For the last few days I ‘ve been telling anyone that will listen (and some who won’t) that Stephen Elop made the wrong pick from his list of burning platform choices: Build, Catalyse or Join. He should have built, and catalyised by putting all possible resources behind Meego and Qt. The results would have been amazing and could have been delivered much sooner than the first Nokia WP7 mobiles will be. Major roadblocks in Meego were not technical, only political. Intel have stated that they are ‘not blinking‘ on Meego, that’s a great decision and they will benefit from taking a longer view.
Last night, some clever young shareholders floated a Plan B for Nokia listing a set of proposals that could, if implemented, turn the company around. It makes a whole heap of sense to me. The Plan B people say that they are Nokia employees though they haven’t yet revealed their identity [edit: Plan B was revealed to be written by bored iPhone developer]. I wish them the very best of luck with this endeavour. However quixotic it might turn out to be, at this stage in the game an intelligent opposing view needs to be stated.
As I see it, Nokia made its decision to go with Microsoft at the behest of the Board, Institutional Shareholders, Vendor Stakeholders and Carriers. There is no 2/11 conspiracy. Whatever you make of Elop’s questionable work history he is not a shill, a patsy or a trojan horse, he’s just doing his job to the best of his ability. Shame about the lack of vision.
Nokia’s corporate culture sucked, it was bloated, arrogant and blind to reality. The company never really understood user experience or web services and it always put the Carriers before the Consumers. It should have taken a leaf out of Apple’s book in that regard but it didn’t have the balls to upset its Channel. Ovi made far too many compromises to the Mobile Network Operators and very few for developers. There’s a huge swathe of Nokia middle-managers who will never realise that they are the people responsible for this pivot. They are complicit in their own downfall yet they will always want to blame someone else for their personal tragedy – Stephen Elop is that man.
Goodness knows many of us are sick of reading crowing comments from idiots who don’t know the difference between a UI and an OS. Symbian was a fantastic Operating System, but it didn’t evolve fast enough and it was a bitch to work with. The genius of Android is the fact that just about anyone with a computer can make an app with it, and they are: the Android market is full of rubbish. Apple got it dead right from day one, no suprises there. WP7 isn’t bad in the same way that Win7 is so much better than Vista, perhaps Microsoft and Nokia can capture some developer mindshare again.
Meego is an amazing OS and Qt is an incredible UI framework.
‘Moving forward’ as corporate folk are wont to say, this is the perfect partnership for Microsoft and if executed well it might yet change Nokia’s fortune. Clearly the deal has the support of the Carriers and they remain, for better or worse, the biggest customers of any mobile manufacturer. In short time, we’re going to see just how good a leader Stephen Elop really is.
Nokia, you should have Thought Differently.