CEO Stephen Elop & CEO Steve Ballmer Q&A

Phil Schwarzmann from Nokia Conversations asks some questions from readers to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during the Nokia Strategy & Financial Briefing on February 11, 2011, regarding their new partnership which will see Windows Phone OS come to Nokia devices. You can see the full Q&A interview after the break.

Symbian To Become A ‘Franchise Platform’ | Meego To Become An ‘Exploration Project’

Amongst the midst of the announcement today comes uncertainty regarding Nokia’s current platforms and services. What does the future look like for Symbian and Meego. Hit the jump to find out more on what the new Nokia/Microsoft Partnershipwill mean for Nokia’s current operating systems.

Meego’s Future:

“Under the new strategy, MeeGo becomes an open-source, mobile operating system project. MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year.”

Meego will not be used as a high-end device platform as initially planned when Nokia and Intel announcd their partnership last year. Instead, it will become a platform on which Nokia can experiment and explore opportunities to create new user experiences in the future. This decision was made as Elop didn’t believe that Nokia could create a new ecosystem around MeeGo fast enough. He said that Nokia was simply not moving fast enough to win against or even compete with the likes of Apple and Google, and that Windows Phone will allow Nokia to make it a “three-horse race.”

So will Nokia release a Meego based device? When Stephen Elop was asked this question during the Q&A session after the initial presentation, he clarified the subject and made clear that Nokia WILL be releasing a Meego based device this year. However the handset will not be released as an introduction to a larger portfolio of Meego devices, but more as beta device for developers and enthusiast to get there hands on with the versatile platform. It will take the same steps Nokia’s Maemo 5 based Nokia N900 did and allow the community to power the device through exploration and innovation.

However after the Meego based device is released later this year, the Meego team will “change their focus into an exploration of future platforms, future devices, future user experiences,” in the hope to be the first to determine the “next disruption” to the smartphone industry.

Symbian’s Future:

“With Nokia’s planned move to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, Symbian becomes a franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value. This strategy recognizes the opportunity to retain and transition the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come.”

In the immediate future, Nokia will continue to release devices planned in it’s roadmap, ranging from Symbian S40 devices up to and including S60 and Symbian^3 devices. What’s interesting is that Nokia has established that the transition will take a few years, taking them up to 2012, when Windows Phone 7 devices will ship in significant volumes.

Could Symbian not be brought up to date within this timescale? All Symbian needed was to become more fluent and smooth. It was the UI that needed improving, whereas the rest of it, from tasking to connectivity, was it’s forte. The only explanation is that a lot of money was being spent in it’s development with very little progress.

So Windows Phone 7 will basically become the primary ‘smartphone’ OS, leaving Symbian to power the rest of Nokia’s ‘mobile phone’ portfolio. This will primarily be for lower end devices and handsets aimed at the developing markets. How long will Symbian continue to survive in this new role? Well, it doesn’t seem to have much of a future at all. It seems as though Windows Phone will eventually completely take over where Symbian left off and carry the reins in the future. I still feel, given the right amount of attention and put in the right hands, Symbian could have survived through all this and established itself as the primary OS. RIP…

Nokia Strategy & Financial Briefing Press Conference

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announce their new partnership bringing Windows Phone to Nokia as it’s primary operating system for smartphones. The press conference took place in London today and you can watch the full presentation after the break.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop & Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Address Their Plans

Here’s an open letter from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addressing their plans published by Nokia Conversations earlier today. They discuss their immediate convergence plans and how the two giants will march towards a brighter future in an aim to establish a third ecosystem to rival Apple and Google’s current offerings.

Today in London, our two companies announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of our companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem. The partnership increases our scale, which will result in significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world. We both are incredibly excited about the journey we are on together.

While the specific details of the deal are being worked out, you can find a quick summary of what we are working towards here.

We each bring incredible assets to the table. Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices.

Together, we have some of the world’s most admired brands, including Windows, Office, Bing, Xbox Live, NAVTEQ and Nokia. We also have a shared understanding of what it takes to build and sustain a mobile ecosystem, which includes the entire experience from the device to the software to the applications, services and the marketplace.

Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary. Ecosystems thrive when they reach scale, when they are fueled by energy and innovation and when they provide benefits and value to each person or company who participates. This is what we are creating; this is our vision; this is the work we are driving from this day forward.

There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.

There will be challenges. We will overcome them.

Success requires speed. We will be swift.

Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed.