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Microsoft-Nokia Love Fest Gets Mixed Reviews

Who's the hottest celebrity couple this Valentine's Day? We have no idea, actually, given that most of our knowledge of popular culture comes to a screeching halt around the year 1992 or so. But one couple that's getting a lot of celebrity-style press is Microsoft and Nokia.

Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop -- the former Microsoft executive who recently left to run Nokia -- consummated their deal with one of the dorkiest handshakes ever late last week, and Elop is talking about Windows Phone 7 being worth billions of dollars to his company.

We here at RCPU are modestly bullish on the hook-up ourselves, and validating our take a bit (not that we need validation...ahem) is at least one pundit who thinks that the deal will work out well -- for Microsoft, anyway.

So, everything's fine, right? Microsoft and Nokia, with their various synergies and what not, are preparing to carve out a respectable niche in the smartphone market. Well, maybe...or maybe not. There's one constituency that's not chuffed about this deal, and it's a pretty important (and often self-predicting one): Wall Street.

Investors have been, at the time of this writing, pounding Nokia stock and basically sending the message that the Microsoft-Nokia love story will end in tears. We wonder to what extent is this a self-fulfilling prophecy; Windows Phone 7 is still fairly new, and Elop just took over at Nokia. Could everybody have a few months, maybe, before Wall Street types brand this love-in a complete disaster? After all, folks in lower Manhattan have been wrong about stuff before…

We'll visit this topic later in the week with some reader comments. If you want to chime in, send your thoughts to

Posted by Lee Pender on 02/14/2011 at 1:23 PM

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Feb 16, 2011 Tom

I don't believe an OS license needs to be free to gain significant marketshar. If it offers a superior UX, superior dev envt, superior integration with other platforms then it will sell if the customer knows that. Just as you would pay more for a better car, people will pay more for a better phone (and one that can likely have its sw upgraded over time). The problem is people need to know all that their getting with WP7 and this is the key problem - they don't, because the sales reps at the cell stores often don't know. I spent 20 mins at a carrier store the other day discussing the sales with one of the reps. He was not enthusiastic about WP7 and did not quite understand the overall design concept, and also kept citing 'no multitasking' (that's no 3RD PARTY multitasking). However after 20 mins chatting with him and explaining the navigation, the ZUNE concept, reasons for no 3RD PARTY multitasking at this time, the dev aspects (and showed him how easy it was to learn to write apps), the underlying architecture and all the exciting possibilities, he was absolutely ecstatic and couldn't wait to start using the new info I gave him to learn more and also sell the phone. So the problem is just marketing, not the technology. Also Verizon's recent statements about WP7 don't seem to indicate that they are backing it either, even though they will likely carry the phone in the next few mos. This doesn't help matters any.

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 Doug E CA

Microsoft has a licensing model that no longer works (charging OEMs a fee for each copy of Windows Phone software). The only way to compete against a popular and dominant open-source competitor (Android) is with another open-source competitor. Everyone else is being crushed under Android. Even Apple's iPhone can't maintain its percentage of the market. Windows Phone 7 has zero hope. There are other show-stopper problems with Windows Phone. It is unfinished. Missing features. Buggy. Microsoft is incapable of updating and fixing it in a timely manner. Microsoft's bad reputation in mobile, and previous failed mobile platforms (eg Windows Mobile and Kin) further degrade Microsoft's image. And the bottom line is that Windows Phone 7 is selling poorly. Basically, very few people want it. Now Nokia has dived in and bet the farm on it. Doomed to fail. I like Nokia, but they've just leaped over a cliff.

Mon, Feb 14, 2011 NukeBoatDriver NewHampshire

As a long suffering Microsoft (Windows Vista 7 etc) user and former Server Team Leader at a major teching hospital complex at I have long had a love hate relationship with Microsoft - love that MS is so unstable and bloated and buggy (closed source after all) that customers need guys like me at 100K plus per year to sort it out and keep it running. That said Yahoo finance reports that MS has 42.5 billion in cash - that is more than all the VCs in sillycon valley and if I recall correctly Office first ran on Apple and Apple first ran the GUI and yet microsoft stepped in and sold Windows to the Asian PC manufactuers and embraced all of their Non-IBM standards to the point that the Windows and office franchise is significant. If I have to work on a critical project proposal with Word, Excell, Powerpoints, Visios and MS Project Plans - do I use Open Office or Google Apps - NO - I use Microsoft even though I grumble about the licenses and all the darn critical and security updates. 4G will change everything and when no internet access or cloud is down - I run good old office on my buggy Vista machine and sooner or later get the job done. Will I be do productive work with a Nokia Win7 device - maybe as a 4G hotspot for my notebook - but Until I can connect a full size keyboard and Flat Panel Monitor to my "smartphone" I would not under estimate Microsot and Nokia has no where to go but up against Apple and Google - microsoft be separating the Software from the Hardware long ago freed up the Asian manufacturers to flood the world with windows machines and out marketed Apple whos products have always been more expensive - only real threat is Android since google smartly focused on the mobile OS with open source linux kernel and letting dozens of manufacturers in Asia unleash their creative ginius - in the end competition is good - can we say free phones and unlimited 4G broadband worldside voice video TV Movies Music Games text and web browsing for $10 per month by 2015 - maybe.

Mon, Feb 14, 2011

Folks in lower Manhattan need to stop herding the population in the direction that makes them the most money and leaves the rest of us in limbo.

Mon, Feb 14, 2011

"...folks in lower Manhattan have been wrong about stuff before…" S1

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