What will happen with the Microsoft Nokia Windows 8 Tablet alliance?

March 25, 2011

So my question today is, what’s up with the Microsoft Nokia alliance?.

I have been skeptical since I heard about their Windows Phone 7 collaboration.

From Network World:

Nokia is in a unique relationship with Microsoft, contributing a range of its own assets, ranging from global scale, distribution, marketing and retail expertise to online services such as Ovi Maps and slick turn-by-turn navigation. That, combined with Microsoft experience as a platform vendor, and the strengths of the radically redesigned mobile UI, will “move the needle,” says Kai Öistamo, Nokia executive vice president and chief development officer.

In February, Nokia and Microsoft announced a wide and deep alliance around Windows Phone 7. The handset maker, which has been struggling in the past three years in the exploding smartphone market, chose the Microsoft OS as the firmware for all future Nokia smartphones. To do so, Nokia will pay Microsoft a licensing fee.

But Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft is different from the other Windows Phone licensees, who launched the first crop of handsets, HTC, LG, and Samsung. Nokia alone has the right to customize the Windows Phone UI. Neither Microsoft nor Nokia has gone into detail about what that means.

Sounds great right?

But then on the other hand, Nokia are not quite sure about Windows 8 tablet edition..

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – Nokia’s strategy for entering the tablet computer market may not include Microsoft, its recently announced partner for smartphones, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s thinking.

The Finnish cellphone maker is still considering its options for tablets and these include MeeGo, a platform Nokia has been jointly developing with Intel, the source said.

Nokia wants to get its first tablet right rather than rushing to join the party at this late stage, and hopes to come up with something distinctive that will also help it with strategies for other screens including television. “That could include Microsoft, it may not,” the source said.

Microsoft is not expected to be ready with a tablet platform before late 2012. It would be based on its forthcoming Windows 8 PC operating system, rather than its Windows Phone software.

My own personal feelings about the phone and tablet relationships are the following:

At this point, I dont see Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8 as a viable competitor to Android and Apple (and Blackberry I guess). At this point, people feel so passionate about their cellphones and Windows Phone 7 has been largely absent from the smartphone conversation for too long.

In addition, how would the relationship work in a practical sense? What happens if Nokia feel really strongly about putting in a phone OS modification that Microsoft really do not want in. I am not sure I see the perfect synergistic fit here.

Regarding tablets, it’s pretty much the same story. It seems like the Windows 8 Tablet will be competing with the Ipad 3 and 1000 other Android competitors. Anyone who has played with an Ipad will tell you that it’s a long road uphill. I dont see Nokia putting their money on Windows Tablet 8.

It’s depressing on the Microsoft front from where I sit.

What do you guys and girls think? Does Microsoft have a chance in the tablet and smartphone market?

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Mike Johnson is a writer for The Redmond Cloud - the most comprehensive source of news and information about Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Cloud. He enjoys writing about Azure Security, IOT and the Blockchain.

All Comments

  • well here is what I think.
    Nokia’s move was out of desperation. They were loosing customers and did not have a killer product, Windows Phone 7 helps them to at least save themselves from a complete meltdown. Im sure nokia has a backup plan which does not include Microsoft, this may perhaps include their own OS for tablets. Im a little skeptical about the partnership with Microsoft, i think its a step backwards for nokia.

    xinu March 26, 2011 2:32 pm Reply
  • I think I would tend to agree with you about Windows Phone 8, if not for a recent New York Times poll that said the most asked for tablet operating system is Windows. The reason given is that people are confortable with Windows, like how it works, and so they want it in their tablets too.

    CompUser March 27, 2011 12:37 pm Reply

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