So, Nokia shot itself twice in the foot from Symbian to Windows Phone

Posted by

Nokia Lumia

Scene One:
Nokia needed to replace its aging smartphone platform, Symbian which commanded over 40% of the global smartphone market. Nokia had a logically and technically sound transition plan.

By adopting Qt as a developmental platform, the plan was to migrate from Symbian to MeeGo, with both platforms supporting Qt.

Scene Two
Nokia’s new CEO, brought in by the Board, pronounced Symbian a burning platform, abandoned the migration path to MeeGo, and announced the adoption of Windows Phone 7 as their primary smartphone platform.

Then, Nokia rolled out a handful of smartphones running the new platform.

Scene Three:
Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8 right after Nokia launched their first range of Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones, also announced that Windows Phone 8 is not backwards compatible with v7.5, saying that the new OS is completely different.

Millions of Nokia Windows Phone users are disappointed, to say the least.

Plus, in all probability, the same way that the bottom fell out of Symbian sales after the “burning platform” speech, sales of Nokia’s current Lumia phones will likely stall because of the lack of updates.

My Commentary
I have tempered my emotions and calmly watched the Nokia saga unfold. With each passing day, it was clearer and clearer what was unfolding.

Never before have I seen such wombling and fumbling of this sort by any company I know. Apparently, Nokia announced the demise of Symbian knowing fully well that Win Phone 7.5 was a dead end? Why didn’t they push Symbian for one or two more years and then start off once and for all with Win Phone 8?

What sort of local gin were these guys smoking? Here is the consistent destruction of everything Nokia had built for years. Here is the consistent violation of common sense and all business principles.

Here is the new Nokia – a poor shadow of its old self. Nokia shot itself in the foot with the “burning platform” speech. Nokia has shot itself in the foot again with Windows Phone 7.5.

So, its a fresh start again with Win Phone 8. After that fresh start with Win Phone 7.5.

There’s not much left to the imagination how Nokia will end up on this reality show – dead, bought over, or eternally consigned to being a struggling small player. Just like one-time number one, Motorola, now is.

C’est fini.


  1. Since there is no point dissipating cerebral energy on Nokia, I want to expend grammatical and linguistic energy, instead.

    Never before have I seen such wombling and fumbling of this sort by any company I know.

    Oga mi, “wombling”?
    I beg you to desist from using such words! you are NOT a National l football coach!

    It is “wobbling” ;=)

    Ces finis.

    My linguistics and etymology classes tell me it is “c’est fini”

    Seriously, I shall NOT wish Nokia luck. they do not deserve it!

    j’ai fini!

  2. @Eye.Bee.Kay, na wa for you.
    I’ve consistently said it. The events are well orchestrated plan by Microsoft with one end result, buying over a weakened Nokia.

  3. Given, this is another bad hit, at least for this financial year. But on a serious note, I believe Windows Phone 8 has the potential to stand on its feet again. With all those restrictions of Windows Phone 7.x, it would have been more difficult migrating most of the loyal Nokia fans to Windows Phone platform, but with most of the restrictions removed in windows Phone 8, I believe the future is brighter than before save for the poor sales that the current Nokia Windows Phones are going to witness. I even now consider Windows Phone devices as possible options behind Android devices. On a personal note, that’s something significant.

  4. Pity, Nokia came to their senses too late when Apple changed the game in 2007. Google was smart enough with Android to catch up with Apple at the game, and Samsung also played fast to ride on Android to fame and fortune. What I thought Nokia should have done was to be fast in tweaking or overhauling their original OS into a modern robust competitive platform with new best-in-class hardware. Abandoning their own proprietary OS in such messy manner for Windows was really a gross error. In fact, going with Android with their new Lumia masterpieces might even be better than romancing Windows. The reason is this: the global smartphone kingdom as we have it today usually revolves around TWO MAJOR platforms, because the kingdom is now defined in terms of platform (read OS ecosystem) and not just hardware. My prayer is that Nokia will not go the way of RIM. But all hope is not lost for any company, like human beings, who can retrace their steps when lost. Even RIM has hope…until completely dead.

  5. It’s amazing how far a rogue CEO can go, if the board has determined to support him. Elop is deliberately destroying Nokia, selling all it’s asset, making the company less viable and dashing its stocks price to the ground.

    Windows 8 appears to be a good offering. However, I fear that consumers must have been rather dissatisfied at the abrupt manner WP 7.5 was jettisoned. And that previous Lumia devices cannot be upgraded to WP 8. I’m still puzzled if Nokia or Elop was privy to Microsoft’s plans on Windows 8. And whether, the Lumia devices were rushed.

    Whatever, I know I would’ve been mad if I bought a brand new Lumia and just out of the blue, it becomes non-upgradable, and not the same top of the line cutting edge Windows Phone device that it was meant to be in less than a year!

  6. Stephen Elop’s actions simply defies logic.

    If only they would listen to Tomi.

  7. EyeBeeKay,

    Oga mi, “wombling”?
    I beg you to desist from using such words! you are NOT a National l football coach!

    It is “wobbling” ;=)

    I see that Glenda has done an excellent job educating you on the use of the word “wombling.”

    Thanks for the French. Now corrected.


  8. I see that Glenda has done an excellent job educating you on the use of the word “wombling.”

    Hmm. But IT did not correct the defective French?/ How CONVENIENT ! Glenda ko, Linda ni!

    When I have something really NASTY to say, maybe I should just take on a moniker and hide behind that. obvious prank. Cowardice!

    Say, “Masquerade”

  9. It is interesting that when GlendaROBOT wants to take us on an English peregrination, those definitions ALWAYS come from the UrbanDictionary.

    Merriam_Webster Dictionary and Fora Dictionary do not list “wombling”.

    Apparently, only GlendaROBOT and ITs creator still speak such “urban” language.

    Urbandictionary my derrière!

    Using such arcane words apparent resonates well with the shallowness behind a creation like GlendaROBOT! Humph!

  10. The “burning platform” speech became a self-fulfilling prophesy for Nokia. Nothing that happens there surprises me anymore.

    The joke is that not long before announcing Windows Phone 8 (days, weeks even), the Nokia geniuses released the Lumia 900 (which had been released stateside a while back) in parts of Europe, I guess to get as much mileage out of it before…oops, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8. Gee, let me see…buy a soon-redundant OS or wait until Windows Phone 8 is out in a few months?

    I can only presume this was deliberate. Me, I’m just waiting for the Mango phones to drop in price and get one, I’m not fussy. The objective seems to be to wait for Nokia to hit rock bottom, then buy them out. Oh wait, Microsoft seems to pretty much own them already anyway.

  11. EyeBeeKay,

    When I have something really NASTY to say, maybe I should just take on a moniker and hide behind that. obvious prank. Cowardice!

    Are things so bad that you would stoop so low as to make the sort of insinuation that you made above?

    If I have anything to say to you, nasty or not, I’ll say it to your face and with my identity – like I am doing now.

    Stop being asinine. I am not Glenda, and I don’t care who is behind it. Its not like “EyeBeeKay” tells anyone else reading who you are anyway. Hypocrite.

    See? I have no problems talking badass. I don’t need a moniker to do so. Please stop this nonsense.

  12. Thought we are all supposed to use civil language on this blog?

    Apparently, when our Glenda appears and make those nonsensical comments, it is okay.

    If the rule about civility has changed here, let us know.

    you will then graduate from kindergarten and know what vitriolic attack is all about!

    if somebody makes slimy comments, and it gets published, you ate either Glenda, or you are confining foul language.

    and it would be ASININE to debate that point!

  13. EyeBeeKay,

    You and Glenda have been guilty of talking trash at yourselves. Whatever deal you have between yourselves is okay.

    Don’t change the subject (though why would I expect that from you?). You insinuated something in your previous comment. Don’t drag me into the Glenda issue. Don’t ever so much as insinuate that I make any comments under a false identity again. Its plain silly to do so.

    If Glenda calls you names, draw my attention to it. I will not tolerate your wise cracks at me or any of these silly insinuations. I hope you copy.

  14. //

    If Glenda calls you names,
    draw my attention to it



    of course you have not noticed words like “fool” and personal attacks from our beloved Glenda?

    Can you here yourself?

    Anything as a mere criticism on your person gets your nostrils flaring (got that phrase from dear Glenda too!)

    THE mysterious Glenda talks gibberish, and the great Mr Mo needs his attention to be drawn to it!


  15. EyeBeeKay,

    Can you here yourself?

    No; I can’t. However, I can hear myself.

    As said earlier, you and Glenda have been at one another’s throats for ages. It is now after months of trading words with her, being as guilty as she is, that you suddenly want to complain about uncivil language.

    You have taken the law into your hands all these months – and have been the provocateur on several occasions.

    Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Remove that plank in your eye, change your ways, then file your report again.

    I have had my say. And should you repeat what you did here today in your response to me, I will act as I deem fit. Do ramble on if it pleases your highness. I have much more important things to attend to.

  16. I have seen eyebeekay make reasonable comments about the posts on this blog..glenda has neva done anything else than attack eyebeekay. Doesnt even have an identity. HE/SHE is a silly jobless fellow!

  17. Shayman,

    That EyeBeeKay has made reasoinable statements on this blog does not excuse his bad attitude – an unreasonable intolerance for any views opposed to his and a consistent mocking of those views.

    We saw how he mocked Android users at every turn for years only to recently discover how ignorant and in the dark he had been. Still, he won’t change.

    And he talks of being civil? Is mocking the opinions and experiences of others civility?

    I don’t know who Glenda is, and I really don’t care, but perhaps its good to see EyeBeeKay eat the trash that he dishes out to others.

    Glenda doesn’t have an identity, true. But then, the monikers, “EyeBeeKay” and “Shayman” are not exactly identities either.

    EyeBeeKay needs to take another look at himself. He is brash, rash, insensitive, and very much full of himself. He picks one bone, and suddenly every other bone is bad. That’s a terrible way to conduct oneself.

  18. Shayman is right about Glenda. Despite being a fan of her [Sheepish Grin ;)], it is good I say the right thing. She called Eye_Bee_Kay a fool just now for now getting the meaning of “wombling”, a rather harsh way of rebuke.

    True, EBK has also called Glenda names before, but it is altogether wrong to say Shayman and EBK are as faceless as Glenda. Not true. We know Shayman and EyeBeeKay. They are both pals on twitter and facbook. But no one knows Glenda. So it would not be far fetched for anyone to suggest that he/she is a clever front for a user in this blog.

    That noted, I still feel Glenda is a witty relief for some of us here. And I get entertained when he/she gets at EBK. That’s why I’m a fan. and that’s why I want the jibes to keep coming. Both ways.

  19. Because someone is a pal on Twitter and Facebook they are less faceless than on Mobility? Gee, must remember that one.

  20. I think this Glenda thing is getting too old. Can we have a little bit of refreshment here please? Maybe Linda, Franca, Amanda, Melinda etc. Anything but Glenda will do. I don’t care if she’s from Russia or Bermuda or even outside of this planet.

  21. Afewgoodmen,

    True, EBK has also called Glenda names before, but it is altogether wrong to say Shayman and EBK are as faceless as Glenda. Not true. We know Shayman and EyeBeeKay. They are both pals on twitter and facbook. But no one knows Glenda. So it would not be far fetched for anyone to suggest that he/she is a clever front for a user in this blog.

    All nicknames and without a face are faceless. They cannot be identified.

    Who is to say that there are not other readers here who know Glenda on Facebook, Twitter, Mixit, Mobofree, Tagged or elsewhere? You guys must really think that the Mobility blog community revolves around a handful of you. There are thousands of readers who never post a comment.

    It is absolutely stupid for anyone to keep suggesting that Glenda is a clever front for a user on this blog without proof or evidence. It is defamation of character, it is utter rubbish and inexcusable.

    It is irresponsibility – even stupidity – to throw that kind of accusation or insinuation around.

    Call me whatever – terrorist, bully, maximum ruler, whatever, I will not tolerate that kind of rabid stupidity on this blog, and comments that peddle that kind of trash will be deleted every single time.

  22. Noni,

    Because someone is a pal on Twitter and Facebook they are less faceless than on Mobility? Gee, must remember that one.

    Amazing; isn’t it? I must note that too.

  23. That noted , I still feel Glenda is a witty relief for some of us here . And I get entertained when he/she gets at EBK . That’s why I’ m a fan. and that ’s why I want the jibes to keep coming . Both ways.

    Sooner than later, those jibes would be directed at you do you can will be wittily relieved and entertained to the full. Lol.

  24. I would hate to see this digression take up more posts than the actual topic. It’s old and played out and not at all necessary.

    Back to topic: Risto Siilasmaa never did say what the Plan B/backup plean was did he, so we can only speculate. As far as Nokia are concerned at this point, Plan B isn’t required. I don’t think Android was ever going to be in there. Maybe another in-house OS. OR maybe they were hoping they could do both – release some Windows Phone devices as well as MeeGo devicesa la Samsung? Oh well.

    As it is, they say things are coming together for Windows 8 – uhm, not sure, seeing that they’re still releasing their soon-to-be-obsolete devices in some markets. Thing is Nokia has bonded itself to Microsoft, so get-out clauses don’t seem to have much room in that contract.

    Truth is the shine has gone off of Nokia, they need to give consumers a good reason to buy their devices in the face of serious competition.

  25. Wow! EyeBeeKay really is annoyed! I am sorry I called you a “fool.” I mean, why would you correct someone when you do not even know what that word meant? Isn’t it foolish? You can google it right? LMFAO!

  26. I think EyeBeeKay reacted that way because he was embarrassed. He was correcting the word in the article and wants to be seen as intellectual. I really apologize EyeBeeKay.

  27. @Noni On Facebook and twitter, you get to see the bio and picture and have direct communication with the persons. You could even go as far as even meeting in real life! Just ask Jesse & Spacyzuma!

    @Mr. Mobility, I get your point. Well stated, Glenda could be pals with others, who am I to know? Or judge?

    @Harry Echemco I get your drift too. If the jibe is at me, perhaps I’d not take it so easily.

    With that behind Us, we need to go back to Nokia and Elop. And the Nokia Board. I still think it is silly a CEO could destroy its own company and holdings piece by piece. It defies all logic and economy sense. And where is the Nokia board with all these going on? There’re behind giving Elop, giving tacit support. A shame!

  28. Eye.bee.kay and GlendaI offer some good relief here o. Make dey never hang their boots yet.

    To the topic. It’s so sad what is playing out with nokia. Good old Nokia. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The windows phone 8 has great potential. It’s been receiving only positive reviews. Where nokia got it wrong initially was lunching the lumia without the basic functions Nokia fans were used to. Yes, it has all the beautiful UI and appeal but lacked a lot in functionality. They were also restricted to few markets, very unlike Nokia.

  29. Okay guys, all you have to do was look at the first comment in this article. EyeBeeKay wants to start something with that comment, I am here to finish it.

  30. the board now says there is a back up plan, i guess its android, or could they want to go back to meego, which is a great platform. what i have noticed is that true core symbian users migrate to android, that is enough reason for the board to fire elop, immediately release a new memo, and call it the burnt platform or sinking island, renounce adoption of WP, and adopt andriod and continue work on releasing meego phones, if over the years android nokia phones are more popular than their meego phones, then they can shelve meego, but with how google is towing its part i see them releasing more devices through motorola that have a better marriage of OS and hardware just like apple. so its best nokia keeps meego, if microsoft could release surface they would release their own phone soon and be competing directly with nokia. samsung sees the handwriting on the wall thats why they are developing the bada OS more, so should google act up tomorrow, they’ll have something to fall back to. Nokia needs to wake up.

  31. @Afewgoodmen – Mobility is not Twitter or Facebook. If people want to get to know each other outside of this space, that’s their choice. It doesn’t make them any less real on Mobility because they don’t.

    @emmaedeh, I really don’t think Android was an option, and to be honest I don’t blame them. It might have been a short term fix, but I still think they could have made a go of MeeGo rather than go with Windows Phone. MeeGo would have retained a lot of Nokia users and probably gotten more on board. For that reason alone (and the way WP works compared to Symbian), they’ve lost a lot of those same Nokia fans and users.

    And what makes you think that Microsoft won’t be using Nokia to make their own phones? They almost own it remember 🙂

  32. I wonder how many ppl know that ‘shayman’ and ‘olusheenor’ are actually the same person here but if u are my friend on twitter or fb its easy to link the ‘nicknames’ cos its my identity on fb.

    Now what if I write ‘afewgoodmen’ in the names coloumn when posting something, does that mean I automatically become afewgoodmen? Then nobody is real here then!

  33. @noni the reason i feel microsoft wont make use of nokia to build its handset was because nokia was supposed to make the tablets for microsoft.
    the way it is, i see a hostile takeover coming, i have been saying it for months now.

    pls noni if you were given the chance to be CEO for a year starting today what would you do, i believe nokia can survive this what do you think.

  34. I think the 1st & 9th comment of this article/post were unnecessary and wrong in each respect. This is a blog; and the need to always make grammatical, spelling, or vocabulary correction are uncalled for.

    Though the word “wombling” is not a standard english word, I feel its usage here is still acceptable.

    I’ve seen worse streetwise lingo used on other reputable blogs (as Mobility) as well.

  35. @emmaedeh – my problem is that I’ve never really liked Nokia, though I have a grudging respect for what they have done in the early days when mobile phone manufacturing was taking off. By the time they made the N95 their fortunes were already beginning to turn, and Samsung’s star was on the rise.

    It was at that stage I would have started pushing for the development of MeeGo as the replacement to Symbian. Had that happened by 2010, Nokia would have had more than just the N9 out by now. We would probably be looking at a market with far more MeeGo devices.

    If I were Nokia CEO today, it would be a two-OS company – MeeGo would definitely be one of them.

  36. thank you noni.

    thats exactly what i have been thinking. they should have kept meego and possibly WP.

    i am thinking could it be possible that the reason why nokia didnt make the msft tablets (surface) is cause intel refused to license its cpu to nokia as payback for ditching their joint venture (meego).

  37. MeeGo was the perfect successor to Symbian in my opinion. Granted it would have meant phasing out Symbian phones but I think those same Symbian users would have made the transition with a lot less difficulty.

    I still would like to know how much Nokia lost ditching Maemo, MeeGo and other ventures.

  38. Noni,

    I still would like to know how much Nokia lost ditching Maemo, MeeGo and other ventures.

    Trust me, you really don’t want to know.

  39. Many of today’s company policies are not made in the boardrooms and meetings with all the concerned shareholders, but in the cozy comfort of kitchen meetings where MD’s and Directors get appointed not by virtue of their competence, but by who you know and the owners’ soothsayers.

    Nokia was a success and one amongst the leading companies in the mobile market. Failure in many companies has been and will always be accounted to a failing management. Nokia’s failures has been consistent with the ugly trend that we’ve witnessed in the ever changing management style.

    My take? It should first and foremost put its house in order even before trying to make any kind of future policies for the company!

  40. Mr Mo, seriously I want to know.

    I want to know by comparison to the “benefits” of the Lumia range, how much they’ve made versus how much they’ve lost by disposing of these r and d products. Then add (or minus) the amount Microsoft have spent to bail out Nokia.

    Only then we can throw sand on our heads and wail properly for Nokia if needs be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *