Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nokia goes Windows 7

At the Mobile World Congress 2010, Nokia announced that it will have Windows 7 as its flagship operating system for its products. This announcement was hinted thru Stephen Elop's memo earlier hinting that Nokia needs to keep up with the latest in the software side while admitting that they have been facing a tough time nowadays that a lot of mobile phones have risen to the challenge.

There are mixed reactions about Nokia embracing Windows. One of these was that Nokia has to differentiate itself from other mobile companies. It does not want to fall under the same category as that of other companies embracing Android and releasing Android-based phones. I'd beg to disagree on this point because Symbian OS which has been their flagship OS eversince is also the same OS that other companies have been using throughout the decade. It seems that their decision to leave Symbian is like admitting that they have done poorly on the research and development of the operating system eventhough it is now open-source and Java developers are still at large. Over the past few years, we have seen only a few enhancements to the OS and while they continue to ramp up their phones to cater different classes of people, they just haven't gotten emphasis on the software.

Microsoft who has rebooted its Windows mobile OS will greatly benefit from this partnership but the question is how fast will they be encouraging developers to code in their mobile OS. They haven't had any success in the handheld industry which is why the rumored Zune handheld console is still a myth which I believe is definitely something they've considered making but unable to deliver.

Nokia on the other hand has noted that since they have the innovative hardware and design which consumers are still embracing will definitely benefit on the software Microsoft offers because they just need to focus on the business they excel on. With a limping Symbian OS, their products are still what consumers want. User-friendliness is one of Nokia's biggest assets and so does Microsoft. The problem will be if they can deliver that same user-friendly mobile phone with a unique look that will make consumers think it is still a Nokia phone.
Repercussions

- With Nokia dumping Symbian OS, what will happen to its developers? Symbian is Java-based and since Android is a relative, they will most likely go Android since they don't really have other options.

- What will happen to Symbian OS? I believe that with proper funding or just even emphasis by the community, Symbian is still worth focusing the efforts. It is still a sound OS with strong foundation. The only problem is that Google, who is active in the open-source community, has also a business to take care off and their mobile OS preference is Android.

- What will the difference of Nokia-made Windows-based phones be to other competing Windows phones? At the end of the year we may be able to take a look at Nokia Windows phones but other companies have a headstart and already have released Windows 7 phones.

- Will Rim be the next to follow Nokia's footsteps? Blackberry products have been almost purely catering on business phones. And nowadays, they are marketing products for the masses. Problem is that they are a few steps behind in technology and most especially their OS.

Many people were disappointed with Nokia's decision and that includes me. If they have just given proper research and development on Symbian this wouldn't have gotten into a three-way battle on mobile software supremacy between Microsoft, Apple and Google. These three companies are taking their software influence to a new heights and right now Microsoft is back in the ballgame.
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