Nokia heading to Silicon Valley? And the 'Standing on a burning platform' memo

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With Nokia expected to unveil a shift in its long term strategy at the company’s annual Capital Markets Day this Friday, it should be no surprise that rumor and conjecture are rife. Much of that has focused on whether or not the Finnish mobile giant will be adopting a third-party platform with talk of Windows Phone 7 given new CEO Stephen Elop’s previous connection with Redmond. A rumor that our well-placed sources would appear to confirm – see below.

But we’re also hearing that Nokia is planning to lay down stronger roots in Silicon Valley too – like so many a European tech outfit – something that The Register’s Andrew Orlowski is also reporting. And in what looks like preparing the troops for a major change of direction, an internal Nokia memo titled ‘Standing on a burning platform’ has been doing the rounds. The widely distributed circular penned by Elop himself is a description of Nokia’s somewhat precarious position – and I say that as someone who has been fairly bullish on the handset maker’s recent products.

Specifically, our sources say that the memo paints a picture of a smartphone market in which Apple owns the high end, Android is winning in the mid-range, and Chinese competitors – MediaTek is singled out – are likely to snatch the low end. In other words, Nokia is being attacked on all fronts. Symbian and MeeGo are cited as simply not being competitive enough.

Instead, the choices facing the company, as hinted at by Elop in Nokia’s recent earnings call, are to “build, catalyse or join” – the implication, says one source, is that to build is a reference to Symbian or Meego, catalyse refers to Windows Phone 7 and join would mean Android.

Of course, becoming yet-another-Android offering would be a massive change of direction for Nokia which has (in my opinion, rightly) always had a home grown platform strategy. ‘Not invented here‘, if you will.

The move to support Windows Phone 7, a burgeoning although financially well backed mobile OS, would also be a major sea change. One well-placed source says to expect this to indeed happen, though perhaps not till 2012, as Nokia tries again to find greater success in North America. Another source close to the company says that in the longer term Windows Phone will in fact become the company’s primary platform. I’d find that staggering.

Which brings us back to Nokia “moving” to Silicon Valley.

The Register talks of the company considering setting up a virtual HQ in the U.S., rather than actually relocating its major operations away from Finland and London. We understand this to mean that the CEO’s office (strategy, marketing) could move to Silicon Valley and probably MeeGo’s development too. We’re not sure where this would leave Symbian although one source who claims to be privy to the company’s plans suggests that the N8 “generation” of devices will be end of line for the platform. MeeGo is also described by our source as on life support.

Lastly, we’re told that the memo ends with the metaphor of a man jumping off the platform into the unknown to avoid certain death – hence its title. More should become clear on Friday, of course, although how much of Nokia’s hard and fast plans will be stated depends on “how much drama” Elop wants to make, says one source. The internal memo is designed to set the context – the why – while Friday should officially reveal the what.

As always, watch this space.

  • http://www.davidafenton.com/ DavidAFenton

    Intriguing :) How about Microsoft buys Nokia…it would be game on

    • http://about.me/satyajit Satyajit Sahu

      Good thinking …. good for both of them!

      • Anonymous

        I think Nokia is too large a company for MS to acquire and integrate.

      • Anonymous

        no company is too big for ms to buy.

        however, Microsoft does not want to be a hardware manufacturer. buying nokia would potentially break its ties with all its hardware partners, plus it just doesnt make financial sense. it doesnt align with microsofts business much.

      • Steve

        What Microsoft needs is complete commitment from a major manufacturer to achieve the level of saturation that ensures a successful product.

        Remember when Bill Gates’ face appeared over Steve Jobs face as Microsoft saved Apple, then Mac owners got IE5? History repeats itself.

      • http://www.cyber-punk.cz.cc/ ShadowRunner

        not so have you heard of X-Box?
        one OS for for one phone? that would never work. (dont tell apple SSSSHHHHH!!!!!)

  • http://www.davidafenton.com/ DavidAFenton

    Intriguing :) How about Microsoft buys Nokia…it would be game on

  • http://www.davidafenton.com/ DavidAFenton

    Intriguing :) How about Microsoft buys Nokia…it would be game on

  • http://www.joukoahvenainen.com jahven

    It is somehow unbelievable, how long time it takes from a large company to understand the need for changes. And it is easy to agree that Nokia needs new management people and good people around the world, not only in Finland. But somehow it is an “easy” solution to be in Silicon Valley. It is definitely important place and good to be there too, but I think companies could also think many other places and combinations to get a competitive advantage.

    • http://twitter.com/mikebutcher Mike Butcher

      Spoken like a true Finn!

  • Robby

    Nokia just moved into new offices in downtown Sunnyvale. could that have anything to do with a bigger presence in the valley ?

    Thanks
    Ravi

    • http://twitter.com/sohear Steve O'Hear

      Nokia is looking to hire both a senior manager and a director of technology strategy based in Sunnyvale too.

  • Robby

    Nokia just moved into new offices in downtown Sunnyvale. could that have anything to do with a bigger presence in the valley ?

    Thanks
    Ravi

  • Robby

    Nokia just moved into new offices in downtown Sunnyvale. could that have anything to do with a bigger presence in the valley ?

    Thanks
    Ravi

  • Robby

    Nokia just moved into new offices in downtown Sunnyvale. could that have anything to do with a bigger presence in the valley ?

    Thanks
    Ravi

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2011/02/07/nokia-heading-to-silicon-valley-and-the-%e2%80%98standing-on-a-burning-platform%e2%80%99-memo/ Nokia Heading To Silicon Valley? And The ‘Standing On A Burning Platform’ Memo | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://twitter.com/don_afrim Don_Afrim

    If Nokia goes Windows, a DOA platform, then bye bye Nokia. If they go Android then noone is gonna buy their Symbian devices but still won’t be able to sell that many Androids since the market is flooded with Androids. If they stay how they are they will lose another 10% market share in a year. Tough choices but having 20% world market of smartphones isnt that bad, it’ll make them competitive again!

    • Rurik Bradbury

      1) If Windows is DOA, then what is MeeGo?
      2) Why will they not sell that many Androids because the market is ‘flooded’ — when this did not stop Windows 95/2000/XP/Vista/7?

    • Rurik Bradbury

      1) If Windows is DOA, then what is MeeGo?
      2) Why will they not sell that many Androids because the market is ‘flooded’ — when this did not stop Windows 95/2000/XP/Vista/7?

      • http://twitter.com/don_afrim Don_Afrim

        I am pretty sure that even Microsoft has gotten wind of it by now that their Windows Phone platform will not sell. What did they sell in their first 3 months? 2 million licenses with about 1.9million still on the shelfs dusting away lol I think what they’re going to end up doing is throw themselves into MeeGo and help Nokia against Apple/Google. If they don’t they will go nowhere with Windows Phone, Nokia can still go Android but Microsoft will be left in the cold. That’s my 2cents.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leoplan2 Alvaro Osvaldo López-García

        SO, why doesn’t MSFT release WP7 sales numbers? (to customers, not to retailers) I wonder why…

      • Rurik Bradbury

        They don’t want to play into the media narrative of ‘WP7 is DOA’ — it’s part of the PR dance. They need to shield it from gunfire until it (hopefully) gets off the runway.

      • Anonymous

        because then every tech blog writer (who owns android/iphone) will use the sales figures as proof that windows phone 7 is “doa” when it infact is NOT.

        I switched from a rooted evo, to iphone 4, and now WP7. WP7 is easily the best experience. talk to me when android’s UI isnt a grid of static icons and battery hogging widgets, when iphone has anything close to dynamic live tiles (its 72 and sunny everyday in static icon land), and when android has anything close to a competitor for xbox live, a music player worth a shit, a music store with 11 million tracks, and a UI that doesnt copy the iphone.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leoplan2 Alvaro Osvaldo López-García

        I asked something different. And it seems you are a MS fanboy, or you work at a MSFT marketing dept. I asked why doesn’t MSFT release sales numbers, not if Android was shit… (I develop for WP7)

      • Anonymous

        Edit: I believe in openness, and I thing we need a REAL open platform (maybe Linux-based?)

        Well, that’s MeeGo. It’s open to everyone at all points of development and pulls from upstream open source projects. That’s why I like it much more than Android.

      • Rurik Bradbury

        But why would phonemakers prefer an open but unproven OS that Nokia controls, versus an open but very successful OS that Google controls?

        And if you counter that “well Nokia doesn’t really control it”, then why are Nokia bothering with MeeGo, when they could just sell Android and WP7 high end phones, and turn the ship around much more quickly.

      • Anonymous

        And if you counter that “well Nokia doesn’t really control it”

        I’ll go one better and say that Nokia absolutely doesn’t control it, just like no one company controls the Linux kernel. They’re currently a primary contributor and have a lot of influence, but they can’t force it down any particular direction except after they bring it inside for their own devices.

        MeeGo’s primary purpose is system infrastructure and compliance. Not “apps,” or “user experience” beyond the reference interfaces.

        why are Nokia bothering with MeeGo, when they could just sell Android and WP7 high end phones, and turn the ship around much more quickly.

        For fear of being forced to play second fiddle to a 3rd party vendor that wants to take over the role of service provider to people who buy their handsets. Sure they can switch away from it, but then someone else has their hands gripping the family jewels. That’s much harder to achieve with truly open source projects like the Linux kernel and MeeGo.

        Of course, Microsoft’s upshot in all of this would be to strike a blow against open source software in the mobile space, which is already incredibly hostile to the notion that end users have any rights whatsoever.

      • Rurik Bradbury

        Nokia are free to take Android, change it, rip out lots of Google stuff and put in their own. They can create a rival Nokidroid app store, where most Android apps will run as is (or with small modifications).

        The argument about ‘not controlling MeeGo’ makes no sense. What they need on their burning platform is apps and a good UX. Or else there *is* no future of ‘system infrastructure and compliance’.

        Again, if Nokia *does control* MeeGo, it will not be a broadly appealing platform for other electronics makers (in fact it will be much less interesting than Android because it is not ubiquitous). If Nokia does *not* control it, there is no major benefit to Nokia versus forking Android and co-opting the large existing Android ecosystem.

      • Anonymous

        “If Nokia does *not* control it, there is no major benefit to Nokia versus forking Android and co-opting the large existing Android ecosystem. ”

        Except the entire Meego OS is completely open-source and the app layer is native (hence FAST and more efficient) than the java-like virtual-machine that Android’s app layer is based on.

      • http://twitter.com/NotRahmEmanuel NOT RahmEmanuel

        “Again, if Nokia *does control* MeeGo, it will not be a broadly appealing platform for other electronics makers (in fact it will be much less interesting than Android because it is not ubiquitous).”

        Exactly. Pushing MeeGo on other vendors is a bigger joke than open sourcing Symbian.

      • http://twitter.com/NotRahmEmanuel NOT RahmEmanuel

        “For fear of being forced to play second fiddle to a 3rd party vendor that wants to take over the role of service provider to people who buy their handsets. Sure they can switch away from it, but then someone else has their hands gripping the family jewels.”

        Especially the family IP jewels, IYKWIM

      • Anonymous

        Sony Playstation games coming. Amazon music with over 11 million songs. Your CHOICE of music players..PowerAmp, Zingly, MixZing…take your choice. My Droid X run all day no problem. Everything I read says WP7 has a sleek UI. Intuitive OS. But is trying to beat iOS at its own game. Another walled garden OS. Good luck with that one. And there are issues with the OS and the hardware that MS isn’t addressing quickly enough. Finally, best estimates…12 to 18 months to get a Nokia WP7 to market. Even if they started preparing when Elop took over, Christmas 2011 would be a stretch. Then there is the app issue. It takes lots of boots on the ground (handsets sold) to convince developers to write for your platform. Especially, games, the most popular games. Android had to sell tens of millions of units before the most important developers even started looking at it. XBOX games are fantastic. But look at the most popular games on iOS and Android. Their simple and cheap. Is Microsoft going to sell its Xbox library at $.99 a game. I am not against WP7. Competition is good. But look at the competition. Apple holds the walled garden solid. Android owns the open platform. I agree DOA is wrong. But a lingering death is certainly possible.

      • Rurik Bradbury

        Far too early to say re: Microsoft. Never underestimate their cash and tenacity. Just look at the years and $billions sunk into Xbox, which did pay off in the end — and mobile is much more important to MS than gaming.

        Sales of WP7 are not great, but at least OK – ahead of Android at the same point of its lifecycle.

        No way Microsoft will go (Linux-based) MeeGo — though there is a real possibility that MS will acquire Nokia; would be an interesting, bold move.

      • http://twitter.com/don_afrim Don_Afrim

        Dude, I’m pretty sure Nokia could pull a Windows Phone OS out of Symbian if they wanted to. They would just have to create a new theme on Symbian and it would still be better and more intuitive than wp7. What Nokia needs is far greater! Something that neither they nor Microsoft could do on their own. That’s why they will join their forces on Meego, their last stand against Apple and Google. If Microsoft loses this one it will have far greater consequences then it would for Nokia. Remember Nokia is a device manufacturer with some open standard platforms, Microsoft is a sole software company if they lose this software war they will lose their main business. Windows Phone 7 is not a tablet OS, do you really think these big companies would want to put themselves in a corner like that with no expansion possibilities? Meego is the future, phones, tablets, cars, home appliances, it will even be in your toaster! Nokia has the vision, they just don’t have the software engineers. Microsoft has no vision but they have money and computing power to help them and themselves.

      • Rurik Bradbury

        What does MS have to gain in MeeGo? It is Linux-based (not Windows CE), it is open source (which they called ‘a cancer’) and it is not controlled by Microsoft.

        It is very optimistic to say that MeeGo is the future, when it is not even the present yet.

      • http://twitter.com/don_afrim Don_Afrim

        Same thing Google gains from Android ;)

      • Anonymous

        What makes you think WP7 is not a tablet OS? Did you think iOS was tablet material 2 years back? You obviously have no clue of how UI shells are built/work so STFU. I guess Meego is also installed in your brain which makes you think its the future of even a toaster (seriously dude… why the F do you think a toaster needs an embedded OS?).
        I am not fanboy but lets be optimistic… dreaming about an OS that is not on one commercial device yet as the future of your shit is going way over the board. I would like to see Nokia succeed… they sold me my first cell phone.. they were the architects of modern communication…. yet they lost their way of innovation.

      • https://me.yahoo.com/a/4rv7.EYUtNJscDd3zsD0CJFuMA--#d559d nocain

        So can you show me the magical tablet running windows phone 7??? cause all the ones I have seen from HP and the likes are running Windows 7 starter

      • Jimbo

        I’m not knocking Meego, because I’ve never used it, lol but if you think Microsoft will get behind a Linux mobile platform, well, that’s deluded.

        Ballmer would rather the company go down in flames; he’s the same guy that compared open source Linux to cancer.

      • http://eothred.wordpress.com/ Yngve

        MS helping a *nix platform survive? I know they had their collaboration with Novell in the past, but that one I don’t believe

      • http://twitter.com/nugent Andy Nugent

        1) If Windows is DOA, then what is MeeGo?
        – It hasn’t arrived yet, so it’s certainly a bit early to say it’s dead.

      • http://darwinsurvivor.myopenid.com/ DarwinSurvivor

        Agreed. WP7 has already failed multiple times. Remember the kin (few do), that was basically WP7 before the new theme and marketing.

    • Rurik Bradbury

      1) If Windows is DOA, then what is MeeGo?
      2) Why will they not sell that many Androids because the market is ‘flooded’ — when this did not stop Windows 95/2000/XP/Vista/7?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand why people think Nokia can’t differentiate themselves on hardware alone. It’s not like people that buy the current generation of Nokia phones are buying them for the software, they are buying them despite the software.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand why people think Nokia can’t differentiate themselves on hardware alone. It’s not like people that buy the current generation of Nokia phones are buying them for the software, they are buying them despite the software.

      • Anonymous

        But there’s the problem. No one is buying the current generation of Nokia phones, hence the burning platform.

      • xiao

      • Ky4ham

        I recently did a lot of comparison shopping and based upon the carriers where I live. My final 3 were a Android 2.1 phone,iphone4,and a Nokia N8 The N8 won and I love it!And this is my first Nokia phone.

      • http://twitter.com/NotRahmEmanuel NOT RahmEmanuel

        But you’ve used Symbian phones in the past, right? Familiarity screws up the statistics. That’s Nokia’s problem – more and more they are just re-selling to existing or previous customers, plus people who were already likely to buy a Symbian phone.

        Ease of use is a big deal to phone buyers. If you’ve used Nokias before or if your friends and family do, then you won’t have as much trouble flipping through the UI. If you’ve never seen one before, it can be a real headache, even if you are the stubborn geeky type.

        Know how most people learned to use an iPhone? They watched Apple’s TV commercials. No kidding. I’m not saying ease of use is everything but it’s definitely important if you don’t want to scare off n00bs who can afford expensive phones.

      • Anonymous

        5 million Nokia N8’s sold in two months, equates to “No one is buying the current generation”. Ok, then, strange logic, esspecially since it is almost 3 times as much as all WP7 devices sold from any manufacturer added together.

      • Anonymous

        The problem is 5 million is no where near enough.
        -Nokia spent more money developing Symbian 3, than Apple did on developing its whole product line: ipod, ipad, iphone (hardware and software). The amount Nokia spent on Symbian 3 is simply staggering and does not provide good value compared to its competitors.
        Analysts say that Symbian is simply not competitive any more.
        Its just costs Nokia far too much money and they’re not making anywhere near enough money from it.
        WP7 is completely different because it is a platform which is going to have $billions thrown at it by Microsoft. Microsoft are in for the long haul because they have to succeed in mobile to secure their future.
        They can afford to throw billions at it to make their platform work.
        Whereas Nokia can’t afford to keep throwing $billions at Symbian any more.
        Nokia will announce a platform shift, for the simple reason that the market (especially their big investors) will not settle for anything less.
        This decision is out of Nokia’s hands now really. The whole game is moving too fast now and Nokia has run out of time.
        Rightly or wrongly the markets faith and patience in Symbian, has evaporated.

        With Nokia adopting someone else’s platform, they loose a part of themselves, but they also loose the huge Research and Development cost of Symbian.

      • Anonymous

        “The problem is 5 million is no where near enough.”

        What? 5 million over 2 months is not enough. What are you talking about?
        Ooh ok then, so 1.5 million WP7 devices in approx. 4 months is better?
        Sorry, but you make me laugh.

        “-Nokia spent more money developing Symbian 3, than Apple did on developing its whole product line: ipod, ipad, iphone (hardware and software). The amount Nokia spent on Symbian 3 is simply staggering and does not provide good value compared to its competitors.”

        First, please show me those numbers, because honestly I don’t believe that to be true in any sense of the matter. Symbian^3 took approx. 1 year to do.

        “Analysts say that Symbian is simply not competitive any more.
        Its just costs Nokia far too much money and they’re not making anywhere near enough money from it.”

        That is simply the dogs bollocks, what you’re saying. The 120-130 million Symbian devices they have sold during the whole of 2010 alone is what brings in the largest amount of profits. You’re forgetting that low/mid-end devices with Symbian^1 are still Symbian devices – contributing to their eco-system. Read their reports, it’s all in there. The rest of the 200-something million devices they sell, are S40 devices (which by the way also contributes to their eco-system, at least to a certain extent). Besides most of the development left for Symbian is on the application-layer, which happens to be unified with Meego through Qt – so two flies in one smack from now on. In what way is that not good or even smart?

        “WP7 is completely different because it is a platform which is going to have $billions thrown at it by Microsoft. Microsoft are in for the long haul because they have to succeed in mobile to secure their future.”

        As if Nokia couldn’t be in it for the long haul. Of course that is entirely up to the management and shareholders.

        “They can afford to throw billions at it to make their platform work.
        Whereas Nokia can’t afford to keep throwing $billions at Symbian any more.”

        Well, actually they can, at least for a while. But my point is, they don’t have to throw as much money after Symbian specifically anymore. The core OS is done, solid and light-weight (needs less capable hardware to run smoothly, hence cheaper hardware). It all about Qt – the application layer for both OSes.

        “Nokia will announce a platform shift, for the simple reason that the market (especially their big investors) will not settle for anything less.”

        Perhaps they will. Or they will announce a new strategy as to how they get the execution faster, because that is their biggest problem, not the OS(es).

        “This decision is out of Nokia’s hands now really. The whole game is moving too fast now and Nokia has run out of time.”

        Funny, somebody said the same thing about Apple in 1998.

        “Rightly or wrongly the markets faith and patience in Symbian, has evaporated.”

        In the US, yes.
        The rest of the world, not so much. Now tell me again, where are Nokia’s customers?

        “With Nokia adopting someone else’s platform, they loose a part of themselves, but they also loose the huge Research and Development cost of Symbian. ”

        A part of themselves?!? Yes that is a fact. It is like saying that Apple should have dropped their own stuff 3 years ago and adopt WinMo, RIM or whatever. That is absolutely ridicilous as a long term strategy.

        I don’t know who has the majority of shares in Nokia, so no one really knows what will happen, but if I was the majority holder I wouldn’t care one inch about what the hell US analyst are setting the stock to, because I would be in it for the LONG haul. That is the whole point. If we’re talking short-sighted quick stock earnings, well yes, by all means rip it apart and let greed commence and throw the stocks after a quick rise to the nearest sucker who doesn’t get it.

      • Anonymous

        The problem is 5 million is no where near enough.
        -Nokia spent more money developing Symbian 3, than Apple did on developing its whole product line: ipod, ipad, iphone (hardware and software). The amount Nokia spent on Symbian 3 is simply staggering and does not provide good value compared to its competitors.
        Analysts say that Symbian is simply not competitive any more.
        Its just costs Nokia far too much money and they’re not making anywhere near enough money from it.
        WP7 is completely different because it is a platform which is going to have $billions thrown at it by Microsoft. Microsoft are in for the long haul because they have to succeed in mobile to secure their future.
        They can afford to throw billions at it to make their platform work.
        Whereas Nokia can’t afford to keep throwing $billions at Symbian any more.
        Nokia will announce a platform shift, for the simple reason that the market (especially their big investors) will not settle for anything less.
        This decision is out of Nokia’s hands now really. The whole game is moving too fast now and Nokia has run out of time.
        Rightly or wrongly the markets faith and patience in Symbian, has evaporated.

        With Nokia adopting someone else’s platform, they loose a part of themselves, but they also loose the huge Research and Development cost of Symbian.

      • http://eothred.wordpress.com/ Yngve

        Well, in market share yes, but they are actually still selling more phones this year than last year, and more smartphones this year than last year. Just that the market is growing faster than Nokia. So saying no one is buying Nokias is far fetched..

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. Outside the techcrunch crowd, people don’t talk about Andriod or Window mobile phone, they still say “HTC” and “Sony Ericsson”, they’ve never heard of the word Symbian. Most laptops run Windows, doesn’t stop electronic manufacturers from differentiating themselves from each other.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. Outside the techcrunch crowd, people don’t talk about Andriod or Window mobile phone, they still say “HTC” and “Sony Ericsson”, they’ve never heard of the word Symbian. Most laptops run Windows, doesn’t stop electronic manufacturers from differentiating themselves from each other.

    • Anonymous

      Here is my perspective on WP7 as a “DOA” platform.

      I am an early WP7 adopter. Got myself a Focus shortly after launch. Came from a BB and a G1 before that.

      I can say without a doubt that at this point in their game MS is ahead of where google was at the same point. When I got my G1 there was one android phone on one carrier (that no one really liked) and that was it. If I ever saw another G1 user (which wasn’t that often) we’d talk about what we liked then a lot more about what we didn’t like. People seem to forget what android was like at that point. Updates came and in baby steps it started getting better. Everyone seems to look at the EVOs, Droids, and Galaxy S phones out there and forget where it was at the start when the tech blogs were citing the same “made up” sales numbers for the G1.

      Now, when I meet another WP7 user (which is actually quite a bit more often than I’d meet fellow G1 users) we all say it’s the best phone we’ve ever owned. Period. The discussion doesn’t quickly switch to the bad like it did with the G1. When I’d show my friends my G1 no one really oooh and aww’d but thats what I get when I show them the Focus.

      Like Google in the beginning, MS still has some work to do. Brand awareness isn’t that high for the platform. You hear people (even sales people) confusing it with WM. MS has the money to throw at it to ensure it’s eventual success. That’s exactly why Nokia can catalyze the platform. The devoted resources of two giants is going pull a lot more than just one.

      • http://twitter.com/everydaypanos everydaypanos

        Google’s first phone was their first ever OS as a company! WP7 is the apparently 7th mobile OS and billionth OS as a company. MS knows how to make OSes. Problem is, they have forgotten everything.

        (WP7 has only one advantage. Dead simple, easy-to-use developer tools in VS. Silverlight is the only plus. But many say it’s simply too late to shift the course of UNIX-LINUX domination. This time it may actually be true: A good platform NOT succeeded because of bad timing. Such an irony for the company that Invented Smartphones…)

      • http://twitter.com/TheLoneDeranger The Lone Deranger

        Google’s teams target a quarterly incremental release schedule. MS still struggles to release updates once a year. That’s no way to play catch up.

      • Thetruth1960

        Once a year. The phone was released in November and the first update should be coming in a matter of days at most weeks? It seems to me that between November 2010 and February 2011 there is less than 12 months, instead more like 3 months (I might be wrong on my math, never been good at counting with my fingers).

      • http://twitter.com/NotRahmEmanuel NOT RahmEmanuel

        You want updates? We got a big update today in the browser usage figures. Looks like WP7 “shipments” were just that, with retail sales quite a bit lower. After umpteen years in OS, a huge presence in mobile and a gynormous $500 million advertising budget, that’s pathetic.

        Let’s face it: the only people who want WP7 are engineers and Windows Mobile die-hards. Microsoft can iterate monthly, weekly or in morning and evening editions, but if they can’t convince people to buy the stupid phones then they’re pushing a string uphill.

      • Anonymous

        Problem with your comparison is, they’re late. They’ve come two years late to the run. Google was already late with Android, but more than managed to keep up with the innovation coming from apple. If MS continues like it did until now it will be dead in a few months. However, due to this “strategic golfing with MS-employees” WP7 will find a great market and we’ll see how that helps.

  • http://www.digitalundivide.com/music---listen-to-select-songs donfelipe

    It seems like Nokia and Microsoft are planning to rock the mobile phone market. It is all going to be “Nokia Connecting People” to Microsoft. This should put shivers into the people at Apple’s iPhone headquarters.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, no doubt! The E6 with WP7 would crush both the iPhone and anything with android on it!!

    • Anonymous

      It’ll be a heck of a shift, away from promoting handsets for creative, inventive people and shifting towards pure consumerism and lock down (beyond what Symbian has done.)

  • http://topsy.com/eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02/07/nokia-heading-to-silicon-valley-and-the-standing-on-a-burning-platform-memo/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Nokia heading to Silicon Valley? And the ‘Standing on a burning platform’ memo -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TechCrunch, Mike Milinkovich, Jouko Ahvenainen, Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Kaspar Klippgen and others. Kaspar Klippgen said: Gerücht: Wird #Nokia zukünftig Windows Phone 7 als Smartphone-Betriebssystem nutzen? http://bit.ly/hsy9V6 via @TechCrunch […]

  • Symbionese Liberation Army

    Interesting article. Andrew Orlowski has had a long period of access to senior execs in Nokia so if anyone knows what’s going on it should be him.

    It’s been a long walk for Nokia. Back in 1998, some of the reasons for licensing, and becoming a shareholder in Symbian, were that the OS offered the capabilities for short time to market for a range of devices, it was cheap, and it wasn’t Microsoft. It was the latter that was oft cited by senior Finns.

    Ousting all the senior management and with Elop in charge makes Microsoft more palatable, but surely Android is the best long-term technical fit for Nokia? It isn’t perfect, but time to market and innovation have been nothing short of outstanding. Microsoft continue to underwhelm in the mobile market.

    • Anonymous

      Ousting all the senior management and with Elop in charge makes Microsoft more palatable

      I think it makes it easier to jam down people’s throats, but that’s just me.

      surely Android is the best long-term technical fit for Nokia? It isn’t perfect, but time to market and innovation have been nothing short of outstanding.

      Because of Google. Services are where vendors want to expand into, and tying yourself to Google crimps that (since they just took your services.) MeeGo has no such ties, leaving those who use it open to developing their own.

      • http://twitter.com/NotRahmEmanuel NOT RahmEmanuel

        “MeeGo has no such ties, leaving those who use it open to developing their own.”

        Yes and that’s why Nokia has fallen so far behind. Years ago they started squeezing out the other Symbian licensees so they could have the “innovation” all to themselves. They also paid little attention to outside developers, because who needs those guys, right? But there’s only so much you can do without help. Once Google and Apple have entered the market we could see that Nokia’s ecosystem is incoherent and their buildout pace is glacial.

        No, wait, that’s an insult to glaciers. Nokia’s buildout pace is evolutionary. 8-)

      • Anonymous

        Yes and that’s why Nokia has fallen so far behind.

        From everything I’ve seen, it’s failures in upper management to cultivate things that were good, resulting in dysfunctional internal dynamics crippling everything good that came out.

        The whole Maemo/MeeGo path is basically that creative, useful bit fighting against the old dinosaur. Sadly, all other paths surrender control to someone else.

  • Ihopeyourebeingsarcastic

    this article is complete bullshit.

    • http://twitter.com/sohear Steve O'Hear

      In what way?

      • http://twitter.com/dotsid Sid

        I thought it was quite informative.

    • http://twitter.com/californiaweed calweed

      You are complete bullshit.
      This is easy.

  • Ihopeyourebeingsarcastic

    this article is complete bullshit.

  • http://twitter.com/SirKneeland John Kneeland

    USA! USA!

    • Rurik Bradbury

      It just has more of a ring to it than Su-o-mi! Su-o-mi!

      • Anonymous

        No, it doesn’t

  • Rurik Bradbury

    @Steve — can you post a copy of the memo?

  • http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-contents-of-Nokias-Standing-on-a-burning-platform-memo What are the contents of Nokia's "Standing on a burning platform" memo? - Quora

    […] QuestionWhat are the contents of Nokia's "Standing on a burning platform" memo?http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02…  Add AnswerBIU     @   Edit Link Text Show answer […]

  • 93j3

    It is true. Nokia is in serious trouble. If things go like this not a single Nokia phone will get sold. Join Android, Windows 7 or build a an OS that is very good quality. Nokia is almost done. It is finished without serious changes and strategy.

  • http://www.mylocator.com MyLocator ®

    maybe Nokia should invest in a social network for web and mobile. the only other choice is to become an app developer for android or apple.

  • NokiaWatch

    Nokia’s new CTO, Rich Green, ran all of software for Sun, and sits in Silicon Valley. He’s been building up an organization over the last year… stay tuned.

  • Anonymous

    the main thing is nokia doesn’t provide os upgrade to its devices. Android devices are upgraded when new os comes, for example if nokia provided symbian^3 upgrade to its devices like 5800 or 5230, n97, then it could win trust of people. But nokia forgets its old customers. That symbian^3 should be for low end devices and meego for high end devices like n8, e7 etc.

    • http://twitter.com/amigaluv Hisyam Yacob

      Symbian^3 not offered to older devices like 5800, 5230 or even N97 simply because hardware incompatibility. At least 680Mhz CPU with a dedicated GPU is needed to run Symbian^3.

      • Ky4ham

        Try jailbreaking an old Android device and running a recent version.Will not work! They would go broke if they could not sell you some new hardware every once in a while.Or if you really want too get silly try running Windows 7 on a pc with a 8086,80286,80386,or 80486 chip!

      • Anonymous

        shenanigans!! i have a g1 that runs fine on 2.2.1. Sure its not as smooth as my brand new g2 but it does everything but play brand new games and stuff that requires a gpu which is to be expected of a 3 year old device. i’ve never met a person who didn’t love their android phone.

    • Ky4ham

      Nokia does a much better job of supporting its os than anybody.Android is left up to the manufacturer and most will not upgrade a 2.1 or 2.2 or older to a 2.3 device.Windows mobile same as Android its left up to the device manufacturer.Apple does a good job.But like all devices the manufacturers change the os or the hardware so it is not backward compatable

      • Rurik Bradbury

        Apple does the best job. Full support, with a sensible depreciation timetable. Unlike some of the Nokia fiascos like the N97 etc.

    • Anonymous

      Can you install Android 2.2 or 2.3 on a HTC Hero? No, that’s right.

  • http://twitter.com/amigaluv Hisyam Yacob

    Why do TechCrunch even bother writing this article? You never seriously care about Nokia.

  • http://ohsugar.com.au/2011/02/08/nokia-heading-to-silicon-valley-and-the-%e2%80%98standing-on-a-burning-platform%e2%80%99-memo/ Oh, Sugar! » Nokia Heading To Silicon Valley? And The ‘Standing On A Burning Platform’ Memo

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • @lucapettini

    They will not switch to WP7

    • Peter Beaves

      They just did.

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