Microkia: What future for the Microsoft-Nokia alliance?
Microkia is what Engadget is calling the (some would say) unholy alliance between Microsoft and Nokia*. Apparently some Nokia shareholders are up in arms about Stephen Elop's decision to put his hat in the ring with Microsoft, another company that has failed notably to take advantage of the smartphone boom of the past four years. Nokia fans are complaining that Elop is some kind of Redmond Trojan Horse since he has recently arrived from Microsoft and currently has a pocketful of Microsoft stock (soon to be divested in favour of Nokia shares, we hear).
Job losses at Nokia are inevitable and it's anybody's guess whether the "burning platform" speech has hindered or accelerated the redundancies. According to Engadget, the Finnish union Pro is demanding €100,000, plus normal severance, for any employee made redundant. If they get their way it could be finish instead of Finnish. The answer is not to penalise the company and force it to its knees; rather it is to ensure it is successful and can compete in the world market.
Personally, I think the odds are stacked against the Nokia-Microsoft alliance from the start. Nokia is a hardware manufacturer that has miserably failed to rise to the challenge of Apple in four years—the still don't have anything approaching an iPhone competitor—and Microsoft is very late to the party with its Windows 7 Mobile operating system. Good as it is said to be, and attractive as the leaked Nokia WinMob prototypes look, a lot more could happen in the 18 months to two years it will take to bring the products to market.
By that time Apple will be on iPhone 6 and Android will be mopping up the lion's share of the world's smartphone market. Nokia and Microsoft have a tough couple of years but I wish them well. The more choice we have as consumers, the cheaper and better will be our mobile phone experience.
* According to some reports, Nokia is alleged to have dallied with RIM before clinching the deal with Microsoft. We could have seen Nokia phones running the RIM OS. Arguably that would have been a safer route to a world comeback and possible domination.