Now that Nokia (News - Alert) has abandoned its Symbian operating system and is partnered with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 7 on future Nokia handsets, it would seem that Nokia is fired up to achieve the seemingly impossible: beating Google's Android (News - Alert). Yesterday, at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop (formerly of Microsoft) indicated that the company had set as its goal to beat Android in the smartphone market, according to MobileBeat.
Elop indicated that Nokia considered adopting the Android platform itself, but abandoned the idea in order to become a “premier partner” of Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7. “A decision to go with Windows Phone creates a very different dynamic,” said Elop. “Windows Phone is a challenger. It becomes a three-horse race,” he said.
The company’s decision may have also been swayed by European cellular carriers, who reportedly feared the worst if Nokia adopted Android. Elop said that Nokia will be paying Microsoft (News - Alert) royalties to use Windows Phone 7, but that it will also save money by reducing its operating expense since it will no longer need to develop an entire OS on its own. Nokia will also contribute services to Windows Phone 7 that other manufacturers will be able to take advantage of, and he went on to say, “We’re contributing the fact that we’re making Windows Phone a challenger.”
To whet the public's appetite, the company confirmed that the rumored prototype phones shown on the Internet just a few days ago were real. MobileBeat referred to the prototype phones as “sexy beasts,” which is clearly the aim of Nokia with its new Microsoft partnership.
Microsoft will also contribute “substantial monetary value” to Nokia because of its contributions to Windows Phone 7, which Elop specifically said is measured in the billions, not millions. This has been interpreted by some to mean that Microsoft outbid Google to convince Nokia to use its software. Elop also mentioned that Nokia will see a new source of revenue through advertising.
Not everyone, however, is happy about the Nokia-Microsoft partnership. More than 1,000 Nokia employees at the company's Tampere, Finland office walked off the job last week when the news about Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 was broken to employees. The employees, many of them developers for the Symbian (News - Alert) operating system, apparently fear the large job cuts the partnership is expected to take effect in the company's Finnish offices, as there will no longer be as much need for development by the company.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf