X Software Platform: How Nokia wed Microsoft and Google

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Nokia has done the unthinkable – joining arch-rivals, Microsoft and Google, in holy matrimony. The matrimony is holy because the AOSP terms and conditions expressly allow this to be done (ask Amazon), and Microsoft can’t complain, seeing that their services get front-row seats. Here is how it works.

Take Google’s Android Opens Source project and bake Microsoft services into it instead of Google’s services, then put it into some interesting mobile hardware. So, instead of Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps and Drive cloud storage service, we have Nokia Store, OneDrive, Bing, Skype, and HERE maps baked into the OS.

Next up, create a user interface that looks like what already runs on your existing devices. Actually, it is a UI that is a merger between Windows Phone and Asha. Slap a fancy name on it: “X Software Platform,” and all is well with the world.

Nokia X software platform

Nokia X (can we just call it that? Who is going to be calling or typing “X Software Platform” in full all the time?) comes with Nokia Store built-in (selected Android apps are available in there now), but Nokia lets users download and install Android apps from the wild. Nokia X also supports a number of third-party application stores, including the popular Yandex app store.

What do I think? I think it is a bold, brilliant adventure. I have always stood for options. Perhaps I would not be this excited if Nokia had just taken Android and used it the way almost everyone else uses it. This is based on Android, but effectively different from Android. I look forward to playing with this to see how well the services have been integrated and how well the UI works. If it works as good as what obtains on Windows Phone and Asha, then Nokia has hit a home run here. If not, oh well…

Meanwhile, it should be safe to say that Nokia is now fully a multi-platform smartphone maker. No?


  1. Whew! Another device for Mr. Mo.
    I like Nokia’s strategy “if you can’t beat them, join them and poison them”.

    Nokia is using Google’s (OS) tool equipped with Microsoft killer combo (services) to fight Google and the overall winner here is Microsoft.

  2. LOL at “if you can’t beat them, join them and poison them”. Very true. Using the enemy’s strength against them is an age-old strategy that has pulled off amazing results. Let’s see how this goes.

  3. I have a feeling it’ll get killed by MSFT. And I don’t think it’s gonna be a success because:
    1. I don’t see MSFT putting more resources to developed a forked version of Android, especially considering that they’ve got WP.
    2. It’s not so easy building a rival to the Google play store.. That’ll take a while.

    Probably you may argue that target population won’t care for a variety of apps, as long as the basic/popular apps are present. However, Microsoft/Nokia would have to compete at the low segment of the market with cheaper more capable OEMs (When it comes to pricing) and they’ll offer users access to a more vibrant ecosystem.

    This strategy won’t change much for Nokia, but they’ll definitely sell a few millions. Nokia needs a skin deep solution, a fresh coat of paint over Android won’t do the trick.

    But why can’t Nokia/MSFT use WP for cheap phones? It’s more resource efficient compared to Android and it has all the basic apps most users would appreciate. Scratching my head.

  4. 1. I don’t see MSFT putting more resources to developed a forked version of Android, especially considering that they’ve got WP.

    Do you seriously believe that Nokia went this far, releasing the X today and having two more on the way, without an agreement with Microsoft? Issokay o.

  5. Google keeps stripping AOSP, very soon they will remove something important but not critical so Microsoft shouldn’t bank on a long run with Project X

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