Friday, February 11, 2011

Nokia kicks FOSS to the Curb

If you have been by my blog here before then you might know I really like my Nokia N900. It is one of the most flexible, powerful, open source friendly devices on the market. I bought mine and carry it with pride everyday (because I am an FOSS advocate). When Nokia announced they where merging Maemo into the MeeGo project I openly voiced my support. With a corporate backer like Nokia, Meego was sure to quickly become a forerunner in mobile technology.

Today Nokia revoked that backing.

In one swift move Nokia brought Meego from a potential revolutionary piece of technology to being simply the red headed step child of mobile operating systems. To quote Nokia:

"MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices."

I believe this is a kindly worded death sentence for the platform - not many developers are interested in writing software for a "longer-term market exploration" operating system. Long term means less profits, less profits means less applications, less applications means less users... It is a vicious path they have started down. One that eventually leads to the discontinuation of a short lived operating system.

What is the cause of this back seating of Meego? Nokia announced today that they struck a deal with Microsoft that will make Windows Mobile 7 the operating system on a majority of their handsets in the future. It seems some of the doubts I had when Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft employee, took over Nokia where correct. Windows Mobile 7 on Nokia devices means they will be just as restrictive as other propitiatory devices such as Apple's iPhone and RIM's Blackberry. Restricted technologies are not the way of the future and Android's explosive growth is proof of this.

I am not just blowing smoke here, lots of people are upset by this. Including many Nokia employees. In fact Geek.com estimates that close to 1,000 Nokia employees staged a walkout today, opting to use their flex-pay days to take the day off work. Consumers also appear to be taking note of this exchange as well and are responding in a similar manner. Nokia's stock dumped nearly twelve percentage points today:


Speak with your wallet folks, the N900 will be my last Nokia product unless the company does (another) serious 180 some time soon.

The biggest joke at the end of all this? We don't even have a set release date for Nokia Win7 devices (and if Nokia's stock continues to dump at this rate we may never see one). Odds are we will not see them till next year, if not later. Remember Meego handsets where first predicted to release Q4 of 2010, which turned into Q1 of 2011, which has now turned into "some time this year".

What is your take on all of this, is Nokia shooting themselves in the foot with this union or could is possibly yield something good?

~Jeff Hoogland

19 comments:

  1. Rather makes me glad opted for the HTC Evo Shift and all of the offerings that Android allows.

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  2. Well, this just irks me! To think I was planning on buying a Nokia N900. Thanks for the heads up, Jeff. Looks I'll have to spend that birthday cash on something else...

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  3. What is surprising about a company choosing Microsoft, that chose to put a whole German town on the job market just because they had to pay some taxes? And yes, they are shooting themselves in the foot and elsewhere. :)

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  4. Man, was this ever a disappointment. I'll try to enjoy my N900 while it lasts (with the knowledge that its developer support will almost certainly dwindle), but once it's done, I'll never touch a Nokia phone again.

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  5. i'm a lot more interested in webos palm pre as it has nice multitasking ability... webos is not opensource but the reason why i liked nokia is that most of the nokia devices are (even low cost sybian 6600) capable of multitasking... i would really like to use a hackable device.. android is a shit because of the handset manufactures using their own skins,..

    the other hope for meego is only in intel only if intel is decided to purchase one of the leading handset manufactures like HTC and it will bring back both intel and meego back to the smartphone game... now i really wish intel could have purchased nokia...

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  6. I have Nokia cell phones since 1998, and I was planning on purchasing a N900. But now my next cell phone will not be a Nokia.

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  7. When I was looking for my first smartphone, I immediately thought of the N900, luckily I bought a Samsung Galaxy S. It is sad that Nokia has taken this decision to partner with a big fat 800-pound gorilla that is in decline and wants to kill everything it touches (Novell?). Poor Nokia.

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  8. So does this mean MeeGo is dead?

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  9. Open source Nokia supporters unite! It's time for Project Chemo (chemotherapy).

    I am a proud Nokia N73 owner; PLEASE JOIN ME IN BOYCOTTING NOKIA until 1) Elop leaves Nokia and 2) Nokia drops their Phone 7 strategy.

    Only an idiot more loyal to Microsoft than Nokia would publically kill Nokia's smartphone brands (Symbian and MeeGo) and pubcially take Nokia out of the game during this critical year by not having the product they've chosen to hype (Phone 7) nearly ready for sale and by pairing with the industry's ugly duckling (Phone 7) that's just a transitional product until Windows 8 arrives.

    Maybe Nokia has not been that smart (going with Elop is proof), but they have good technology and Elop has already proven himself to be a total sellout idiot to Microsoft. He of all people should know that Phone 7 did a lousy job implementing an office productivity suite. More importantly, Microsoft's long term strategy is apparent--they will put Windows 8 on ARM tablets and for unity sake they will need to consolidate by putting Windows 8 on phones. Where does that leave Nokia? In a temporary marriage with Microsoft so Microsoft can save face until the real bride shows up.

    The market has already made it's decision about Phone 7. It's a total flop. Per Ars Technica, every other major smartphone platform (Android, Nokia, Apple, RIM, Others) rose at least 30% in market share year over year in 4th Quarter 2010. Microsoft was the sole major loser with it's dumb smartphone debut, and lost 20% in market share year over year. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/01/android-beats-nokia-apple-rim-in-2010-but-firm-warns-about-2011.ars

    Why would Nokia go with a smartphone that's years behind in technology and doesn't have it's own ecosystem that Elop desperatly ascribes to? Phone 7 doesn't even multi-task . . . it can take an inordinant amount of time revisit applications becasue it has to restart them everytime you switch back to them. Plus it won't do static IP addresses, it does DHCP only. The list goes on.

    Since I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, feel free to post this everywhere possible!!

    Tommer D.

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  10. I too am a long term N series user beginning with N770, N810 and N900. (skipped the 800)
    I have my 810 tablet mounnted in my car and it tethers to my 900 while enroute.

    This development is disturbing to say the least. I will have nothing to do with microsoft, and if Nokia continues down this path, I will be bidding goodbye to my once favorite little device...the N900
    Hello Android I guess! :-(

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  11. @ Tom... i agree... there are some serious flaw with WP7 like it doesn't support multitasking, no copy paste support ( i wonder how can they target it to enterprise customers without these features),no bluetooth file transfer and more importantly there is no video calling capability in WP7 ... these features can be enjoyed in even the low cost nokia symbian phones now and how can they call WP7 as high end smart phone only because of the user interface...

    i am really shocked when i read that there is no video calling support in WP7... its really a shame that nokia went for an os that doesn't have half of its current capability and the only reason they found that WP7 has good UI than symbian...

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  12. @ Tom... i agree... there are some serious flaw with WP7 like it doesn't support multitasking, no copy paste support ( i wonder how can they target it to enterprise customers without these features),no bluetooth file transfer and more importantly there is no video calling capability in WP7 ... ( http://www.techtree.com/India/Features/Pros_and_Cons_of_a_Nokia_Microsoft_Phone_7/551-114470-899-2.html )....these features can be enjoyed in even the low cost nokia symbian phones now and how can they call WP7 as high end smart phone only because of the user interface...

    i am really shocked when i read that there is no video calling support in WP7... its really a shame that nokia went for an os that doesn't have half of its current capability and the only reason they found that WP7 has good UI than symbian...

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  13. Has anyone given thought to WinPhone7 susceptibility to viruses? Where's the linux based modem/firewall to protect it that's prolific on hardwired systems?

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  14. I have always believed that most executives at large conglomerates like Nokia and Microsoft are so far out of tune with their markets that they don't deserve half of what they're being paid. Boneheads drive their companies into the ground and then expect severence. Go stand in the unemployment line for a job at McDonalds knuckleheads.

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  15. Introducing MS's new take-over strategy

    All the execs that have been leaving MS lately are probably courting other companies to become their new CEO. Once they are the CEO (like Elop), they will suddenly decide to "partner" with MS.

    1. Execs leave MS
    2. Become CEOs of other companies
    3. Those companies decide to partner with MS
    4. Bypass any monopoly investigation
    5. Profit

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  16. Boneheads drive their companies into the ground and then expect severence. Go stand in the unemployment line for a job at McDonalds knuckleheads.

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  17. Boneheads join with Microsoft, which is as good as killing a company within 2 years. Just ask Novell.

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  18. I believe the process by which Elop was made CEO of Nokia is known as "metastasizing".

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  19. Alien Davlik could also potentially be ported to BlackBerry devices,

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