Credit for a lot of the information posted here goes out to talk.maemo.org’s maluka whose forum post triggered a bit of extra reading on my part if only to verify the points he raised.
Stephen Elop’s recent comments on Nokia’s Q4 earnings call opened a proverbial pandora’s box of speculation, where pretty much every single blogger, mobile analyst and follower of Nokia’s fortunes for the past few years jumping and screaming at the top of their lungs about Nokia adopting everyone’s favorite Android platform. While the former management have clearly debunked such an idea, it is thought that Stephen Elop’s new-found power at the helm of the company may see Nokia undertake a dramatic shift and pick up one of the OS’s controlling a lot of the media headlines; Windows Phone 7 and Android. What a lot of these individuals have CLEARLY decided to ignore are a few questions posted during the Q&A segment of the call where Stephen Elop highlighted both the importance of simplicity of any new strategies as well as the ability to add value to whatever choice of platform they make as well as the ability to differentiate themselves. For quite obvious reasons this precludes the use of Windows Phone 7 and severely hampers the likelihood of Android adoption. These points on their own have done little to dissuade speculation so lets move on to point two shall we?
Work on MeeGo continues at a fast and furious pace with bugs being reported and quashed with rapid frequency. These bug reports are the source of most of the information we have to date on the dev platforms currently being used to test MeeGo in the run up to the 1.2 release. Of important note is the fact that little to none of the work being done in the open is occurring on new ARM architecture. From my searches, the vast majority of ARM based bugs and issues have been tried and tested on the N900 with little other ARM based architectures being used. That’s not at all to say that there is no ARM device inside Nokia headquarters being tested and used. But it does lower the likelihood of that being the case. While Android does indeed support x86 architecture, the correlation between significant increases in the prevalence of Intel Medfield based devices in these bug reports and Nokia’s involvement with the MeeGo project is NOT coincidence. Furthermore, the rumours that at least one of these devices is Nokia’s own engineering prototype lends further credence to Nokia’s deepening involvement with MeeGo. (Before people go slagging off power consumption fears with the Intel platform, with Medfield we’re looking at a rumoured power consumption equivalent to or possibly less than Tegra 2 with roughly equivalent performance.)
Point 2 is obviously not going to do much to dissuade the masses from speculating about Nokia picking up Android or Windows Phone 7 (WP7), so the next question is, when was the decision to switch made, what is the timeline for picking up this new “ecosystem” and how many people have they brought on board to help make a push towards this new eco-system. Recent job postings by Nokia would be an obvious giveaway to any big moves being undertaken right? Well, in the past month alone there have been ~70 new job postings made by Nokia and NONE of them have to do with C#, .Net, Java, Dalvik or anything other than MeeGo, web-design or administrative jobs. Don’t take my word for it though, the proof is in the pudding as they say, take a gander at the job postings yourself. Oh and speaking of new jobs at Nokia, remember Peter Skillman? Well he’s one of many VP’s that left Palm after their acquisition by HP in 2010. Funnily enough, Nokia acquired quite a few of those same VP’s.
Here’s a short list of the higher-profile VP’s currently working for Nokia and likely with Peter Skillman and Marko Ahtisaari on this same MeeGo project.
Certainly a non-exhaustive list of important acquisitions made in the past few months. Before some of you go off ranting about their lack of performance etc, note that these people have had MINIMAL involvement of anything released up to and including those products announced at Nokia World 2010.
Nokia’s involvement with Qt is both deep and continuing. With the Release of the Nokia Qt SDK in April of 2010, the release of Qt Mobility 1.1 in November, The Qt 1.1 SDK a few weeks back and numerous other additions to Qt over the past year or so. None of which points to a deprecation of Qt as the PRIMARY way forward for Nokia and their ecosystems. Furthering the belief that Android is not to be adopted by Nokia is the lack of OFFICIAL support for the Lighthouse project. The Lighthouse project being an addition the Qt codeline that would allow for easy(ier) porting of Qt to other OS’s and platforms. While Nokia has not stunted such progress, there has not been any official support on their part. This is of course without considering the significant investments Nokia has made towards increasing the number of available applications and ports of existing applications to their mobile devices via porting competitions and Calling All Innovators competition. Let’s be real, companies don’t toss millions of dollars away like that, regardless of whether they’re Apple or Nokia.
There are so many red flags pointing towards this NOT happening but yet still people the world over are in fits and panicking, trying to justify their beliefs that huge changes are afoot. I’ve posted both mine and other individuals’ opinions and conclusions on the matter in a fashion that should leave little doubt in the minds of those visiting this blog.
Having said all of this, I could, of course be dead wrong and Nokia and Elop could come right out and announce something straight out of left field. There is however, a lot of information pointing towards significant commitment to their old plan(s) with only minor modification and necessary modification being the only changes of note.
Ah well, roll on February 11th and MWC!