Image from Engadget
The deal between Microsoft and Nokia to provide a new smartphone platform for the latter is a great deal all around. Nokia’s current OS, both Symbian and MeeGo have horrible UIs and are not competitive.That led Nokia staring at a black hole as people move from feature phones to smartphones. They would have abandonded the manufacturer. Microsoft on the otherhand have found themselves with a new operating system, that has been well reviewed, but is not gaining traction in the marketplace. It’s current device partners are more interested in Android, and Microsoft knows it needs a strong and interested tech partner. So why didn’t Nokia go for Android?
Quite simply, if they did they would have become a me-too phone manufacturer with little or no differentiation between themselves and companies like Motorola.So the only logical choice for Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop was to make a deal with Microsoft. Both partners want this to work and will do their best. Will nokia become another mee-too licensee? That’s not likely as they will have Microsoft develop the OS around their needs and it will be developed for their devices. Nokia will always have an advantage. Who will buy a Nokia Windows Phone?
There are probably two groups, business buyers and Nokia loyalists. Business buyers will be offered the phone as part of large deals at interesting prices. Corporate it buyers like that kind of a deal. Secondly Nokia loyalists looking to upgrade may want to stay with the brand.What about Apps?
Microsoft and Nokia have to make sure that there are sufficient apps available. They easiest way to do this is to seed the pool by paying developers to write apps for the platform. They have deep pockets so they can do this. Once there is increased momentum behind the platform, it may become attractive for a new set of developers, those that can develop on Windows technologies and don’t want to learn Objective-C for iOS.Overall nokia and Microsoft have a great chance of making this work and gaining maybe 15% smartphone market share within 3 years.