Nokia, the Finnish giant, that started out making tires and now supplies more mobile phones to the world than everyone else combined, signed their soul to the devil today and took a big step closer to the corporate grave!
Today, Nokia announced they would adopting the Windows operating system as the basis for their smart phones.
Of course there’s still the question of what will happen to all their Symbian based feature-phones, the Symbian smart phones already in development or close to the production, and the promises of a Meego based smart phone this year.
I guess it was obvious this is what Nokia would do given their current CEO comes to them from Microsoft (plus a couple other hints). But with Nokia’s exerpience in Linux (via Meego), they’re experience open-sourcing Symbian, and their past-CEO’s comment comparing adopting some else’s OS to peeing in your pants to stay warm it’s a bit of a slap in the face for those of us expecting something more from Nokia to combat the onslaught of Apple and Google powered devices.
I guess we were hoping they would either take the covers of something Meego powered that look like it came out of a Star Trek episode (with Wil Wheaton as spokesperson). Or a hardware platform that screamed eat my dust Motorola/Samsung/HTC. Or at worst just a concession that Android was the platform of choice these days any they were going to throw their considerable experience and talent behind it.
Of course the winner in all this is Microsoft. With the pedigree of Nokia’s name they can finally claim that Windows Phone 7 is a legitimate contender in the smart phone race. Of course the driver who goes one lap and then spends the rest of the race in the pits trying keep his tires from falling off could also claim he was in the race but it wouldn’t really matter.
And so today, we bid adieu to Nokia from the smart phone world. I will always admire the Nokia phones I owned; but I don’t think I’ll buying any more.
UPDATE Feb 14, 2011: There’s a great interview with Nokia’s Stephen Elop over at BGR – good, straight-forward (sounding at least) answers. And I love the shot at RIM around minute 13!