Ever since Nokia’s appointment of former Microsoft excecutive Stephen Elop as their new CEO back in September of 2010, there has been alot of talk in the tech industry about what this might mean about the change in tactic and strategy for Nokia and smartphones, particularly where Microsoft is concerned.
A joint statement released on February 11th, by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop eliminate any mystery. Nokia and Microsoft are going to join together with a focused effort of creating a mobile ecosystem that can compete with the Android and Apple ecosystems. This was reinforced by a Nokia memo written by CEO Stephen Elop that was leaked to, and published by Engadget.
Microsoft is a software only company for the most part. Nokia is a hardware only company for the most part. Both have frankly sucked in the smartphone market. The smartphone market, along with tablets, are the fastest growing segments of the consumer electronics industry right now. Neither company is positioned well. It seems clear that to me that they are waaaay behind, and are unlikely to catch up anytime soon! To them I say, good luck! This is akin to beginning a marathon while your fellow runners are already entering their 20th mile. The race is close to over, and unless there are more serious misteps by Apple and Google Android, I’m not sure that there is enough time for Nokia-Soft to catch up!
I agree with Matt Drance at Apple Outsider, this sounds more like “Microsoft bought Nokia for $0B”.
A report today indicates that Stephen Elop, speaking at the Mobile World Congress, said that Microsoft won a bidding war that will mean billions of dollars for Nokia, so I guess I was wrong about the whole “Microsoft bought Nokia for $0B” that Matt Drance argued.
The report also notes that Nokia stock continues to drop this morning, and employees of Nokia have been staging walkouts over their displeasure with the decision.