Have you watched Seinfeld – a hit American sitcom of 90s? If not, then you would not understand this analogy (my apologies). If yes, then Microsoft and Nokia partnership is like, Kramer and Newman putting their heads together to come up with competitive solution.
Does combining two failed mobile strategy equal to one winning strategy? Nokrosoft or Microkia? Managements at Nokia and Microsoft seems to think it is. Both are desperate to make it successful! And in the process following age old thesis. Nokia bought Symbian – it did not work. Nokia partnered with Intel for MeeGo – don’t know what’s happening! What makes management or board of director think that partnership with Microsoft will work?
Nokia does not seem to have a clue about what smart phone means. Don’t get me wrong, Nokia’s smart phone hardware is best-in-class on technological front. It beats iPhone or Blackberry hands down. But, Nokia still thinks smart phone as just a piece of hardware. It does not seem to realize that smart phone is an ecosystem.
Windows seems to lack foresight on mobile. It is stuck with legacy desktop/laptop mindset. It believes stripping down desktop windows will make mobile OS.
Now both managements think they can come together to present a fourth viable competitor to the troika of BlackberryOS, iOS, and Andriod.
I am not an expert in mobile technology. I am merely its user. I am nobody to call this a failed strategy. But history of last decade suggests; creative destruction is at work in both companies, i.e.. at Microsoft and Nokia.
Microsoft picks a hardware supplier who is going downhill. And Nokia picks a software supplier that has time an again shown lack of vision in mobile computing.
Nokia failed at smart phone. And by choosing WindowsMobile7, Nokia seems to have decided to fail again. Nokia probably lost an opportunity to resurrect itself in mobile business by ignoring Andriod. WinMobile7 will probably get short-term steroid boost.
Having said this, I certainly feel that either Nokrosoft or Microkia will exists. It is not likely to be a total disaster similar to standalone Nokia smart phone. But I am skeptical that it will provide formidable fourth front to closed iOS, closed blackberry, or an open Andriod.
Furthermore, I do not believe mobile OS is big enough for a fourth competitor. HP and Dell’s OS have been left behind. Plam’s OS failed! Motorola’s own OS failed. Symbian failed! MeeGo destined to fail. Nokia-Microsoft partnership is likely to remain ‘also ran’ rather than force to reckon with. Motorola seems to have got another life (again!) by adopting Andriod. Did Nokia missed an opportunity? Time will tell.
Finally, Nokia’s new CEO, Elop, came from Microsoft. Picking WinMobile7 shows that there is baggage of legacy. History will tell you that one cannot supplant strategy from old company to the new company. It has never worked – environment in which these strategy operate are different.
Summary is; I would not invest in such companies. Not that I have an opportunity to invest in either of them. I thought this was a very good example to present my thoughts.
As a user of mobile technology or ecosystem – what are you thoughts on this one?
business, Microsoft, Nokia