I, like many other bloggers, jumped on the report of Nokia considering Windows Phone 7 as an operating system. But the hook-up, something I said would reek of desperation if it came to pass, is not going to happen, according to a soon-to-be-ex-Nokia employee. Watts Martin, who will be laid off next month, wrote on his personal blog that Nokia is just as controlling as Apple and as such, would have little reason to adopt Windows Phone 7, even as a stopgap measure.
He said in a blog post that Nokia likes to control its ecosystem and is focused on doing that through its Qt API, which unifies the Symbian^3 and Meego platforms it uses. He said Nokia won’t abandon Qt in favor of Windows Phone 7, which he says doesn’t provide any real benefits over MeeGo or Symbian.
“Some have theorized that they’re looking at (WP7) as a ‘stopgap’ until the MeeGo strategy is ready, but again, give me a reason that it’s a better stopgap for Nokia than a Symbian^3 phone with Qt,” wrote Martin. “Nokia really does have their OS strategy figured out, and it’s a good one. What they don’t have figured out is user experience design, a way to compete with the ‘$85 smartphone’ Horace Dediu envisions, and, oh yes, the whole damn North American market.”
Martin actually calls me out in his blog post for stoking the speculative fires. To my credit, I said my advice for Nokia is to stay in-house and get it done before they go looking at Windows Phone 7. That seems to be in keeping with Nokia’s vision. Nokia mobile VP Anssi Vanjoki memorably dismissed the idea of Nokia using Android, calling it no better than a boy who pees in his pants to keep himself warm in the winter.
As I wrote earlier, it’s in Nokia’s best interest to rely on its own operating system. It allows the company to have its coveted control and add value through it’s combination of software, hardware and services rather than be relegated to a simple hardware manufacturer. The only problem, as Martin points out, is that the company should have been on the ball three years ago. That’s why we have all this speculative talk in the first place. If Nokia was better equipped to weather the iPhone and Android assault, no one would be entertaining thoughts about whether it makes sense to look at Windows Phone 7 or Android. But until Nokia shows that it has things in hand internally and is prepared to compete at the highest levels in the smart phone market, reports like the one about Windows Phone 7 will get some play because even its own employees know the company needs to do something.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
- Nokia’s Tie-Up With Microsoft Won’t Help
- Mobile OSes Are No Longer Just About Mobile
- It’s Time for Nokia to Embrace Android
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