I know that you are all sad and/or angry over the news of Nokia being swallowed by Microsoft. Okay, maybe not all of you. Many of you perhaps? I have read article after article and know all the arguments about how this is a bad move for Nokia. Everybody seems to be mourning Nokia. Nokia was ten times its present size years ago. Nokia is being sold too cheap. Microsoft is known for bungling acquired services. I have read and understood them all. So why do I not share in the sadness or anger?
Against all those arguments I bring only one of mine: Nokia had to go that Windows Phone might live.
Without Nokia, Windows Phone would have been dead by now. The other Windows Phone OEMs are too busy in bed with Android. Nokia gave Windows Phone life, and in death, Nokia gives it an extension of life, a fighting chance, that the struggling OS would otherwise not have had. Why do I think that Windows Phone is vital? It really is simple: Without Windows Phone, what we would have on ground now in the smartphone space is a two-horse race. BlackBerry is not struggling anymore. It is in decline. Without Windows Phone, all that consumers would have for choice are Android and iOS. A duopoly? No, thanks.
I love that Nokia chose to differentiate. I love that there is a viable and vibrant third option available to smartphone users and lovers. I am glad that I have an array of amazing Windows Phone devices to choose from, thanks to Nokia. I feel no sadness at the exit of Nokia from the hardware business. They leave the legacy of Windows Phone to those of us who love that platform. Sometimes in life, one man needs to die for a greater good. Nokia is passing away for the greater good of the smartphone market. I do not care where Nokia could be had they gone with Android. I do care that I have more choices. I am no fan of iOS. And in as much as Android is functional, it lacks the finesse and elegance of my beloved Windows Phone. I am glad that Windows Phone is still here and has a future.
Like I said earlier, I have read the arguments. There is the possibility of failure. But then what is life but a series of conquests against the possibilities of failure? Not many people expected Windows Phone to survive till now. Yet, it not only has survived, but it is gaining ground. With Microsoft’s financial muscles now available directly, I am hopeful that Windows Phone will do much better. In the US, network operators may not like Microsoft, but thankfully, elsewhere in the world, it isn’t the same. And in many places, network operators do not have the power that we see US carriers wielding. Windows Phone is selling in droves in many markets outside the US. Microsoft need to build on that, in addition to working with as many operators as they can. Even if Windows Phone eventually fails and ends up in the trash can, we can say for sure that it was not for lack of trying.
I do not mourn Nokia. As a matter of fact, I think that what Microsoft has pulled off to get Nokia in their hands should be a classic case study in military and business schools. It smells of a masterful execution. It is the stuff of thrillers. Contrary to those who try to pin this coup on Stephen Elop, it is clear to any objective person that the Nokia board were in on the operation from the word go. They gave the go-ahead for this, removed the old guard, brought in Elop, and refused to fire him all the way. This wasn’t a case of Elop being sneaked in by outsiders. This was a classical example of an inside job. Nokia’s board had this end in view. Call me a conspiracy theorist.
So, while you all choose to mourn and be sad, I see hope. I see consumers having options and choices. No; I do not mourn Nokia. Nokia gave itself that Windows Phone might live. That is a good thing in my books. Against the Android horde, I celebrate Windows Phone. Fresh hope. New horizons. Here’s raising a glass to the future of Windows Phone.
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