Nokia and Microsoft join together to conquer the World: Thoughts from MWC 2011

nokia3We are after the Nokia keynote and I must say that I’ve been impressed by what I’ve heard. It is hard not to think that the partnership with Microsoft is a great idea. For a long time Nokia did try to fight in this new smartphone market and failed every time. They never were able to make a UI that made sense for the smartphone enthusiasts and even the hard core fans of the Nokia brand after switching to the iPhone never went back even with the latest and greatest phone from Nokia.

With Windows Phone 7 as their main operating system for smartphones it will hard for Nokia not to sell millions of devices even in the US where they are struggling to make a hit. Now, the only thing that they have to do is to focus on the hardware and their services to lock their users under their brand.

And on paper it sounds good.

Stephen Elop at the keynote did confirm that the new partnership with Microsoft will work in both directions. Microsoft will provide the mobile system and other services like the Xbox Live brand, Zune, developers and more. Nokia in return will give good hardware, Navteq data, connections with the mobile carriers to allow Microsoft handle payments within the mobile networks and probably more.

Because of this amount of value that Nokia will give Microsoft, the big company from Redmond, will be worth billions of net dollars to Nokia.

The competition

Nokia divides the market in two pieces: Android as a operating system and genuine hardware competition – meaning companies like HTC, Samsung, LG, Apple, HP, Dell, etc. But biggest target for Nokia is Android and basically that is it. The competition in hardware is a secondary and Nokia do welcome good competition that helps push companies to the limit. And I must say that it is hard not to agree on this point of view.

Nokia is focused, they know what to go after and they definitely have a plan, and this is great news for the whole company.

Time, the worst enemy.

But only time will tell how this cooperation will work out. Nokia have a really nice ecosystem known as OVI. Many of you probably don’t know even what it is but if you will visit the site you will be shocked by how complete this ecosystem is. You have maps, music, synchronisation, games, applications, sharing features etc.

But nothing is perfect and the biggest drawback in the OVI ecosystem is the stability of the service; it just can’t handle the demand of the users. Plus there are many bugs that demonstrate how young this ecosystem really is.

But to be honest the potential is all there and Microsoft should be able help them make this platform stable and reliable, because in its current state it does more harm than good. If the end user tries to do something and it won’t work, well the reaction is obvious. However I must say that the support is really impressive. If you have a problem the support team will do everything possible to fix it. Sadly however sometimes even Nokia have no idea how to fix a bug and you need to do a crazy workaround.

A more polished OVI would make consumers definitely more happy.

Two giants walking by hand.

Of course we can’t forget that we are talking here about two gigantic companies that have many problem in management because of their size. There are hundreds of teams that will try to do everything possible to not let go of their babies/products that they created. Can you imagine the reaction of the guy that created some service and now his hard work will thrown away because it is redundant? Or maybe a Microsoft team will have to stop working on a project because Nokia have something more mature and it is better to use that in the future.

It will be a mess and many people will not be happy, but sometimes this is what you need to do to remain competitive in this market.

Nokia hardware any good?

Many people say that Nokia hardware is really good and that is why Windows Phone 7 devices under the Nokia brand will be great. Well in my opinion we must remember that the Nokia hardware can also be problematic.

The other thing is that people say that the battery life is great in Nokia phones. Well yes, if you take in consideration only dumb phones where there is no background application. For smartphones the truth is completely different: you just try to forget closing an application on a smartphone made by Nokia and your battery will just drain out in 30 minutes. The N8 seems to hold energy as long as their competitor but in the Nokia world this do vary a lot.

Therefore we must be cautious with this. Let’s hope for the best but let’s not forget the past.

So… lets sum this up.

At the press conference Stephen Elop did say a lot of good things that is hard to argue with. They even promised to help developers transition from their other platforms to Windows Phone 7 and give them better support than before. Everything seems great and let’s hope they will be able to deliver their first phone running WP7 before the end of this ear – at least this is what they wish for – even in this they are realistic and do know that they could have to wait a little longer than that.

We at WMPoweruser never took Nokia seriously but we are wishing them the best. Let’s hope they will be able to deliver on their promises and this new and exciting partnership.

Don’t forget to read the Live Blog from the conference here.

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