So it’s a done deal, Nokia and Microsoft joining forces.

I think this is bad news for Nokia, and bad news for the Nordics that was once an epicenter for Mobile technology.

Why? In spite that I think Scoble is most likley right that Windows Phone 7 has an something in terms of appeal, but:

  • Microsoft need a lot of hardware backing, HTC and some of the loyal Windows phone makers, have pushed Windows phones. And they will continue to do so. Most of them are more excited about Android though, for lot’s of reasons (they can extend, adopt etc). Carriers like Android (not for all the good reasons, but they can change the OS to create consumer lock-in). Nokia for Microsoft is a great choice, a full commitment for a full range of hardware devices, will help Microsoft move forward with Windows Phone 7.
  • But Nokia is missing out on the whole app opportunity. That is where the game is being decided right now, and Windows Phone 7, sorry there are no apps to speak of. And anyone of the developers I talk to every week here in Silicon Valley, Windows Phone 7, is platform no 5 or 6 on their list (Apple iOS and Android be the top two).
  • Nokia would have needed to create something that has great appeal for app developers, Android would have been the logical choice, lot’s of developers and momentum. Nokia could still done what every other mobile phone manufacturer do with Android, build custom UI and other components and apps on top to make it unique enough.
  • I don’t think Microsoft still has made any money out of their mobile OS franchise, they certainly have the cash to keep going for quite some time, but they can not pay developers forever to develop for the platform. And I don’t hink Nokia have the time to wait for the critical mass to emerge around Windows Phone app development.

Microsoft is desperate in the mobile space and need somebody to push hardware with it, problem is Nokia is just as desperate… Two bad does not mean synergy…

However with the resources Microsoft and Nokia have for this, something will happen, and Nokia still creates great hardware, so I think we will see some interesting phones coming out of this. But IMHO the long-term (regained) success for Nokia will not be on a clear path by this move.

Lot’s of people have written about the iPhone experience and about touch, and gestures and the obvious UI paradigms that the iPhone brought (no matter if Apple did not invent it, they did bring it to market in a nicely designed package).

After using an iPhone for a few days, quite intensively, here are my thoughts:

– Web surfing; To compare with my Nokia and Sony Ericsson devices I have used, put simply: It works. Even if I have my laptop in my bag, it is actually easier to pull up the iPhone and check something on the web. And Ajax works, and Videos, and most things you expect in a normal web browser. I have used lot’s of PDA type phones from Nokia and some from Sony Ericsson, and a bit of Windows devices, but no one is even close here.

– Internet connection. The iPhone seamlessly switch between any number of WiFi networks (and here in Silicon Valley, they are everywhere), and the Edge network, so I don’t really need to know. On the spec sheet a Nokia will as well, but in reality I get so many pop-ups requesting me to choose connection access points that I don’t really bother.

– E-Mail, have not tried this as throughly, but it seem to work well this far.

– Typing, not as good as a Nokia Communicator, but after some practice, in equal terms to my Nokia E61.

– Positioning and Maps, it just works, positioning is not very accurate, but good enough to be useful.

– WiFi. My Nokia E61 has WiFi, but won’t connect to many Access Points. I think the WiFi implementation is buggy in the device. And when it connects it’s quite slow (connecting and transfer) compared to the iPhone.

There is a lot in store for the iPhone in terms of software updates, but I don’t think we will see any major hardware updates soon (perhaps more memory, only thing is a 3G type device for Europe). Except for 3G (and possibly a GPS receiver), the device has a powerful CPU, lot’s of memory, Bluetooth built-in, fast WiFi and using that capable hardware, Apple can bring lot’s of new functionality on the existing hardware (much of which is not fully utilized today, like Bluetooth).

This is old, and I read a lot about Android when launched but didn’t see this video until now, an interesting presentation of some Android features:

Kind of makes you think about the iPhone. An open sourced platform with a user interaction more like an iPhone than a Nokia or Sony-Ericsson would be appealing both to developers and end-users.

I have been a bit skeptical about how Android will succeed, but I think there is a real opportunity for an Open Source mobile OS platform, and I think the timing is right, 2008-2009 I think we will see more and more diverse devices from smaller companies and startups. If you ever thought about building your own mobile phone startup, I think now is the time to start (if you have any interesting ideas in this regard, feel free to contact me).