TheVerge have an editorial by Vlad about how Microsoft has put the nail on Nokia’s coffin. With the exit of Elop and Harlow, Vlad says:
Any glimmer of hope that Nokia wouldn’t be subsumed into the Microsoft monolith and would continue along its own path, albeit under a different name, has today been extinguished.
I think the Elop exit seems to be just a thing that he seems to do. Elop is like a catalyst for mergers or take overs, once done, he goes off ready to be used again elsewhere. Now although the latest example seemed set that he was at Microsoft for good, but actually was instead head of Devices and services which is now merged with Windows. Now Elop is free to catalyse another merger/take over. Imagine what would have been Elopified if he was MS CEO huh? MS sold to Apple :P.
Anyway, I’ve gone off point and back to Vlad who points out that Microsoft cares about the software and services you run, whilst Nokia was completely about the devices (and of course, kinda half arsed with the services and well, software was just poorly managed despite the talent). Now there’s even more union between Microsoft’s software and hardware divisions. When Nokia partnered with Microsoft, we heard multiple occasions when Microsoft or Belfiore wasn’t happy with what Nokia was doing. Under Microsoft, the old Nokia team was under stricter rule and now more so. Apparently, anything Lumia will be from Redmond teams not those originating in Espoo. I say apparently because although Elop and Harlow are gone, they weren’t the designers and engineers from Nokia that are actually still there at Microsoft. They may have been in charge and may once have been the conduits for MS communication, now hopefully it’s simply a case of Microsofties in charge of Nokians.
However, Vlad feels Harlow and Elop’s exit means more and that the Nokia we care about is gone.
Besides losing out on some of the awesomest Nordic accents to ever launch new tech products, we are losing a great deal of creativity and originality.Advertisements
The age old tale of what could have happened should Nokia have gone Android. Motorola’s path could have been something Nokia did, and possibly a happier one if Google did not feel inclined to sell Motorola in order to appease Samsung. Initial losses could eventually make for positive gains in the long run, as Xbox shows for example.
There’s also similarities between Microsoft and Nokia as well as HP and Palm. Both actually even replaced their CEOs but thankfully things haven’t been as disastrous for either old or new Nokia teams at the hands of Microsoft.
Microsoft seem keen to get people to Windows but is doing so without an aspirational flagship.
without the once-Nokia driving hardware design and improvements forward, the ceiling for innovation in Lumia devices is dramatically lowered.
Vlad says something quite poignant:
When Nokia launched the 808 PureView at MWC in 2012, replete with a massive 41-megapixel camera that took astonishingly good photos, I asked Stephen Elop a simple question: why? Not why launch a great cameraphone, but why launch one that ran on Symbian, a software platform that Nokia was deprecating in favor of Windows Phone. His words still resonate with me today: “because it’s memorable.”
It certainly was. And it definitely changed the atmosphere towards mobile photography. I don’t know why Microsoft can’t both release an aspirational device, a flagship that shows off to everyone how good the platform can be whilst catering for the entry level and mass market mid?
In his final words on Nokia, he says he can sum up Nokia’s legacy as “memorable”..
That was the aspiration that drove this Finnish company to push boundaries and experiment endlessly. Even when Nokia was unsuccessful, as with the N-Gage portable console, it never failed to accomplish the goal of leaving us with something to remember. And that’s all we’re left with now: memories.
Well, send that coffin to the fires for cremation and perhaps watch the phoenix rise. No one expected another Nokia device from Finnish Nokia aka N1. There’s rumours, despite denials, that there’ll be a Nokia phone. There’s lots of old Nokians exiting Microsoft. Perhaps some can come back to Nokia? (Original Nokians, I know many would like to avoid an Elop return :p)