Yes, I said it. The Microsoft Nokia partnership is good news. Whilst this may make me the lone wolf in a field of a sheep at least that means I’ll be well nourished.
It’s extremely easy to see this as Nokia selling out and Microsoft as planting their old employee, Stephen Elop (what is it with the tech world and blokes named Steve?) to topple Nokia’s crown. That’s just reactionary nonsense.
The hardware that Nokia produces is quite probably the most robust of any manufacturer. You can throw one of their phones down the 1000 stairs of an ancient Mayan Temple, where it is proceeded to be chewed by 100 ravenous alligators who then spit it out. The damage? A bit of chipped paint on the edge.
So that’s the hardware sorted. Symbian needs to be shot, killed, buried, for anything that remotely attempts to be high end. iOS is smoother than Jessica Alba’s face and Android is a pleasure to use due Google’s excellent integration with search and their psychic voodoo magic guessing games nicknamed algorithms.
Windows Mobile 7 (or WP7 to their friends) is a great operating system. Fine, it’s late to the party. And yes, Microsoft may be still a little bit evil, but once you pick up a WP7 phone it makes you wonder why someone hasn’t designed something like it before. The interface is intuitive and it looks incredible. Whilst it’s full of squares, it’s certainly not for squares (I think I’ll stop now). The apps are designed brilliantly and whilst there are no where near as many as iOS/Android, the quality is usually extremely high. As this is only the first iteration, any updates should make it even better.
Let’s be honest, Android was never an option for Nokia. Not only have HTC and Samsung between them sown up that particular market for the time being, Nokia would have to have admitted that Google’s open source project is better than their open source(ish) project of Symbian. Pride would not allow them to do it.
Meego, Maemo or whatever it’s called, Nokia’s operating system tie up with Intel, also does not seem much of a choice. Yes, it looks good, but, as Elop rightly stated, it’s not an ecosystem which is now necessary. The time, money and dare I say it, luck, it would take is unimaginable. I may eat my words in a few months time, but that’s very doubtful. They don’t taste very nice anyway.
Symbian is not dead. It will be used on the cheaper end phones to decrease costs and increase Nokia’s impact on the huge swathes of the world that don’t have smartphones and won’t for a long time to come. Shock Horror!
Rather than being a ‘fanbois’ can we instead just sit back, take a chill pill and see what this partnership may create. You never know, you may even like it.
UPDATE: Meego is being partially implemented by Nokia alongside WP7 because half-hearted efforts always work out well. SARCASM ALERT!