No hard feelings!Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa is praising Microsoft’s Windows Phone—even though Nokia’s big, risky bet on the new smartphone operating system is far from paying off.
In just five years, Apple’s iPhone has wreaked havoc on the mobile industry.
RIM was devastated by its own missteps, as was Nokia. But Nokia also got shafted by Microsoft—the partner that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, picked to save the company.
Nokia abandoned its own open-source smartphone operating system, Symbian, and it ditched a smartphone/tablet OS being developed with Intel, MeeGo, to go solely with Windows Phone.
It then took an awful long time to come out with its first Windows phone, only to discover, a few months later, that its flagship model won’t be able to run the latest Microsoft software, Windows Phone 8, because it doesn’t have the hardware to support the newest features, like NFC, a digital wallet for storing coupons and credits, and the new Internet Explorer 10 Web browser.
Instead, it and other older Windows Phone handsets will get a modest upgrade.
You’d think Microsoft might have wanted to clue Nokia in about that.
So it’s odd to read this rah-rah commitment to Windows Phone 8 from Siilasmaa, a Finnish entrepreneur who was just appointed chairman of Nokia’s board, as reported in Total Telecom.
“For the first time in the history of technology, the Windows Phone 8 operating system makes it possible for users to have the same experience on a PC, tablet or smartphone, and for many people on their televisions via their gaming consoles, and to do the same thing almost seamlessly from one screen to the next,” Mr. Siilasmaa said in a television interview on Finnish broadcaster Yle.
Siilasmaa implied that Nokia is holding the course with Microsoft and Elop. This comes even after Elop was forced to admit earlier this month that its Windows Phones just aren’t selling all that well. The company announced a major restructuring, including laying off 10,000 employees.
As for Windows Phone 8 bringing some kind of historic, unique experience, all we can say is that this guy is either not paying attention—or he’s sticking carefully to the company line.
After all, having bet on Microsoft, Nokia doesn’t have many other options.