The Nokia/Microsoft partnership must be a huge disappointment to the Nokia employees who were once the giant of the mobile phone industry. Elop’s message struct a perfect cord for me. While his explicit message was clear – Nokia must change or die. It was his implicit criticism of Nokia’s culture and leadership that had the most power.
Nokia like many large organisations has been taken over by a management buercacry focused on producing powerpoints and quartley updates for steering groups that delivers nothing but oblivion.
While the powerpoints and updates circulated at Nokia and the Management Consultants billed more and more hours, Apple and Google beat them in the only place that matters – the marketplace with real users.
Elop had no other option but to put a bonfire to the Nokia management team and strategy. The Windows Phone tie up was an interesting choice. I’m sure Google were tempting Nokia with Android but I’m not sure Android would have been a distinct strategy for Nokia to move forward with.
Although Apple and Google dominate I do think there is space for one more operating system in the mobile market place. If Microsoft can execute quick and feature rich updates to the Windows Phone 7 platform over the next 12 – 18 months and if Nokia can free up their internal resource to deliver really good hardware I think there is a chance that this tie up could work.
It is easy to view Apple’s smartphone dominance as unbeatable but the technology market place is evolving so quickly that even Apple will have to make important strategic decisions over the next 12 months to stay ahead – cloud and diluting their handset mix as two examples. As do Google, Android marketplace and their diverse handset/software mixture are challenges that they must overcome. If either Apple or Google stumble Nokia/Microsoft could be ready step in.