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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the ringtones-baby-the-future-is-ringtones dept.

Microsoft 149

Forbes has an update on what sort of future Nokia faces, as Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition: [Microsoft EVP of devices Stephen] Elop laid out a framework for cost cuts in a memo to employees on July 17. Devices would focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones. Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China. Also, CEO Satya Nadella gave hints about how Microsoft will make money on Nokia during Tuesday' conference call. Devices, he said, "go beyond" hardware and are about productivity. "I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity." In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales.

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Master Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548337)

It's like when I haven't achieved checkmate yet, so I come up with an unguaranteed plan for accomplishing a goal that I desire.

"Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition:"

So, reading the summary, it looks like Microsoft hasn't yet made sense of the acquisition...
All they've managed to do is to share a strategy for making sense of the acquisition.

We'll see how well that strategy turns out. I'm rather doubtful.

Re: Master Strategy (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548615)

Microsoft's chess strategy seems to be to sacrifice all its pawns and its Queen, laying waste to its Bishops Knights and Rooks and trying to win the game with just its King left. Good luck with that one.

Re: Master Strategy (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548645)

The "King"'s too busy fighting world poverty.

Re: Master Strategy (0)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548685)

The "King"'s too busy fighting world poverty.

Are you sure he isn't the devil in disguise?

Re: Master Strategy (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548987)

Yes I am. The devil would have more style.

Re:Master Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549705)

We'll see how well that strategy turns out. I'm rather doubtful.

I'm finding it difficult to understand why anyone would care.

Their OS is barely usable, Nokia hardware has become generic. There's a multitude of far better options available. Why bother?

It's a funny world (2, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548339)

I am a Unix/Linux user since 1995. I used Symbian and i liked it, and i have several android devices (first was the galazy tab). Now Microsoft killed Nokia. Nokia killed Symbian.

I am looking for a new tablet/PC currently. I tested some Windows 8.1 Tablets (Lenovo and others), and i have to say (besides the colored rectangles on the start screen): Well done
by leaving many things unchanged. For the first time in about 20 years i consider buying a microsoft OS on an new computer (for personal use).

Re:It's a funny world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548371)

I am a Unix/Linux user since 1995. I used Symbian and i liked it, and i have several android devices (first was the galazy tab). Now Microsoft killed Nokia. Nokia killed Symbian.

I am looking for a new tablet/PC currently. I tested some Windows 8.1 Tablets (Lenovo and others), and i have to say (besides the colored rectangles on the start screen): Well done
by leaving many things unchanged. For the first time in about 20 years i consider buying a microsoft OS on an new computer (for personal use).

Ironically, Windows 8.1 was also the first time in 20 years they decided to remove the Start menu from the "unchanged" OS...

Re:It's a funny world (1)

drolli (522659) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548519)

Ironically this disturbed me very much in the beginning. But the desktop still is there.

Re:It's a funny world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548803)

Ironically, Windows 8.1 was also the first time in 20 years they decided to remove the Start menu from the "unchanged" OS...

When Microsoft introduced the start menu they got no end of ridicule about how non-intuitive it was to press start to shut down. Now in 8.1 you have a big power-button right beside your account picture right on the main start screen, and people can't find it... sigh..

Re: It's a funny world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549595)

Pretty sure that power button wasn't there originally in 8.1, the big update after that added it. It certainly wasn't there in 8. I don't use that button due to training myself to use the one hidden in the charms on earlier versions.

Re:It's a funny world (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548413)

20 years? It's 2014. So that means since 1994.
So you've rejected Windows 95,
and you've rejected Windows 98,
and you've rejected Windows XP,
and you've rejected Windows 7,
but now, after all this time, you're embracing Windows 8.1?

I reject you. You've got the worse decision-making that I've seen in the last 20 years.

Re:It's a funny world (3, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548495)

You've got the worse decision-making that I've seen in the last 20 years.

You must not have have been following the Nokia story until now then.

Re:It's a funny world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548507)

Hey there, Sherlock, he begins by saying "since 1995." You didn't have to work that out. However, he's clearly either bullshitting or shilling.

Re:It's a funny world (3, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548509)

Yeah, actually i bought OS/2 instead of windoes 3.1/windows 95. In 1993.

You forgot NT 4.0 and NT 3.51

I did not reject windows. I did just not see any reason to switch from linux in the last 20 years and pay for a newly installed computer. I think XP is OK - were are cheap used licenses around.

I find windows 8.1 similar enough and all the features which are mandatory for me are embedded, and the price point of the tablets seems ok.

Re:It's a funny world (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549211)

How much does a middle aged Slashdot ID go for nowadays? I might be in the market to sell mine to an astroturfer.

Re:It's a funny world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548425)

Nokia/Microsoft have a long tradition of running away from their platforms, leaving the developers and users in the lurch. They counted on their big names to overcome any trust issues this might cause, again and again.

Re:It's a funny world (1)

drolli (522659) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548587)

What? I mean, Nokia announced the death of symbian well in advance (5 years before i stopped using symbian). And remind me - how long could you execute binaries built for Windows 3.1 on the current windows? Oh - allright if it is a 32 bit version of Windows 7/8 then it still may work....

XP Mode (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550651)

Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) supports Windows 3.1 applications because the version of Windows XP included with its XP Mode virtual machine is 32-bit. Failing that, you could buy a copy of Windows 3.1 and install in DOSBox.

Re:It's a funny world (2)

rvw (755107) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548431)

I am a Unix/Linux user since 1995. I used Symbian and i liked it, and i have several android devices (first was the galazy tab). Now Microsoft killed Nokia. Nokia killed Symbian.

I am looking for a new tablet/PC currently. I tested some Windows 8.1 Tablets (Lenovo and others), and i have to say (besides the colored rectangles on the start screen): Well done
by leaving many things unchanged. For the first time in about 20 years i consider buying a microsoft OS on an new computer (for personal use).

I bought a laptop with Windows 8.1. I wanted to install Ubuntu on it, but still haven't got the boot process working. I use a Mac for 15 years now, OS X since 10, Ubuntu at work since five years. Although I help several people with Windows computers, I haven't used it for myself in years. In two or three days it became totally clear that Windows is not for me anymore. The same annoyances are still there. I won't say Ubuntu is perfect, not even OS X, but Windows 8.1... I can't believe how inconsequent the setup is.

Re: It's a funny world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549639)

Try disabling secure boot and use legacy BIOS boot rather than UEFI.

Re: It's a funny world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548547)

I use a Lenovo hybrid. I must say tablet function is disappointing, and the pen does not make sense.

Re:It's a funny world (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549029)

It's not killing Symbian that angers me (although the timing was horrible and hurt Nokia immensely as well). It's killing MeeGo. It had a better chance of being a successful "third ecosystem" than Windows Phone.

Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548345)

Was rather hoping Nokia would come back with the Android smartphones, into the EU. Unfortunately that seems to not be the case and they inside on flogging that dead horse of their own operating system. They used to make nice hardware designs.

I tried their OS, and much preferred Android/Blackberry/iOS to it. It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (2)

maligor (100107) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548391)

Was rather hoping Nokia would come back with the Android smartphones, into the EU. Unfortunately that seems to not be the case and they inside on flogging that dead horse of their own operating system. They used to make nice hardware designs.

Nokia doesn't make cellphones anymore, the cellphone division was what was sold off to Microsoft and I don't see why Nokia would re-enter the cellphone market anymore, it's pretty saturated.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549433)

Nokia could buy Jolla.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (4, Insightful)

joh (27088) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548395)

It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

It's just that a THIRD platform (after Android and iOS) has very little hope of getting a foot into the door. MS obviously hopes that it can change that in the long run by fusing Windows and WP as a platform. I think the gap is too large to make this work, but it's really neither the hardware nor the OS that is the actual problem here. Still, MS has more than once proven that it has the patience to turn things around (they all but missed the Internet once and a few years later IE was moving towards a monopoly) and they surely hope they can pull something like this off again.

I'm not very optimistic here, but the OS wars aren't over yet.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (3, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548569)

Whether Symbian is a good platform or not involves more than just if the code is functional. Sometimes a lack of applications is driven by a more fundamental weakness in a platform. One of the reasons the iPhone and iPad have done so well courting application developers is that Apple tries to keep everyone marching in formation, moving the platform forward without leaving current customers too far behind. (Their formation, of course, but they are Apple)

A good example is the "pixel doubing" that went into the early iPad design. That intentionally structured the design of the platform so that applications written for lower resolutions would continue working against the higher pixel counts. That's the sort of subtle thing you do to keep developers happy and application development flourishing.

Faced with the same sort of devices with multiple resolutions problem, Android leaves the whole mess in the lap of application developers. And Nokia has just abandoned the old stuff. If you're a phone developer, how would you feel about that? A lot of things like that influence whether applications are built for a platform or not.

And, yes, Microsoft has bullied their way into a winning position using their operating system monopoly for a long time, with IE being a good example of that. I don't think it's safe to assume that tactic will keep working anymore though. I don't know anyone who feels Windows compatibility is an important thing on their phone or tablet today. At best, I might want something that opens Word or Powerpoint documents someone sends me in an e-mail. You don't need Microsoft for that on your phone though. Their software is only needed if you expect to edit the documents with low risk of corruption, and that still happens on desktops.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549179)

One of the reasons the iPhone and iPad have done so well courting application developers is that Apple tries to keep everyone marching in formation, moving the platform forward without leaving current customers too far behind.

Well, that's easy to do if you control both the hardware and the OS. That's not an option for anyone else.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

Calinous (985536) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549797)

Microsoft now controls the hardware and OS (like in Surface, the devices part of Nokia they acquired not too long ago). Nokia had both Symbian and a hardware unit. Samsung has Bada (I think it's called), Tizen. Blackberry also had hardware and software. There was also Palm, Inc. Which was also part of HP...

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47550677)

A good example is the "pixel doubing" that went into the early iPad design. That intentionally structured the design of the platform so that applications written for lower resolutions would continue working against the higher pixel counts. That's the sort of subtle thing you do to keep developers happy and application development flourishing.

It's interesting that you hold this up as an example of something Apple did better. I view this as an example where Google did the right thing.

Google told everyone, up front, "don't count on resolutions to be the same. Make your apps work on different screen sizes." Yes, this implies the Android app developers will have more work to do than iOS app developers... but it also means that the problem has been faced and solved, and Android apps can run on a 3" phone, a 4" phone, a 5" phone, a 6" phone (a "phablet" I guess). There are cheap devices with lower pixel densities, and Nexus devices with "retina" densities (but they can't call it that, Apple has a trademark).

Meanwhile, Apple devices are locked into integer multiples of a particular resolution.

I think someday Apple will need to support multiple different resolutions, but it will be painful.

Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (4, Interesting)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549645)

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

No, it's not. If it were just a lack of apps being ported to it, that's one thing, but that isn't it.

The point of a smartphone (to some people such as myself) is to have a swiss army knife for information gathering. As a network admin, one of my things is being able to troubleshoot network problems. Android (and iOS as well, though I don't own an iPhone) allow for these kinds of features really well, and I can use apps like Fing and WiFi Analyzer. However the underlying OS code for those two apps cannot be done on either Windows RT or Windows Phone.

The same story can be said for a lot of things. There quite a number of WP apps where if you read where users are complaining about why the WP version of X app doesn't support Y feature that it also does on Android, and they blame the developer for being "lazy" but the truth is that WP doesn't support the underlying feature in most cases.

Re: Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549675)

Microsoft isn't entering as a third platform after iOS and Android. They've been in the mobile phone OS industry for a lot longer and were overtaken by the upstarts.

Re: Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550165)

Windows mobile and windows phone are sufficiently different (AIUI there is some comonaility at the lowest levels but the user and developer interfaces are totally different) that they may as well be regarded as different platforms.

when a company runs out of product ideas.. (1)

snkmoorthy (665423) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548361)

The talk always turns into integration. We can put these products/services together, call it something and go to market, in essence, become a services company with its own product portfolio. Good luck, MS, hope it works out for you.

Hit: When your business fail: set a new plan... (2, Insightful)

jcdr (178250) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548365)

This will make the failure looking like a thing of the past and make hope for a successful new future.
But this don't grant that this will work as expected. Especially after you use the same plan almost each 6 months for more than 3 years now !

OCR (0)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548379)

I like the part where they are magically going to make OCR work via the camera on a cellphone.

that feature exists already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548461)

You can use the "Office Lens" with Windows Phone 8 phones today. Handy.

Re:that feature exists already (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548505)

You can use the "Office Lens" with Windows Phone 8 phones today. Handy.

Guess that is useful for those 3 people.

Re:that feature exists already (1)

donaldm (919619) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549071)

You can use the "Office Lens" with Windows Phone 8 phones today. Handy.

Guess that is useful for those 3 people.

Actually you can get OCR applications for Android and iPhone. Of course the better ones you do have to pay for but there are quite a few which are free.

Re:OCR (1)

rescendent (870007) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548481)

I like the part where they are magically going to make OCR work via the camera on a cellphone.

Windows Phone already does that though, you hit the search button, choose eye, point it at something, choose scan text, it highlights all the text at which point you can either choose copy, search, or translate. If you translate it will overlay the translated text on the image in your chosen language.

Re:OCR (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548513)

I like the part where they are magically going to make OCR work via the camera on a cellphone.

Windows Phone already does that though, you hit the search button, choose eye, point it at something, choose scan text, it highlights all the text at which point you can either choose copy, search, or translate. If you translate it will overlay the translated text on the image in your chosen language.

What about errors? We are talking OCR here, which never worked great on scanners, so how is it going to work better via cameras?

Re:OCR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548539)

I do not use that feature much myself, but when I have, it has worked perfectly. :)

Re:OCR (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548617)

I don't use OCR on a scanner all that often, but last time I did (atleast 5 years ago, probably more), it had no problem recognizing the pages full of text.
As far as I've tested it myself, OCR works great on scanners, so why wouldn't it work as well with cameras?

Re:OCR (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548737)

Recognizing pages full of text is one thing. Getting a useful conversion rate is another. Even an 96% success rate means several hand-corrections per page. And if you have to manually confirm and correct each page, it's not worth it in most cases.

Re:OCR (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548977)

Same experiences here, the error rate is far to high to be used in an office setting where incorrect numbers can mean millions in losses. Even an incorrect wording can be lethal.

Re:OCR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549257)

First of all, Human Character Recognition is not without error, so converting to text by hand still requires checking for errors.

Secondly, I have found the OCR in Acrobat (the only one I have much recent experience with) a great tool. It leaves the original image, but makes it text-searchable and copy-pasteable. There are some items that don't get recognized, especially small text in math formulas. For reasonably large text with high resolution scan, it is very accurate. Even though corrections may be needed, it is far faster to OCR and check for errors manually than the alternate of inputting everything by hand.

Re:OCR (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550197)

OCR can still be useful for search even if the accuracy is too low for complete conversion.

Re:OCR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549383)

Newer hag a butter phong.

Nog a proglem. Mo eggnongs at ail.

Wny, ewan my Newton was nog as goo.

Re:OCR (1)

darylb (10898) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549835)

The OCR in Adobe Acrobat (Standard and Professional) is excellent. If the input copy is of usable quality, the OCR results are superb. I've scanned and OCR'd an entire file cabinet's worth of journal articles from a departed professor's library using a six or seven year old ScanSnap scanner on the "Better" setting. Both Spotlight and Windows Search get correct hits in the documents, and cutting/pasting works like a champ.

Maybe you're using something inferior?

Re:OCR (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548483)

> I like the part where they are magically going to make OCR work

I'm afraid you could have left it right there, with no mention of cell phones or their cameras. OCR, much like speech-to-text software, has plateaued and not noticeably improved in the last 10 years. It's became more available as software has become more powerful. But the underlying technologies have been quite stable. Despite flurries of new patents with every update to such software, the fundamental algorithms remain unchanged and have been stable for roughly 20 years.

Re:OCR (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549033)

True. Every year, my people want at least two things: Accurate OCR and better Dragon Naturally Speaking.

While I can purchase the latest software versions that have newer paint jobs, the engines are still lame.

For legal documents, less than 100% accuracy with attendant cleanup efforts and opportunities to miss something, means a laborer has to do a lot of proofing.

Satya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548435)

Satya Nadella. Spell the man's name for fuck's sake.

Re:Satya (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548641)

but "For Fucks Sake" doesn't spell anything like I thought you spelt his name but I guess I'll start spelling it like that if you insist.

For completeness, how do I pronounce it?

Its dead Jim! (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548455)

Windows mobile phone forays are dead, done, finito, kaputt and out of steam.

Windows Phone 7 has been out for almost 4 years and still barely holds 3% market share. Thats pretty awful by any measure, especially since the platform before it had much larger market share. They lost customers with current platform without gaining any new ones.

Windows Mobile was out 7 years and failed, and before that Microsoft failed with Pocket PC.

I am amazed they still happily beat the dead horse instead of putting effort into supporting the winning platforms. Android will be succeeded by something in the long run and until then i fail to see the business perspective of dragging a dead horse round the racetrack with a lawn mower trying to catch up with a Jumbojet. Why not just book a seat in the Jumbojet instead?

Personally im sure Nadella would like nothing better than to put a fork in Windows Phone, but entrenched forces inside Microsoft makes this very hard. It has to fail on its own dying a long agonizing death instead.

Re:Its dead Jim! (4, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549113)

But you haven't seen Windows Phone 9! They're going to overhaul the interface to make it work like a traditional desktop UI, requiring a full-size keyboard and mouse to operate it!

Microsoft! What'll they think of next?!

Re:Its dead Jim! (3, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549837)

It's funny it is kind of the Mac v PC battle of the late 80's-90's. Platform wins. I have a Lumina 920 and it is a great phone. Win phone is fun to use. But ...: not a lot of apps for it. Not that I care much. I'm not into social media crap or a dozen other things. What it does really well right out of the box: hotmail, gmail, facebook contacts all automatically merged (after logging into the relevent apps of course) and shown in one place. It doesn't matter if someone's hotmail has their phone number but their mailing address is only saved on there FB page: it all shows up in the same contact. Dido: things like birthday's and holidays: automatically figured out and notified.

That is pretty much all I needed from a phone: contacts in one place and access to FB for the 1-2 times a month I actually check it. But: I am not the typical smartphone user. MS missed the cool factor boat by a couple years and now have to bribe people (sometimes literally by supplying in house devs to help support a big name app get ported to the platform) to develop for it. Since people aren't sure if they can find the app they want on WinPhone they just go for an Android or iPhone. Them giving out WinPhone for free now will maybe get them a better market share in the low end phones for the developing world but: if you are giving away the software what is the point being in the business? (If you are hoping on making money on selling apps you don't want the entry level 3rd world population as your customer base either).

Re:Its dead Jim! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47550825)

It's funny it is kind of the Mac v PC battle of the late 80's-90's. Platform wins

Doesn't Apple make most of its money from mobile devices, not from Macs?

What does unwind mean?? (2)

will_die (586523) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548457)

In this context what does unwind mean?
You already have "exiting" and "reducing" so it may not be a negative usage.

Re:What does unwind mean?? (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548479)

Seems to involve Elop burning another platform. I wouldn't let that man develop a "framework" to do my laundry.

Re:What does unwind mean?? (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548657)

Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland.

I'd guess someone confused "unwind" with "wind-down," as in slow down (possibly to an eventual halt).

Then again, they might have meant "wind-up," as a business synonym for closing down/ceasing operations (with the implication that this is being done in a tidy manner, rather than abruptly being forced out of business).

Or perhaps they're winding-down before they wind-up.

I'm not winding you up here.

Re:What does unwind mean?? (1)

havana9 (101033) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548785)

They aren't intereste to sell Wind [www.wind.it] branded phones. Even if the Italian phone company now sell Lumia phones. Maybe they had some disaagrement, I don't know.

microsoft still thinks we care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548477)

about Office, on a smart phone.

You can give away "Office Professional Really Seriously Serious Corporate Suite Edition" for every phone purchased, and you'll sell three. Not three million, three. NO ONE CARES about office on a phone!

Live tiles ? Dead squares.
Swoopy animations ? Saw it. Three years ago.
Unified operating system ? Great, now I can use Excel on my 4" screen, sexy!

Microsoft, wake up and smell the sales coffee. It's fresh sales and piping hot sales. Your sales might not be very sales fresh or almost empty sales, so you should do something about sales !

I think the strategy should be obvious (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548517)

Hollow out Nokia until its just a shell valuable only for its IP, transfer everything else worth keeping into Microsoft proper and discard the rest. Wouldn't be surprised if the "Nokia" brand gets sold onto to some Asian / Indian outfit in a few years hence.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548623)

Yep, they've already announced most the staff are going, all of it's factories sound like they're going to be replaced with Microsoft's own, and it's Finnish engineering premise is being "unwound" aka shutdown too it seems.

What is left other than IP? It seems like Microsoft just took a competitor out of the market and took all their IP - a competitor because they were still doing better than Windows Phone before Microsoft took them over even if they were falling in the face of Android and iPhone.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548681)

IP did not move in the deal. It was licensed for multiple years. "Old Nokia" still has the IP.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (2)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548771)

So was this done entirely to just destroy competition? I just can't see what else is being retained here.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549077)

No, it was done because they wanted to keep Windows Phone alive.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549683)

How does blowing billions on a company you're just going to dismantle do that other than by killing off competition? Wouldn't it have been better to spend billions simply subsidising Windows Phones to make them ridiculously cheap for the power you get relative to Android/iOS to actually get some market penetration that's worthwhile?

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

Calinous (985536) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549961)

Nokia historically had fantastic hardware, and in Europe they had huge mindshare. I've been to a Vodafone store, and the young lady in Customer Service (very young) knew about the Nokia 6310 and said many people coming to the store were nostalgic about that model. If the 6310 would have been still selling, I would have bought one without a second thought - in many ways they are better than current smartphones (HUGE effective battery life in standby, on the order of a couple of weeks. Great signal in most circumstances, including "middle of nowhere" places - compared to most of their competitors. Decent preloaded applications. Deterministic and very good performance - my LG Optimus Sol suffers greatly here, sometime it will launch a call at 10+ seconds after clicking on the green phone button, and it always took at least a couple of seconds to disconnect a phone call)
      Remember that at the time, there were no "premium" Windows phones - nothing to compete against the iPhone's milled Aluminum case, or against some or another premium Android devices.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

Xest (935314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550229)

I agree Nokia has always had great hardware but they're getting rid of the people behind that which is kind of my point - they don't seem to be keeping anything of any actual value, so they might as well have spent the money bribing Samsung or whoever to make them a premium phone instead.

For what it's worth I was always a fan of Nokia, I had an N95 and couldn't understand the fuss about the first gen iPhone because it couldn't even do a 10th of the userful things my Nokia phone could (like GPS, installable apps, custom ringtones). Coincidentally, I just cleared out the last few bits and pieces of mine that have been lingering in my parents attic since I moved out about a decade ago this weekend and found my pristine condition Nokia 6310. I intend to dig out an old charger and see if it still works some time this week :)

I actually still like Nokia hardware now - I think it looks more interesting and fills better form factors still than the competition, I just don't like the software and haven't for a long time. The problem is as I say, Microsoft doesn't seem to be keeping the people behind it in company (the engineering team that is being unwound in Finland) and the net result will be a Microsoft owned Nokia that has neither worthwhile software, nor worthwhile hardware, nor any patents in the smartphone market that anyone gives a shit about.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548709)

Hollow out Nokia until its just a shell valuable only for its IP, transfer everything else worth keeping into Microsoft proper and discard the rest. Wouldn't be surprised if the "Nokia" brand gets sold onto to some Asian / Indian outfit in a few years hence.

They only bought the phone business, not the name and not the IP. They have a licence for them for a while, but certainly not something they can actually sell.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

havana9 (101033) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548769)

I think the Noka brand will be used for tyres for consumer products and for consulting and business products. Microsoft likes that the phones will be branded "Microsoft", because Apple phones are branded "Apple".

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549005)

Maybe the zune will make a comeback using nokias tech.
Then I'll finally be able to find someone to squirt my songs to.

Re:I think the strategy should be obvious (1)

ecki (115356) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549867)

Well, I'd say the opposite happened: Nokia kept the profitable businesses (IP, network equiment, navigation) and transferred everything not worth keeping to Microsoft. And even got money in return. Pretty smart move.

Mini-Nokia still thriving (4, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548591)

Interestingly, the Finnish stub of Nokia that was left, is doing fine [yle.fi] . They still have a feasible telecommunication networks business.

Re:Mini-Nokia still thriving (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548901)

It doesn't matter.

The Nokia which the whole world came to know and love, is dead. The handset business.

The writing was on the wall when Trojan Horse Elop was hired as Microsoft CEO. Microsoft apologists had insisted that the naysayers were overly negative, Nokia would see a new dawn, a turnaround in fortunes blah blah.

Microsoft used Nokia as a footstool to piggyback on, an instrument from which to peddle Microsoft's dogshit ecosystem (Bing, IE, Sky/Onedrive, Outlook, Skype, Office, Xbox Live). Once that failed to improve Windows phones' sales, Microsoft had no more use for Nokia... well, maybe except for the latter's patents.

And thus, Microsoft destroys another one of its 'strategic partners'. When will people ever learn before forming a business partnership with the evil, parasitic Redmond machine?

still the vision of 9 years ago. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548659)

"thinking broadly about productivity" just means selling these things to business instead of the general public. Cobbling together a random conjecture about a common business technology, OCR, further serves to endow the commitment. Microsoft knows the only repeat customer for its services as the 21st century rolls along is going to be business.

But thinking that Nokia plays any part in this is rather odd. Microsofts purchase basically forced moody's hand to downgrade its bond status to junk only one year after the purchase. Windows phone was, again, a flop. Blackberry used Microsofts restructuring as a brilliant tactical strategy to make a comeback in the businessworld, when it should have been the other way around. So in the future most businesses will opt for blackberry in the field, and iPhone for the C-Levels. In response microsoft, as they have with Azure, will strap heavily discounted or free phones to business licenses which in turn will be purchased by management in an effort to maintain license discounts on what they do use; namely Windows. These phones will sit on IT workbenches and in random cubes until the batteries rot and the password is forgotten because what microsoft is offering is a solution to a problem that was solved almost a decade ago. Sales will increase, microsoft will pump their nokia stock until losses in other units become unsustainable again, and we'll all collectively groan as another wave of "restructuring" crashes to shore in an effort to convince investors the ship is still sailing.

Re:still the vision of 9 years ago. (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549151)

So in the future most businesses will opt for blackberry in the field

Wait... people are still buying Blackberry devices?

Re:still the vision of 9 years ago. (1)

Calinous (985536) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550031)

Vodafone Romania has them in store, so I'd assume they are selling enough of them. If you have specific software that runs on them, it's cheaper to buy new Blackberry phones than to rewrite the software ("traveling" salesmen, on field insurance agents maybe - even though the later seems to be replaced by netbooks). Maybe if security restrictions don't allow yet other phones?

all that article tells me is that they are (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548733)

staying the corse with fewer people.

I'm sure that'll work out well, like the current corse is.

I'd be nice if MS had just fragmented out so we could get VC and .net on other platforms, along with Office. But as it stands now, all the kids are doing Ruby and anything else that isn't MS so the languages division (MSDN) folks are going down, and with Linux owning the 'cloud' space, now they screwed up consumer windows, so the tables and phones are taking over.

Looking back from 1999 it's amazing that MS could fuck it up so badly.

Re:all that article tells me is that they are (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549337)

staying the corse with fewer people.

I'm sure that'll work out well, like the current corse is.

Agreed. The article is MBA-speak, with no vision, ideas, or anticipation. You hear this kind of shit, irrelevance is coming.

I'm sad to see it come to this, but the rumors have been persistent that MS had become more and more of an un-fun drudgery politics look-over-your-shoulder shit-hole to work at, and that can only lead to brain-drain, loss of morale, and a black-hole sucking away product ideas that might make the company worthwhile again, leaving only the suits and bean-counters steering the ship.

How has slashdot come to this? (1)

lippydude (3635849) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548759)

Did you just say 'focus', how did it come to this that a cutting edge technology site is reduced to spouting free slasterverts for the MICROS~1 organization ..
--

Insert marketing buzz words: focus, framework, opportunities, phones, productivity, puck, rightsizing, skating, sunset, unify, unwind ...

This is proof (2)

gelfling (6534) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548837)

That in any organization of sufficient size, the ass kissing retards always float to the top.

Elop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548851)

Can someone explain to me how there hasn't been a class action lawsuit against Elop and Microsoft for his blatantly obvious tanking of Nokia intended to reduce the purchase price? How have shareholders not sued? Why aren't Nokia employees, who are about to get laid off en-masse, not contacted lawyers and sued? Seriously, this is something that was insanely obvious as soon as Elop joined Nokia - we were talking about it extensively on Slashdot - and it played out EXACTLY how we all predicted it would.

Where are the lawsuits?

Re:Elop (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548963)

I am just as amazed as you are. That many of us at Slashdot could predict exactly how it would play out was a nice discovery. I also fail to grasp how it is possible to so blatantly dismantle and kill a competitor by a mole without so much as a single lawsuit. And considering this is not the first company Microsoft killed and maimed killing one as large and successful as Nokia without repercussions makes you think dirty money must have changed hands. Either the board was full of drunken Finns oblivious of what was happening or they got paid to shut up and kick the share holders in the groin.

Re:Elop (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549047)

You have cited a lot of things to hate over, which you obviously do, but you have yet to cite anything that can actually be sued for.

Re:Elop (3, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549135)

Breach of fiduciary duty.

Re:Elop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549401)

Why aren't Nokia employees, who are about to get laid off en-masse, not contacted lawyers and sued?

Holy pre-coffee posting... Wow, I butchered that sentence...

Re:Elop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549749)

All of what you say is fine and dandy, but alas, you need to prove it. And good luck with that.

Re:Elop (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550469)

Lets not forget that Nokia was floundering before Elop went in.

AIUI corporate officers are given wide lattitude to do what they belive is in the best interests of the company. Otherwise you'd get a flood of lawsuits whenever a descision turned out badly. So you would basically have to prove that Elop did not belive that going the MS route was in the best interests of the community.

Succinct summary for the masses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47548861)

Miss Nokia was tricked into marriage with Mr Microsoft. Now she's abused, deprived of food, and soon she'll die and be hastily buried in an unmarked grave. Of course Mr Microsoft gets to inherit her assets.

Just a matter of time... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a month and a half ago | (#47548961)

...before Google or Apple buy Microsoft. Perfect symmetry.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

gtall (79522) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550403)

Nah, neither would want MS. Apple doesn't care all that much about industry...although they are changing that a bit recently. They still don't want the desktop ball and chain. Google doesn't either, they just want all communications in their cloud so that it be squeezed for information on everyone's grandmother and what she eats for breakfast (A hint, Google, think "prunes").

OCR (1)

dkman (863999) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549183)

>"I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion."

Ha, let him try that with a Surface Pro 3!
see answers.microsoft.com [microsoft.com] for more info on how the SP3 has a fixed focus lens that can't take a readable picture of a page of text.

Though I do recognize that he specifically said "phone".

"Going beyond" hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549585)

I worked for a Unix server and workstation company. In the late 1990s, our hardware sucked. Our division head would tout that what matters is solutions not benchmarks. That was a line of BS. Eventually the company improved the hardware and regained market share.

Microsoft is in a bad place in smartphones. They should have fired Elop after he eviscerated Nokia losing tons of revenue and market share. Microsoft may have a strategy that eventually wins, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Re:"Going beyond" hardware (1)

Calinous (985536) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550089)

Solutions matters over hardware/benchmarks if only you have the solutions. Unfortunately, looks like the competition is in a better position regarding solutions (and benchmarks). Even if 512MB of RAM might make Windows Phone itself work better than its competitors (just maybe), add applications written in mind with the 1GB of RAM of mostly anything else on the market and your device will suffer.

Hardliner approach needed here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47549653)

>Microsoft to unwind [former Nokia] engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary

I am a hungarian and that is huge sad news here. I think these two european countries should emergency nationalize the plants, to prevent Microsoft from fire-selling all the equipment to Brazil or Bangladesh, etc. We would pay Microsoft in 20 yearly installments.

That is what exactly President Nasser did with the Suez Canal. Of course the tri-partite agressors of Britain, France and Zion invaded Egypt in response, but big daddy Khruschev sent them home with his H-bomb shaped baseball bat and in the end Nasser's Egypt actually got to keep the canal for free and even received a free hydro-electric dam on the Nile. Today, we have another big daddy named Vladimir Putin. He would be more than happy to re-extend russian sphere of influence to Finland and Hungary, kicking some yankee butt in the process.

Is a new cold war profitable for Microsoft? No, because they are not in the military-industrial complex. Why does then Microsoft push europeans to Putin's side? Because they are stupid. America will fall after Europe falls and the spoils will go to the chinese as soon as russians drink themselves to death.

Same as usual, then (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a month and a half ago | (#47549821)

In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales.

Naturally.

Sales of Office lead to sales of Windows which leads to sales of Windows Server which leads to sales of Exchange which leads to sales of Office... Vendor lock-in has been Microsoft's core business model for decades. Why should it be different with phones?

We want data-fusion, not os/ap fusion (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a month and a half ago | (#47550157)

"I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion"

OneNote is/was actually a reasonable product - but does anybody use it?
I think that Microsoft's problem is that it has always been a (fragmented) product company, not able to look at things from a user point of view.

What I would like (and pay for) would be seamless integration of all my information, securely, between my devices and optionally backed up to "the cloud" (ugh). So far, (from personal experience), Apple have nice hardware with reasonable integration, Android is catching up (if you give Google access to all your data) and Microsoft is behind.

For the future, I would not give a damn if the 'phone was an Apple, a Nokia or a generic, and same for the OS on the phone and the PC. Here's a scenario; in one hit let me take a picture of someone, somewhere, add it to contacts, and the next time I want navigate to their house/office it one click. Show me all the mails and docs for the person, one click please.

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