Nokia to release Windows Phone 7 phone

I still remember late last year when Nokia Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Markets unit, Niklas Savander replied on Twitter saying that Nokia will not switch to Windows Phone 7 or Android. He believes that Symbian and MeeGo will continue to add value to consumers.

Things changed quite a bit over 4 months. Nokia announced last Friday that it will adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 as its main platform on smart phones. It wasn’t really a surprised. After all, the new Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, was from Microsoft. And we all know something is brewing when Nokia announced that it will have a press conference last Friday with Microsoft. The leaked “Burning Platform” memo from Elop further confirms that Nokia is going to make a drastic platform change.
And it’s not just a simple Nokia releasing Windows Phone 7 phone deal. The partnership is going to be quite comprehensive. Windows Phone 7 will become Nokia’s principal smartphone operating system. Nokia will help Microsoft develop it and ensure a broad range of phones using WP7 are available globally. Nokia will use Microsoft’s online services like Bing, Bing Maps, AdCentre etc etc. Nokia will bring it’s existing carrier billing agreement to Windows Phone 7.
In short, Microsoft and Nokia are building an entire ecosystem. The agreement is still at the draft stage. I guess it will take a while before we get to see a Nokia Windows Phone 7 phone. But I guess Nokia will be able to roll it out faster than their MeeGo phone.
This move also means the beginning of the slow gradual end of Symbian and MeeGo. Nokia will slowly phrase out Symbian in favor of Windows Phone 7 although Nokia expects to ship 150 million more Symbian phones in the meantime. Nokia will also ship one MeeGo smartphone later this year. This move has angered many Nokia employees. After the announcement, many of them decided to walk out in protest. Reports say that many of the protestors work on the Symbian platform.
If you ask me, I think switching to Windows Phone 7 is a great move. Symbian is lagging behind the smartphone OS wars. It used to be a great mobile OS in the past. But it didn’t develop fast enough to meets the current needs of consumers. The only way to revive Symbian is to rewrite the entire OS just like what Microsoft did to Windows Mobile. But that is provided that they can do it fast enough. MeeGo could have saved Nokia if they could roll it out last year. But they didn’t. We need to wait till maybe end of the year before we get to see a MeeGo phone. That’s too late for Nokia.
I think this is the best option/route for Nokia. If switching to Windows Phone 7 can’t save Nokia from the burning platform, then I guess nothing will. I’m kinda looking forward to the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 phone. Let’s hope it won’t take too long.

PS: One of my Tech prediction for 2011 came true. “Nokia release smartphone running either Windows Phone 7 or Android”

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