Opinions are divided, as they should ;-). Lots of experts see Nokia’s handshake with Microsoft as a complete surrender and guaranteed death sentence, the others see it as a stroke of genius. Let me help you get all the little yellow ducks on a row.
It’s Microsoft. Their operating system populates about every single PC on the planet, and then some. People are using their applications (Outlook, Word, Powerpoint) like there is no tomorrow…. and they happen to have a phone operating system that is neat, fast, and fully integrated in the Microsoft ecosystem. One bummer: Microsoft has no clue how to sell phones abroad. They do not have the retail infrastructure, knowledge or distributor history to pull it off short notice. They do software very well, but apart from X-boxes, a lonely mouse and keyboard, their global box selling capabilities outside the US are fairly limited…
It’s Nokia. The older ones still can remember that Nokia made some of the very best phones ever. Only, lately their operating system got a bit old fashioned, and lost the burning competition with windows mobile, Android, RIM and Apple. But Nokia does know how to make and sell phones. This is a company that started 160 years ago… as a paper mill! It moved into rubber, built some darn good Zodiacs, sold floating devices, went into cables and electricity, employed Olympic wrestler Verner Weckman as CEO before getting some historic mobile phones on the shelves. Rambo would grunt that these people are survivors. Liquid adaptable.
With that handshake, Nokia finds direct access to one of the leading and most promising mobile OS systems, and a new go at conquering the US market. Microsoft sizes an opportunity to plant its OS slambam into the coming generation phones from a giant phone manufacturer. Through the deal, Microsoft can also tap directly into the well of Nokia-owned Navteq maps, adding state of the art location based capabilities directly into the ecosystem, and adding a great map and navigation partner to Bing.
You know what? I’ll think they’ll do fine 🙂