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 (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?