Nokia + Microsoft “Merger”: 2 Fails Don’t Make A Win
Nokia abandons its own Linux MeeGo smartphone OS, will license Microsoft Windows Phone 7 instead.
Nokia + Microsoft “Merger”
With Apple iPhone taking the high-end smartphone customers, fragmented Android taking mid-end, and RIM / BlackBerry taking the low end, Nokia is getting desperate.
Video: Nokia Microsoft Press Conference, February 11, 2011
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announce partnership (of 2 companies that are both failing to catch up to Apple iPhone):
Well, it’s not quite a merger, but Nokia will now pay the Microsoft tax to license the bulky button Windows Phone 7. So, expect the so-so Microsoft Nokia Zune and Nokia Kin phones soon (maybe this year or next), with low developer interest and very few apps available. We say it’s likely to fail. Why?
Palm Microsoft Licensing: Windows Mobile
As Roughly Drafted would say: “this all happened before.” Example, Palm:
Before Palm was able to copy Apple iPhone to use as free R&D, Palm was in a similar position as Nokia now. Losing market share rapidly in the most desirable customer segment, Palm adopted Windows Mobile due to desperation. It didn’t end well. Paying to license the low quality Microsoft Windows CE / WiMP did nothing to help Palm gain market share or profitability.
Palm eventually stopped licensing Windows Mobile (aka paying for Microsoft tax) , but it was too late to stop it from heading into bankruptcy.
As to Windows Mobile users? Later, Microsoft abandoned Windows Mobile “partners” and licensees when it introduces Windows Phone 7. The few existing customers using Windows Mobile are left with no upgrade path.
PlaysForSure Microsoft Licensing
Another example where Microsoft licensing failed is Microsoft’s attempt at copying the Apple iPod.
Before the billion-dollar Zune failure, Microsoft tried to license “PlaysForSure” as an “open” alternative to iPod. Basically, similar to Android now, hardware manufacturers with no expertise in user interface design can modify the Microsoft Windows CE based devices to make it even more difficult to use.
None of the Microsoft PlaysForSure licensees win any significant market share from the Apple iPod.
Similar to Windows Mobile “partners”, Microsoft also abandoned PlaysForSure licensing “partners” after introducing the so-so Zune player.
Summary: Nokia + Microsoft Mobile OS “Merger”
Summary, judging from history, Microsoft is going to continue to abandon its “partners” without notice at Redmond’s convenience. The only question is when Nokia will be abandoned, and if that will lead to its bankruptcy.