I remember a number of rumors about Nokia ditching Symbian and doing something else (Android or Windows Phone 7). MeeGo was that “something else”, but, unfortunately, that tsunami of new phones on new platform hasn’t materialized yet.
And now there’s this burning platform note from Nokia’s CEO and I have a dream.
A dream of Nokia letting their hardware guys fly free. Don’t stomp on them to save an extra penny on memory size because Symbian sucked all the finances dry. Don’t force them to wait while that mega-collective that writes Symbian (^3 ^4 ^e whatever) decides that “the software is ready”. No. Let them build a dream device and then allow this device to be paired with multiple platforms.
Basically split out the hardware design branch. Make it an independent group that will continue to serve needs of MeeGo developers and Symbian developers, but also let Microsoft in, and build for them Windows Phone 7 compatible handsets. Heck, build for Google’s Android too. The idea is to allow Nokia’s hardware to shine. And to silence the critics.
There will always be people who prefer old style Symbian, believe that Symbian ^3 can compete with Apple, swear by an Android or just want to see Windows Phone 7 succeed — let them have a shot at it. Let the user decide if they want to buy a phone with this operating system or that one. If NITDroid can be ported onto Nokia’s tablets, it means it’s possible to build hardware that runs Android, right? And Microsoft can use its own developers to improve Windows Phone 7, while using Nokia’s excellent hardware.
In this mode, I believe Nokia will have a shot at the winning platform no matter what. It could be MeeGo, it could be something else, but their hardware will continue to lead, and will be liberated from current platform (burning or not) making people want Nokia phones yet again. European operators want that too — though they mostly want an alternative to Apple/Google duopoly, and if MeeGo wins, Nokia will rule both hardware and software aspects of the phone. If not, Nokia will have another chance at building something later, given that hardware will bring the money into coffers.
Heck, while at it, maybe Nokia will come back with GSM/CDMA combos (there are chipsets that support both, right?) and take a part of US market back as well. Yes, I have a dream.
And Microsoft and Nokia just announced a broad alliance.