Following Nokia and Microsoft’s big announcement yesterday, we’ve put together seven <insert: Windows Phone 7 joke> pertinent question and answer type thingies. Yes, we know Elop and Ballmer are in love, but we want specifics.
1 Was Windows Phone 7 always the first choice?
Last month, Stephen Elop told us that Nokia “must build, catalyse or join a competitive ecosystem.” The immediate assumption was that a pairing with Android or Windows Phone 7 was on the cards. Android was seen as the less likely option, since it’s not yet clear if investing in the OS yields any significant return. And, of course, Elop arrived from Microsoft last September.
2 Has any money changed hands?
According to the open letter on Nokia Conversations, “the specific details of the deal are being worked out”. No exact figures have been mentioned yet. Let’s say “megabucks” for now.
3 Will Nokia have a privileged status over other WinPho 7 carriers?
The relevant quote here is: “Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.” It looks like Nokia will be Microsoft’s favourite wife.
4 What will happen to Symbian?
Elop explains: “Our primary bet is on Windows Phone as our strategic smartphone platform.”
Recent figures from StatCounter show that Symbian started 2010 as the second most popular OS in Europe (after iOS), but over 12 months dropped from around 24% to just over 12%. Meanwhile, Android and Blackberry skipped ahead, pushing Symbian into fourth place. Presumably Nokia will seal the coffin at some point during the two-year transitional period.
5 When will we see the first Windows Phone 7 Nokia?
Nothing concrete yet, though some conceptual designs have already been revealed. We expect it’ll be Q4 of 2011 before the first Nokia WP7 phones hit the shelves.
6 How has the stock market reacted?
"Nokia expects 2011 and 2012 to be transition years, as the company invests to build the planned winning ecosystem with Microsoft." As such, Nokia’s share price took a bit of a dive after the announcement, dropping by around 14%. In fact, they’ve fallen 6% since the start of 2011, and 26% in the last year.
Microsoft shares initially crept up, but fell later in the day.
7 And Nokia's workforce?
As reported on geek.com, around a thousand Nokia workers walked out when yesterday’s news was announced. Nokia contacted geek.com to clarify: “while Elop mentioned reductions today, we haven’t announced any impact on personnel or specific sites.”
It seems inevitable that the partnership with Microsoft will result in some job losses. We imagine the Symbian teams won’t be too happy at the moment.