Will using Windows Mobile give Nokia the boost it has been looking for?
A LOT has been written about the new partnership between Nokia and Microsoft with many analysts seeing it as though Nokia has signed their death warrant. I beg to differ.
Nokia was already on life-support as far as Symbian is concerned. I reviewed their N8 and C7 some time back- both fantastic devices but crippled by an OS that was nowhere near what the current leading phones come equipped with.
Nokia had to jump ship from Symbian as as their new CEO Stephen Elop pointed out, Meego was to far away to rescue them. The only options they had were Android and Windows Phone 7. As much as I wanted Nokia to switch to Android, I think choosing Windows 7 was a smarter move.
I have yet to receive a Windows Phone 7 equipped device from Microsoft officially to give a proper hands on but that hasn’t stopped me from trying out Windows Phone 7 on my HD2 and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed- even by a hacked and slashed method.
Unlike other OSes that were trying to find gold copying iOS (Android included), Windows Phone 7 feels incredibly fresh. Its also the newest OS allowing developers to look and learn from the pitfalls of iOs, Android and WebOS. Back that by the tremendous resources that Microsoft has at hand and you’re looking at a serious player in the longer run. Yes, it doesn’t offer many features that some of the above mentioned OSes do, but let it mature- its only on its first iteration at the moment.
Choosing Android would have meant that Nokia would have had to compete against a new player almost every month. And the openness of Android would have made it hard for Nokia to stand out amongst the countless skins and themes available for the Android platform- many of them really good such as MiUi and HTC Sense. However, with Windows Phone 7, Nokia has the exclusivity of being the only manufacturer to customize the look and feel of the OS. It will help Nokia differentiate itself from the already very few players supporting Windows Phone 7.
In fact, I have a feeling that Samsung and LG will probably focus more on their Android handsets than Windows Phone 7 and HTC might end up dividing their limited resources between the thus slowing development. This will leave Nokia in the lead with Windows Phone 7 and with their incredible hardware designs and Microsoft’s development resources, this will be one relationship that is probably already causing CEOs of competing organizations re-strategizing.