After spending over three years working on a variety of projects at Nokia, I was recently laid off as part of its previously-announced restructuring. I worked with many talented people and will fondly remember my experiences.
I witnessed many changes during my time there, with some being more successful than others. None, however, were as big as the recent announcement to partner with Microsoft. I think the jury’s still out on how successful this partnership will be, but I have a few thoughts on it.
First, on a personal level, I am disappointed Nokia won’t be putting more effort into MeeGo. I spent the end of my career at Nokia working on MeeGo and would have liked to see real people use the applications I worked on. I believed MeeGo had some aspects that would make it a viable alternative to Android and the iPhone.
However, I understand and largely agree with Nokia’s decision to abandon their own platforms and move to Microsoft’s. Symbian was dead in the water, and building up a thriving MeeGo platform and developer ecosystem would have been a great challenge. So great, it seems, that the Nokia leadership didn’t believe they could accomplish it. Nokia has many smart and capable employees, but they might have been spread too thin in the massive organization to carry out this type of work. A smaller, more focused, organization working on Windows Phone may be able to create a solid phone.
Will this risk pay off? As a hardware vendor, Nokia will have to compete directly against the Chinese hardware manufacturers. This will be a challenge, but Nokia has always been strong in the supply and manufacturing area. With Microsoft’s software expertise and Nokia’s hardware experience, they’ve got a good shot.