nokia should have bought Palm as soon it was clear the Pre wasn't going to keep them afloat independently.



    Now Nokia is just another me-too building handsets to someone else's specification and with someone else's software. What's the USP? Continuing to innovate on top in areas where they are market leaders, like imaging? What, they are going to put a better camera and app on the phone to differentiate themselves?



    It also keeps Nokia firmly OUT of the tablet market, unlike *every other manufacturer* who is creating a suite of mobile products iPhone/iPad, Blackberry/Playbook, Android Phone/Android Tablets, Pre/Whatever the WebOS tablet was called again....Windows Phone 7 Series phone....and...a slow netbook running a desktop OS? Useless.



    I fear for both MS and Nokia, Nokia more so tho.



    PS. Apple are doomed! (c)
Sign In or Register to comment.