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Can Nokia Save Itself?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the with-enough-phones-you-can-put-out-any-fire dept.

Cellphones 317

Nerval's Lobster writes "When ex-Microsoft executive Stephen Elop took the reins of Nokia back in 2011, he memorably compared the Finnish phone-maker to a burning old platform in the North Sea. 'I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform,' he wrote in a widely circulated memo. 'And, we have more than one explosion — we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fueling a blazing fire around us.' Elop suggested competitors such as Apple and Google had 'poured flames on our market share,' with the damage accelerated by Nokia's failure to embrace big trends. His solution: abandon Nokia's homegrown operating systems, including Symbian, in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone. Nokia's Windows Phones managed to attract some significant buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and early sales seemed solid. But now there are signs the situation could be deteriorating."

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317 comments

Go back to making fishing boots (4, Funny)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#41742431)

After all, that was their core competency.

Also frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#41742487)

dibs

Re:Also frist psot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743253)

what is a psot?

I think Elop is made of gasoline.

Re:Go back to making fishing boots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743327)

LL Bean will beat them there also

yes it can (4, Funny)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#41742437)

yes, it can. ditch winphone/maemo/meego/symbian release a good android phone, and a series of ME TOO cheap android phones. profit.

Re:yes it can (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#41742511)

How well exactly is HTC doing releasing a series of "ME TOO" android phones? All the sales and profit in Android seems to be accumulating with Samsung, which is almost synonymous with the OS.

Re:yes it can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742799)

Yeah I don't think Nokia wants to jump into a super-saturated, undifferentiated market with reckless abandon. They'd be better off pimping windows phones and hoping they get bought by MS.

Their phones are different enough, they had a solid reputation, they just missed the boat on smartphones. Their last move is going all-in on winmo.

Re:yes it can (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743047)

So the solution is to jump into a super-saturated, undifferentiated market with reckless abandon.. With a worse product that's doesn't play in the established ecosystem?

Nokia died the day it hired that hatchet man from MS. I said it then, I say it now.

MS is there to rape and pillage Nokia's IP. They're using the company as a testbed for development, and will throw it's corpse in the ditch when they're done.

Re:yes it can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743481)

Don't forget any patents it may have!

Re:yes it can (3, Insightful)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about a year ago | (#41742963)

I started using Nokia phones some time around '95-97 and was happy enough to stay pretty much locked in. Early last year I wanted a new one and was trying to decide which Symbian-based device to buy. Then came 'The Announcement'. If they had decided to add a range of Windows Phones to their Symbian range (maybe even offering a choice of OS on a phone?) I'd still be a Nokia customer now.
I held off for a year and now have a Samsung. I tried one HTC device but gave up after minutes because the touchscreen keyboard was simply too small for my fingers.

Re:yes it can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742595)

This would have worked some 3 or 4 years ago. Now Nokia is bound to die, unless they come up with some real cool tech that somehow changes the game completely.

Re:yes it can (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#41742837)

Nokia maps anyone?

Re:yes it can (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743151)

Only when it stops requiring an active connection to 4G internet so that my phone is "authorized" to access the maps I have already downloaded onto the phone, and communicate with the satellites it already says it is connected to.

Re:yes it can (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#41742695)

You forgot "fire Elop and sue his ass off".

Re:yes it can (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#41743029)

As if Elop made this decision unilaterally? The board of directors went along with him on this. Further, what exactly would you sue him for? Potential profits that maybe the company possibly could have made by going with Android?

Microsoft offered them a very sweet deal: $1 billion, engineering support from Microsoft to help with the transition, and technology sharing agreements which lead to Nokia mapping technology being used in Bing, Windows 7/8, and Windows 8/RT. Not to mention the patent protection provided by Microsoft in all Windows Phone licenses, something that Samsung knows all too well Google does not provide.

And Google was offering.... absolutely nothing. It would be pretty hard to show that Elop was being somehow "negligent" by taking the company in this direction, as it's not even certain that had they gone with Android, they wouldn't already be dead.

Re:yes it can (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#41743413)

"Further, what exactly would you sue him for? "

For being either a turd sandwich or a Giant Dusche.

Re:yes it can (3, Insightful)

mcwop (31034) | about a year ago | (#41743107)

Too late IMO. In fact, this is also what RIMM should have done, and they still cling to their OS fantasy. People are tied into the mobile iOS and Android ecosystems. Windows Mobile may have a chance, but it will be tough - especially with the iPad mini in the mix.

Re:yes it can (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#41743425)

I still actually to this day like a lot of Nokia hardware.

If they released an Android phone with no extra shit, just plain old vanilla Android on their hardware I'd buy it, and I suspect many other old Nokia fans would.

They could easily eat a healthy chunk of both Samsung and Apple's marketshare if they did this. It's so obvious, I just don't get why they fail to carry it out. Even if they didn't manage to regain the top spot, one thing is for sure, and that's that they'd certainly be in a much healthier position than they are now. They have the hardware to distinguish themselves in the Android market, so talk of fears just being another Android player is idiotic, especially when even just being another Android player is still a thousand times more profitable than being a Windows Phone non-entity.

No. (1)

mister.woody (2712229) | about a year ago | (#41742499)

Simple answer: No. I wish they did, though.

No of course not, Nokia is dead (5, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#41742505)

You can't 'fix' not having a clue how to save yourself. You can't 'fix' looking for other people's money to help you do the same things wrong some more. Nokia is a dead man walking like HP phones, Palm, Symbian and others. And make no mistake, Windows phones will once again be killed off by Microsoft soon with or without Nokia. MS has no stamina, and their credit, they quickly recognize the instances where they themselves have failed to promote something.

Re:No of course not, Nokia is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742749)

You also can't fix bad marketing. I was in a T-Mobile store this week; many self-standing display racks of smartphones - both dummy and fully functional units, mostly various Samsung models. And, right at the back of the store, a lonely "Windows Phone" display, with one single non-functional Nokia. Zero indication of why I should buy one other than "it runs Windows". More shelf space was given to cheap prepaid phones than to the Nokia.

They're giving a $300 discount on them - making them essentially free with contract - but there are many Android phones at the same price.

Re:No of course not, Nokia is dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743023)

MS has no stamina,

Like with XBox and that Bing-thing

and their credit, they quickly recognize the instances where they themselves have failed to promote something.

Also like that that bin-thing, the zune and the lose-phone?

You're forgetting microsoft has been pushing lose-phones a long time. There used to be some corporate takers, but since the latest iteration it's turned into a consumer device, ironically one the consumers do not want.

Microsoft have stamina alright, usually they keep riding on their monopoly money until the competition makes a mistake, and then they lock everyone in with the mandatory tie-in with Windows and Office. Only it fails so far because there's very little overlap between the deskop and the mobile. If people had a genuine dependence on MS Office for their cellphones, or actually needed Windows to make a call (log in to various crappy but necessary services, dependent on proprietary windows only software), or to play games it'd be a different story. The problem for Microsoft is that there is no need for them.

Besides, few people aware of their antics in the past would give them any money if it could be helped, you know, the ones the clueless turns to for advice when they are about to get a new gadget.

TL;DR
Microsoft and Windows are stigmas, associated with crashing applications, blue screens, malware, viruses and unethical business practices. Who'd want that on their cell, when they can have a clean break from it without downsides?

Re:No of course not, Nokia is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743283)

The phones are good, but shit third party apps and no non-third party flash support bring down any value added web usage of the phone.

Microsoft is the one with the lax quality control of their app store, not Nokia's fault.

Can Nokia Save Itself? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742507)

Short Answer:
No.
Long Answer:
Nooooooooooooooo.

Re:Can Nokia Save Itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742741)

word

Lame, poorly timed speculation (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | about a year ago | (#41743043)

Microsoft has a knack for getting it wrong several times before finally coming up with something that works. They are not, in any way, a visionary company, they are simply good at recognizing their mistakes early and dropping them.

Look at their history going all the way back, it took until MS Word 3.x before it even compared to their competition. They suck at first, and always do.

But now that Apple and Android have led the way, Microsoft is about to release the biggest update to their product suite since Windows 95. And this time, I'm rather certain they mean it. They are betting their farm on Windows 8, and have revamped all their products on a unified code base. This isn't Zune, this isn't Wince, (er, WinCE) this is serious.

And it's about to launch. Speculating about the future at this stage in the game about the most useless endeavor imaginable. I'm willing to throw a few hundred in to buy Nokia junk stocks just because, while the odds of MS making Win8 seem scant, the payout if they do could be significant.

Re:Lame, poorly timed speculation (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#41743383)

I agree with most of what you say, but in the back of my mind is a little voice saying "just because Microsoft is really really REALLY serious this time, doesn't mean it won't still suck at first."

Re:Lame, poorly timed speculation (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#41743449)

"Microsoft has a knack for getting it wrong several times before finally coming up with something that works."

And then giving themselves a head injury after they get it at a point working so they FORGET what works. Windows 7 was a home run like Windows 2000 was. Now we have to suffer through 2 more iterations of crap until they come out with Windows 11 that will actually be usable....

Not with those decision making skills (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#41742509)

I'm sorry, but you have two major players in the smart phone market, along with a third minor player, and you bet the bank on a non-entity in the market? That stinks of a hail mary. By itself, that is less than encouraging. Their choice of MS, given MS's history in the mobile arena, should immediately call into question the sanity of the decision makers. Or at the very least, their bias.

Were I trying to save the company, I would have thrown my lot in with a line of android devices which had distinctive features. Maybe aimed at the mobile market. Hell, maybe I would have even approached RIM about developing a secure platform for corporate users to pair with my hardware devices.

Re:Not with those decision making skills (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743007)

No. You have three major players in the market. You are the biggest of those three globally, but you don't matter in the USA. What should you do?

a) Keep doing as you are, screw the US, don't try to compete with US players, and (possibly) profit
b) Keep doing as you are, but improve your presence in the US. Compete globally with the US players, playing up your strengths, trying to adopt their strengths. Probably, profit a lot.
c) Change your focus entirely. Keep your focus on hardware (your top strength), and use the software that's considered the strongest (Android). Face heavy competition from other manufacturers who have more experience with that software than you. Maybe you succeed, possibly you won't.
d) Say your products are shit, destroy your position in the market, AND bet your bank on a non-entity in the market. As the saying goes, "You will die in seven days".

There was NO possible choice for Nokia that would work out worse than what they did.

Signs it's deteriorating? (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#41742531)

Oh come now, who wrote this crud a Microsoft Marketing rep? The market hates MS phones, and it showed after the first what.. 2 were released and sales of Nokia devices plummeted to single digits? Fan bois would buy it, but hell they also bought a Zune. bah...

Look, the market has really 2 devices they are choosing from. If they want lock-in, they to with Apple. If they want cutting edge they go with a Droid. Everyone, and I mean everyone advised against dumping Symbian for another lock-in phone OS in Windows Phone. Those same people saw what happened to Blackberry, which was an exceptional OS and fully mature. It died a painful death, simply because of the 2 choices I started with.

The only reason this deal ever went through is because.... well fuck it I'll be blunt.. look who Nokia hired to captain the ship..

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742865)

Oh come now, who wrote this crud a Microsoft Marketing rep? The market hates MS phones, and it showed after the first what.. 2 were released and sales of Nokia devices plummeted to single digits? Fan bois would buy it, but hell they also bought a Zune. bah...

Look, the market has really 2 devices they are choosing from. If they want lock-in, they to with Apple. If they want cutting edge they go with a Droid. Everyone, and I mean everyone advised against dumping Symbian for another lock-in phone OS in Windows Phone. Those same people saw what happened to Blackberry, which was an exceptional OS and fully mature. It died a painful death, simply because of the 2 choices I started with.

The only reason this deal ever went through is because.... well fuck it I'll be blunt.. look who Nokia hired to captain the ship..

Cutting edge my ass, that is not the bigger of only two camps and you know it.
The clear majority of people who did not and still don't know what brand or version of software is on their phone are getting Android devices. s/android/windows in the 90's/. Better hardware specs have about dick to do with any of it.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#41742869)

We're agreed that the deal was really, really bad for Nokia and their customers. I am not sure I entirely agree with your view of why the deal went through. Fundamentally, you have to think that the Nokia exec's took the deal, /because/ they didn't see a better option.

Symbian needed to die, I think you'll find most people agree with that. It was taking up a significant amount of resources for appreciable gain. Unlike Blackberry they never had the corner on a given market (unless you want claim very basic phones) with very little profit.

They should have hedge their bets by splitting their resources between Android and Windows phones. As for Microsoft, well they made one of the best deals in their corporate history. I think a fair part of the market expects Nokia to either get bought out by Microsoft as their phone division, or to go bankrupt and purchases by Microsoft for their patents. Frankly, the patents are probably worth more than the rest of the company combined.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#41743209)

I agree with you that Symbian needed to die, honestly I do. But you make the real point in your next paragraph. They should not have locked themselves in to Windows Phone. This put them in the exact same position they were in with Symbian.. except it was not "their" OS.

If they went with 2 OSes it would have made sense, but what they did was not logical.. and I think someone got a hell of a bonus check to cut that deal.. and it was not Nokia paying the Bonus..

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#41743423)

I can easily imagine that Microsoft stipulated a single OS solution, or they would not provide the same assistance they did in terms of augmenting R&D and cash infusions. If Nokia went with Android as well, I could easily see Microsoft saying "Look, you're on your own. Oh and by the way, we need to talk about certain patent agreements like the ones we have already put in place with other Android manufacturers..."

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (1)

menno_h (2670089) | about a year ago | (#41742911)

The only reason this deal ever went through is because.... well fuck it I'll be blunt.. look who Nokia hired to captain the ship..

Stop being so hard on Elop. He was desperate to get out of MS, and Nokia seemed like a good idea at the time.
Image working with Windows, for MS, all day, five days a week, all year, for decades... *shudder*
Either that or he was sent by Ballmer so that MS could control Nokia from within.

But yeah, whoever is in charge of CEO acquisition at Nokia should be fired.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (1)

Xacid (560407) | about a year ago | (#41742927)

Let's be fair and admit you're just anti-Microsoft, ok?

The market doesn't "hate" MS phones. The market isn't buying MS phones. There's a subtle difference in your wording but a massive difference in perception.

Those that actually have tried the platform have seemed to enjoy it quite well - especially those here on slashdot, so I'd trust their judgement over someone who likely hasn't touched one of these devices.

I'm not disagreeing that Nokia made some very large mistakes but to imply this is written by someone with bias while you obviously have a strong bias yourself...it's hypocritical.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743207)

The market doesn't "hate" MS phones. The market isn't buying MS phones. There's a subtle difference in your wording but a massive difference in perception.

If the market wasn't buying _any_ phones, I'd say you were correct. But the market is buying the hell out of Android and iOS phones. So if you want to pick nits... "the market doesn't care about Windows phones."

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#41743459)

Yes, the market does hate MS phones. The same way they hate Blackberry phones. The sales numbers from the first release were bullshit, and it was reported on a few days after the "huge buzz (according to Microsoft and paid media)". The numbers they reported were numbers they "sold" to factories that hold the devices prior to purchase, and not what was sold to consumers.

Developers have bitched since Microsoft released the APIs for WP8, apps suck, controls suck, it's too expensive, etc... So developers are not touching the Phone either. In fact the /. article referenced fart machines as the best application that could be created for the phone, which was validated by them having nearly 30 on the store compared to a dozen or so flash light applications. I just read another article a week ago where a development team just said "fuck-it" to developing even after dumping 50K in to MS licensing.

Look, I'm sure it's a great platform.. for someone.. I work with a fan-boi that has one. He thinks it's great, but he can't do anything with it. Our T&M apps that run in Droid and IOS won't run in Win Phone, mail does not work, so if all you do with your phone is need a "phone" and "camera" I guess it's fine.

And me implying that the person who wrote the article is biased, makes me biased? Did you RTFA? It's worded like WinPhone was uber awesome, and because Apple and Google are big meanies it will make Nokia fail. If the article is biased, how would you expect me to react.. like I didn't read the fucking thing?

Now, am I anti-Microsoft? That's a loaded question. I never had a Zune, and thought it was a failure (damn, I was correct). I never had an X-Box, and refuse to get one. I won't be buying a Windows Phone either. I use MS products at work, some are okay. I think Visio was much better before MS bought them, but that's not an unpopular point of view. I use Office and despise the 2010 ribbons and bullshit like "font auto-preview" that makes doing something so simple take a long time. Excel is still a good app, but there again the ribbons make it inefficient.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742973)

"Windows phone?"
"Why would I want that crap, my desktop has it and it's always full of viruses, needs defragmenting, etc etc etc."
That name is tainted, Microsoft idiots.

Re:Signs it's deteriorating? (1)

rvw (755107) | about a year ago | (#41743031)

The only reason this deal ever went through is because.... well fuck it I'll be blunt.. look who Nokia hired to captain the ship..

Nokia only hired Elop because of the deal. I don't think he would have gotten the job before they decided to go with WP. So I disagree. The only reason this deal went through - no idea, but probably hoping for the better plus a bag of money and many nice promises from MS marketing because for them (!) it was a good deal to get Nokia on board.

Microsoft wants to get into hardware (2)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#41743199)

The best way for Microsoft to get into making their own hardware is to buy an existing hardware company. The best way to buy a company is to drive down it's value before you take it over. Microsoft used it's influence to get Elop hired as CEO of Nokia so he could destroy the share value of the company which Microsoft could then buy for a song. Nokia's share price tanking and eventually a Microsoft take over was the plan from the start. It has all been a show to steal Nokia from it's shareholders. Typically Microsoft.

They're pretty (4, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year ago | (#41742537)

Nokia Lumia phones are pretty and the WP8 interface is a joy to use, but, when the honeymoon is over, we need APPS, which WP8 doesn't have.

Until WP8 has a huge library of apps like Google Play and iTunes, I don't see the situation improving.

This, in turn, leads to a chicken-and-egg situation: Consumers go for the phone with most apps, developers, developers, developers develop for the phones with most users. Ballmer throws chairs...

Microsoft is doing a decent job with apps (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#41742987)

WP7/8 do not have the size of library that Android and iOS have.

However Microsoft has been doing a good job of courting (read: buying) development of some of the most popular applications. So they are actually not as far behind app-wise as it would seem.

Microsoft also has a core group of developers that really like the whole Microsoft toolchain, and will also work to provide some good applications - especially now that you are developing for Surface using the same tools.

So don't count Microsoft (and by extension, Nokia) out yet - Microsoft is still quite powerful, and has a TON of money to make something happen that has to happen for them to matter going forward.

Re:They're pretty (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about a year ago | (#41743001)

We don't need apps. We need functionality, which WP still lacks.

Re:They're pretty (1)

Quanticfx (2443904) | about a year ago | (#41743091)

Nokia Lumia phones are pretty and the WP8 interface is a joy to use, but, when the honeymoon is over, we need APPS, which WP8 doesn't have.

This... The WP8 OS itself, from most perspectives, looks pretty good. The lack of apps is a large detriment though, plus it's probably getting harder and harder to get people to switch from a platform they have become increasingly invested in over the years of using it. Who wants to have to repurchase apps for a new OS (if they are even available)?

Between this and the shunning WP8 and WP7 phones seem to get from most cell stores (from my limited experience) they'll probably keep the few people, like me, who are slightly invested in the WP environment or those that are platform agnostic, have no or only a minor investment in another OS, and are looking for something different.

Re:They're pretty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743119)

Nokia Lumia phones are pretty and the WP8 interface is a joy to use, but, when the honeymoon is over, we need APPS, which WP8 doesn't have.

Until WP8 has a huge library of apps like Google Play and iTunes, I don't see the situation improving.

This, in turn, leads to a chicken-and-egg situation: Consumers go for the phone with most apps, developers, developers, developers develop for the phones with most users. Ballmer throws chairs...

Windows Phone 8 currently has > 100K apps and is steadily climbing, while the iPhone has > 500K apps. The app count is also one of the fastest growing, including faster than the iPhone or Andriod. Once the count reaches that high IMO there isn't any significant difference between one and the other, most apps users tend to expect will be available. Maybe there are only 30 fart apps instead of 100, but at that point does one really care?

Re:They're pretty (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#41743375)

Had Balmer a "BRAIN" he would have tasked the M$ software development tools division with coming up with an inspired development platform that would work on Windows, OSX and Linux, and would take one code in (Python? or better yet, a decoupled language front end of choice) and spit out apps for IOS, Android and WP8. If the tools were great, free and had a huge supported free community, it would have been natural for application developers to port their apps to as many platforms as possible and WP8 would have started out the gate with a health stable of goodies. Of course, all of this would have required that Balmer have a brain... enter zombie allusion... enter Wizard of Oz parody... perhaps he should consider politics.

How much would this have costed? $40 million? How much did they bet on WP8? Chump change. Instead, too little too late. Another poorly executed belly flop, with no attention to what the consumer wants. See, Americans live in the fscked up fantasy, that as long as "I'm" in power, and I have an advertising budget, I can tell you what you want. Steve got away with it, because he actually cared about leaving people blown away... (he was still an egomaniac, but he got off on giving people goosebumps) the money always came after (eg. Pixar.) You can't grab for the money first, and hope that people can later be convinced to love your schist. Balmer needs a Steve Jobs sans massive ego. He needs someone with the sensitivity, artfulness, style, intelligence and vision to create products and product experiences that people love. He needs a queer eye for the Geek guy. Good luck on that.

Right... (4, Insightful)

advantis (622471) | about a year ago | (#41742559)

"damage accelerated by Nokia's failure to embrace big trends". So let's embrace something else that isn't a big trend: Windows Phone. Yep... that would work.

...not savable anymore (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742561)

Whilst I was still working there, I thought we could save the company, even after the loss of Southwood, Copenhagen, and the Symbian developers.
  Now that 9999 colleagues and I have been swept away - no.

Windows isn't working. It isn't beating the old Symbian phones and that will only change when the old Symbian models are ramped down.

Stephen was supposed to fix the software engineering issues. :o(

They can, but wont. (1)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#41742563)

First step would be to stop making only Windows phones. The Windows phone platform is too strict to allow creativity in design. Frankly, one Windows phone is much like any other regardless of manufacturer. So there is nothing to distinguish a Nokia from any other brand. No brand distinction, no brand recognition, no Nokia.

Lumia looks good (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#41742567)

My wife got a couple weeks to demo a spare lumia 800 they had at work this week, and likes it enough to be seriously thinking of switching to a 900 series when her contract is up.

I looked at them hard myself when i upgraded earlier this year, i ultimately went with a galaxy s3, which i don't regret as the lumia's at the time are going to be stuck on windows phone 7.5, and I'm perfectly happy with the s3. It would have been a tougher choice had the lumia 900 series with windows phone 8 been out. (I upgraded from an iphone, but had no interest in the then unreleased iphone 5 given that it was pretty well known that it wasn't going to be a big leap forward from the 4S.)

I also note that the pre-orders for the lumia 920 seem to be going well. I heard BestBuy is sold out online already of the quantities they put up for pre-order.

Overall, I hope Nokia pulls it off. And i hope Windows Phone 8 succeeds. Its a good mobile OS, and competition is good.

Re:Lumia looks good (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#41742777)

This, pretty much--the Lumia phones (particularly the 900 series) look great, and I actually like the WP7/8 interface. A friend of mine has one; when I tried it out, I found it perfectly usable (even enjoyable!). However, the sales have been so poor that I just can't bring myself to actually buy one. It's a chicken-and-egg problem: without apps, people won't buy it, and without people buying it, nobody will make apps. It's much the same problem that Palm, and then HP, had. WebOS was a great platform, but we all know how that ended.

Re:Lumia looks good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743457)

> I also note that the pre-orders for the lumia 920 seem to be going well.
> I heard BestBuy is sold out online already of the quantities they put up for pre-order.

so they have production problems too and can only get a few tens of thousands to market?

Yes they can (4, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | about a year ago | (#41742569)

Create Android phones. They have fantastic engineering talent that is being wasted by a dead platform.

No they can't (anymore) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742769)

The talent has left the building when Elop booted all Meego/Harmattan en Qt-devvers. The development team left is only a shim of its former self. They pull some hardware stunts so now and then (PureView) but without a platform to really benefit from it... Android won't save them, as they still won't have the dev-team to adapt it to their needs.

The N9 is the last great device they've released IMO.

Re:No they can't (anymore) (1, Interesting)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743081)

Oh yeah, the talented Meego developers who spent 6 years to produce exactly one (1) phone. That's not talent worth crowing about.

Re:No they can't (anymore) (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#41743467)

Two phones, the N900 and N9, and four tablets. N770, N800, N810, and N810+WiMax. That's if you're being fair by saying "Six years" in which case you have to include Maemo. If you're limiting yourself to Meego(tm), and not including Maemo, then they certainly weren't working on it for six years.

It's also worth pointing out that the entire point of Meego (as opposed to Maemo) was to get management behind what until then had been virtually a skunkworks project. Nokia's management more or less refused to give Maemo any backing initially because they were too committed to Symbian. It's an interesting question what would have happened had the N810, as originally intended, been released as a phone rather than cut down at the last minute and released as a tablet.

Re:Yes they can (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#41742803)

Create Android phones. They have fantastic engineering talent that is being wasted by a dead platform.

Or rather, they had fantastic engineering talent before the layoffs.

Re:Yes they can (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743097)

They may have been talented, but they hardly produced anything. One phone. Not exactly a record of excellence.

Re:Yes they can (1)

menno_h (2670089) | about a year ago | (#41743041)

They have fantastic engineering talent that is being wasted by a dead platform.

It's quite saddening that the home country of Linux, the molotov cocktail and the dish draining closet [wikipedia.org] is exporting Windows phones.

Re:Yes they can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743063)

How is creating Android phones going to save them, when the only profitable player in the Android segment of the market is Samsung? Do you really think Nokia's going to - overnight - take over Samsung's market share?

Nokia is losing money. Entering a market where they are almost guaranteed to lose MORE money isn't a strategy.

other partners ? (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about a year ago | (#41742591)

I think Nokia would have been better served partnering with Facebook to produce a good mobile version. That would have served both companies well.

A Microsoft Exec (2)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year ago | (#41742611)

When all you have is a hammer, all problems are solved by using MS products.

Re:A Microsoft Exec (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743115)

Unfortunately, Nokia didn't even have a hammer. It had a lackluster engineering corps that couldn't make smartphones to save it's life (almost literally).

Re:A Microsoft Exec (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#41743405)

I thought MS products *were* the hammer.

could you start a company with their assets? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year ago | (#41742655)

I don't know about you, but it'd be easier to start a cell company with Nokia's resources. Sure, they probably have some kind of stigma of bad quality now or whatever. They've still got more going for them than a newcomer to the cell industry.

Stupid Slashvertisement for SlashCrap (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#41742675)

Please stop posting stories that originate at slashdot. Slashdot can't even bringitself to successfully edit paragraph sized summaries. Why would a whole story written by slashdot staff be any better produced? I trust the slashdot community, that's why I'm here. Not for the slashdot editorials on clouds or Buisness Intelligence. That's buzzword bs.

Re:Stupid Slashvertisement for SlashCrap (1)

Safety Cap (253500) | about a year ago | (#41742931)

I trust the slashdot community, that's why I'm here. Not for the slashdot editorials on clouds or Buisness Intelligence.

Welcome to /.

Re:Stupid Slashvertisement for SlashCrap (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#41743285)

It's a SlashBI story. If you check the firehose, you'll see that this guy posts at least 2 or 3 of them every day for some reason. Most of them go nowhere, because they're crap, just like the rest of SlashBI.

Intentions? (1)

hutsell (1228828) | about a year ago | (#41742693)

A former Microsoft employee takes control of a failing company, uses a somewhat over the top analogy accusing the non-Microsoft competitors of setting the company on fire while Nokia stood by and did nothing and wants to solve the problem by replacing the OS with a Microsoft's system. Are there any other solutions better than a classic market share strategy?

Meego (5, Interesting)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | about a year ago | (#41742699)

The more I use Android the more I LOVE my N9 the more I hate Nokia for killing it.
I know there is a lot of politics involved (not last the usual OSS community circle jerking) but the capabilities of that OS over anything else are amazing.

Not with the current board (1)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about a year ago | (#41742711)

They need to make a clean break from Microsoft. That means get rid of Elop and the board that hired him. Beg some of the respected execs who fled, like Anssi Vanjokio, to come back. If they're not willing to come back to manage day-to-day operations, at least put them on the board to give a sane strategic direction.

Then buy up Jolla as a long-term investment, while producing Android phones to pay the bills.

Get me back, get us all back.... (2)

CdBee (742846) | about a year ago | (#41742725)

My old Nokia rocked, it was fast, light, quality hardware and great GSM stack - fast, reliable connections to data and voice services - which was always a Nokia strong point. I'm only using a SonyEricsson android unit because they haven't produced a new handset to my liking. Nokia hardware plus android would bring me right back into the fold.

To post something a bit to the contrary here... (2, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | about a year ago | (#41742727)

I think Nokia and the WP8 ecosystem will do well, and there are a few reasons.

First, they have the best device. Forget the OS -- the best camera, it's built solid (nokia solid), looks slick, wireless charging, and a very high PPI (even more than the iPhone 5).

Next, the Windows phone ecosystem is going to grow pretty rapidly when they release Windows 8. Right now only a handful of devs have the dev tools for WP8, but when the floodgates open and the new API that is shared between WP8 and Windows 8 (Windows RT), you'll see a lot of apps come around.

That said, keep in mind that while people think that the "apps" aren't there, there's over 100k apps now. It's not small potatoes, and they managed to do it faster than Android hit 100k apps as well.

The way I see it, I want MS/Nokia to succeed. They have a very good mobile OS (I'll be buying a 920 myself, specifically for build quality and camera), and having more competition is good for everybody.

Re:To post something a bit to the contrary here... (3, Interesting)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#41743039)

Sorry to break it to you, but Nokia no longer have their build quality, they stopped producing phones in Europe like they used to, and outsourced everything to China like everyone else. Their phones will be the same build quality as pretty much every other phone nowadays. All they seem to have is the brand of "most solidly built", but that is no longer reality.

Re:To post something a bit to the contrary here... (2)

HerculesMO (693085) | about a year ago | (#41743069)

Sorry to break it to you, actually... but the Lumia 900 is pretty damned well built. I only expect more of the same for the 920.

Re:To post something a bit to the contrary here... (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743179)

I was with you, until Elop announced that the flagship 920 was only going to be available on AT&T. He's playing the game like he has an iPhone on his hands that everyone will be clamoring for. That is incorrect. As fond as I am of the 920, it's isn't enough to get me to switch to AT&T.

I'd like to see Nokia succeed, but I think they need to play the game that they've entered, which is the put-your-best-foot-forward-and-scramble-for-everything-you-can-get game instead of the we're-doing-you-a-favor-by-allowing-you-to-buy-our-device game.

Re:To post something a bit to the contrary here... (1)

malkavian (9512) | about a year ago | (#41743429)

The best device? That's a moveable feast, and pretty much something you'll have a hard job selling to the public. A solid camera isn't the big thing. Wireless charging? That'll take a while to catch on, and a lot of people are quite happy with their multiple charging points. It'll become more important over time, but won't sell many on it. High PPI? Well, there's more than good enough (iPhone etc.) and there's un-noticably better.. It may be a superior hardware platform, but hey, betamax did so well from that, didn't it?

The expansion of WP8 is pure conjecture. You're saying "If you build it, they'll come", despite most being quite heavily entrenched in purchases of apps already on smartphones (it's one of the things that I have to consider jumping from my current platform). And the good developers go where they'll make good money. Currently WP8 is niche (very) and you'd be betting good time and money to develop just for that. Maybe you will see a lot of good apps, but it'll have to tempt people away from _existing_ good apps they've already paid for. Microsoft relies on that in the fight to keep the desktop from going to other Operating Systems (there have been some good contenders, and Microsoft has always brought out the "Does it work with your existing applications that you know? No! Don't buy it!".. And that's already been shown to be a persuasive argument.

Having 100k apps doesn't mean that it's 100k apps that will sell, or do what people want to a sufficient level to chuck what they have and re-invest in completely new apps.. Or that the apps are actually decent in the first place.

Yes, having competition is good, but the arguments you pose are very subjective, and rely on others having your own tastes.. Most probably don't..
Still, I'm waiting to see what happens with interest. I like Nokia (my earlier phones were almost exclusively Nokia because of the quality), and I only switched because smartphones did what I wanted, and Nokia didn't have any.

WP8 doesn't look bad; that's not my beef with it.. It's just that it's not good enough to make me swap what I have, and have to replace a load of apps I use a lot (my dive log, gas mix calculators, music aides, work tools etc.) with new ones that I'll have to buy again and hope have the same functionality (and transcribe all the data for again!).. If it ever is, I'll jump, but that day isn't here, and WP8 isn't that OS. And I know I'm not alone in that, software history showing the trends of inertia in the market (BeOS, OS2 etc.).

Elop = corruption at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742755)

By accepting personal funds from Microsoft for the deal with Nokia which should have never happened, Elop has brought Nokia to its knees. He is directly responsible for the layoffs and terminations of thousands of Nokia employees. He has demonstrated that he cares more about his pocketbook than others' jobs or the future of the company. As long as Nokia is clinging to the doomed deal with Microsoft instead of picking up where they left off (Maemo/MeeGo based phones or even Android if it needs to be), the company is done. Period. At least I am making good money shorting their stock... :)

Re:Elop = corruption at its finest (0)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743243)

Corruption? The board of directors of Nokia knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Elop away from Microsoft. They wanted the company to go in a different direction than the path of not-so-slow death meandering out into the snow that they'd been on for the last 6-7 years. Elop isn't responsible for the layoffs as much as he's the person with the unenviable job of taking the blame for them. The company was in trouble years ago, before Elop was there. He didn't inherit a healthy company that was an auto-pilotting cash machine. He inherited a broke down giant that had been spending far too much money developing custom software that was uneccessary and far too slow to market. The company was done before he got there. Now at least they have a chance.

What would save Nokia? (2)

Jailbrekr (73837) | about a year ago | (#41742765)

merge it with RIM, and bring in new management so neither culture can dominate the other.

There is good in both companies, but both companies suffered greatly at the hands of management.

Re:What would save Nokia? (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year ago | (#41743259)

Wow, merge the two companies and make a super loser! This would have been a great idea 10 years ago when both companies were on the top of their game.

Nokia’s price for exclusivity (4, Informative)

Relayman (1068986) | about a year ago | (#41742775)

Horace Dediu of Asymco [asymco.com] wrote about Nokia's situation yesterday and showed where Windows Phone phones have not filled the gap in the loss of sales for Symbian phones. He also concludes that the goal of 150 million Symbian phone sales (beginning Q1 2011) will never be reached. He's got some good thoughts on this situation.

Re:Nokia’s price for exclusivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743197)

The public execution of Symbian (and any other alternative being developed inside Nokia) will probably be a classic case study in disruption management. To wit: even if a platform needs to be led out to pasture, there are ways of managing decline other than suicide.

In that article, words of wisdom be.

You never got fired for picking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742817)

Well this could be the exception to the rule. For buying into this Microsoft OS Elop might just get fired, too bad the employees will suffer. What a pure idiot and I bet this AssHat gets a severance package that is huge....

They sold their soul to the dark side (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#41742885)

Now they are paying the price. The market only cares about iPhone and Android...who can't see that?

If they just had access to Android apps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742887)

So, instead of abandoning their own proprietary Phone OS like windows 8, or they could just create android "compatibility". Then add their own store... If they get a community of developers creating "Windows 8" phone apps, great... maybe they could even eventually displace android... but I wouldn't be holding my breath. They are getting beaten in marketing and capability... Hard to compete in a gun fight when all ya got are knives.

Windows phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742949)

Yes, embrace the 2% market share...

Hopefully they will pull their head from their ass and embrace Android...

Can Nokia save itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41742975)

I hope so. I'd love to see the stock price quadruple and more. Is it likely? Nope. The board and the CEO are incompetent fools. Fuck them all.

Lumia 920, better than iPhone 5 and GIII ... easy (0)

SpoonStomper (1330973) | about a year ago | (#41742999)

The incest thought process on these boards has me worried that bright people are forgetting how to think for themselves. Like it or not the Lumia 920 is in the top 3 if not the number 1 phone currently.. yeah blah blah it's not released.... Win8 makes Android and iOS look like 80's hair bands... of course I imagine that's where a lot of slashdotters still live in their minds... I had Ubuntu on a netbook .. thought it might run well since it's "light weight" -- wrong.. put Win8 on it and it runs like butter, better than Win7 and Ubuntu - People it's not hard -- hit the Window Key and type ... duh I for one am getting the Lumia 920.

Support both Win and Android--on the same phone (1)

ebrandsberg (75344) | about a year ago | (#41743123)

If a company did that, I think there would be a nice market for people that want to try both. You would have to choose which you want loaded at any given time, but it will insure that if windows 8 phones do start to look really nice, you won't be stuck with cellphone envy.

Re:Support both Win and Android--on the same phone (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#41743433)

...and the phone would be the size of an egg carton...

Launch a rugged, open android (1)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year ago | (#41743161)

The one thing missing in the market is a waterproof or water resistant rugged touch phone. Offer it with and without cameras for corporate clients. Make it open, semi-upgradeable, and relatively inexpensive. Work with someone like arduino to develop an ecosystem of input devices that allow experimentation which simply isn't allowed on closed platforms like iOS. Offer a dock that has USB and HDMI outputs to turn it into a mini computer or just share media on a larger display.

Make it compatible with worldwide cell services, make it easy to swap SIM cards out, and easy to expand with SD cards or some other type of storage.

It could be done. But not with that schmuck running the place.

With a name like Flop.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743289)

...at the helm, the company is doomed.

Oh... you say the name is "Elop" not "Flop"?
That's very different....nevermind!

--Emily Litella

Nokia's fate is already sealed (2)

Dracos (107777) | about a year ago | (#41743293)

There is only one possibility: Nokia spirals down the toilet, and MS buys it when it becomes a good enough deal. MS, according to their plan of hoodwinking Nokia's Board and installing Elop, gets a handset manufacturer they can call their own which is already primed for Windows Phone exclusivity.

Should have dumped meego sooner and gone android (1, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#41743311)

Nokia ditching the Meego stuff was something they should have done sooner. There are just too many mobile OSs around. App developers really only have the resources to target one or two platforms. I have heard people say that Nokia needed Meego to diffentiate, but I just dont see it, at best meego would have been no better than android and probably would have been worse, it would simply not be a selling point, and it was letting market share slip away at a rapid pace while it tried to develop its own OS. If it had gone with Android right away, it would have gotten the immense app ecosystem and an off the shelf OS that would be ready to go right away. It could have had a phone on shelves years ago. Nokia could then soup up Android in any way it needed to later on if it felt it needed improvement. The fact is Meego would not have been any better than Android could have been, and would not have differentiated Nokia, or it would have differentiated them as being worse. People don't care if it has a different OS, they want it to work and Android works. It having a different OS than Samsung would not sell phones. Period. End of story.

Going with Windows Phone was perhaps a mistake, compared with going with Android, but not nearly as much of a mistake of staying with the Meego platform, which would not have been seen as being any advantage to consumers whatsoever, at best it would have been equal to android and simply does not provide with a reason to buy the phone.

Unfortunately for years Nokia killed it self with the not made here syndrome, wasting years developing an OS that would haev done nothing that Android could not do, and probably would have been worse and that people would not want anyway, With the solution staring them in the face with just taking off the shelf android and getting a phone in stores in a month, it really shows how thier ego and arrogance clouded their thinking, willing to bring their company to the brink of destruction than to touch Android because "its not made here".

Nokia is getting what it deserves, just like RIM, because of such arrogance. I expect both companies to be out of business in a few years.

Get on the Android train (1)

guano79 (2740675) | about a year ago | (#41743373)

I used to love Nokia before Android phones came along, if they come out with a good Android phone I might switch back

flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#41743415)

"When ex-Microsoft executive Stephen Flop...

FTFY

Flop, just like Nokia's cell phones!
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