Tag Archives: Android

Nokia’s Design for the Future: Focus on What Works

There’s been a crazy fog of speculation surrounding my previous employer for the past few years, and I’ll admit I’m guilty of contributing.  Many of Nokia’s moves during that time have been unusual, counterproductive and even downright bewildering… so it’s hard to blame anyone for wondering what the heck platform-torching CEO Stephen Elop has really got in mind.

Nokia has always been a leader in hardware.  That’s not even open to debate.  Their serious failures have been, increasingly of late, in softer areas.  Operating systems.   User experience.  Marketing.  In no time Nokia’s failure to execute on iPhone-driven paradigms caused it to fall from leader to follower to company-with-a-questionable-future.

No need to rehash any more history, though, right?  Let’s talk about the company’s future… and why my pessimism started to evaporate tonight.  Continue reading

Confessions of an APPathetic User

I’m going to confess something that’s likely to cost me Twitter followers, kill future career prospects and launch a mild Comment war:

I’m not much of an app user.

And I can’t understand those who are, either.  Well, I can align with the casual user.  The few utilitarians out there.  Those discriminating sorts who reserve their precious device storage space for more valuable content.  Like songs, photos and LOLcats.   Continue reading

Meeting up at MIX11

source: blogs.msdn.com

This is going to seem odd coming on the heels of an article covering the 2011 Texas Linux Fest… but bear with me.

When Forum Nokia informed its Champions that we would be granted free access to Microsoft’s 2011 MIX event, I greeted the email with a smile. I understood the motivation: the new partnership between Nokia and Microsoft. But I didn’t know how I would personally fit into the event. Yes, the bulk of my professional experience has been with Microsoft development tools, but more recently I’ve been supporting the open source Maemo and MeeGo communities. Not only that, but there was no way I could come up with the funds for the trip to Las Vegas.   Continue reading

A Tech Ecosystem for the Rest of Us

The choice buzzword since the February 11 Nokia-Microsoft deal (satirically tagged on twitter as #NoWin) is ecosystem.  Stephen Elop’s vision apparently stops short of a Linux-powered mobile solution.  Either the newly-minted Nokia CEO can’t see how to monetize it or thinks it hasn’t happened fast enough for him– pick your choice of pundit assessments here.

The strategy that Nokia had originally described when migrating their Maemo efforts to the joint MeeGo venture with Intel was that the added value for their corporate bottom line would come from a combination of lower internal OS development costs along with a customized user experience on top of the MeeGo core… one that was promised at one point to “knock our socks off”.  Who could reasonably argue with such a concept?

Obviously, Nokia’s board of directors and their recent replacement for Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Continue reading

Seeding MeeGo


Propagating a novel operating system (OS) can often be a frustrating chicken-vs-egg scenario, as many abandoned platforms and even current ones like Linux can demonstrate.  An OS won’t gain many converts without a reasonable stream of ready-made applications as well as the necessary ecosystem support (especially device drivers).  In open source contexts, this is compounded by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and similar sticky, usually legal, bogeys.

Maintaining a compelling closed ecosystem, such as Apple has chosen with its various OS offerings, certainly goes a long way toward solving those hurdles.  On the other hand, Google’s breadth of services, brand recognition and sheer size have quickly carved out secure toeholds for the more open Android and undoubtedly Chrome OS.  And there are already several well-established (although shrinking) platforms occupying the rest of the market slots… so where’s the space for upstart MeeGo?

The recent article here rhetorically asked Why MeeGo and that’s not the point today.  Rather, I want to cover what’s going on in porting and packaging, and what that might mean for MeeGo’s possibilities.   Continue reading

Why MeeGo?

There was a time when cell phone operating system Symbian was on a roll. Utilized by numerous device providers and championed by global giant Nokia, it provided the basis for a smartphone revolution.  And appeared unstoppable.

But Symbian had its roots in traditional user experience, and its proponents seemed surprisingly blindsided by the explosive growth of touch devices in the late 2000s.  With its laser focus on the trend-setting demographic, Apple managed to quickly lay waste to the cell phone status quo with its now-iconic touchscreen iPhone.  A victim of its own success, Symbian has since struggled to find its way and shows signs of having peaked in global share.   Continue reading

Nokia and the Art of Fulfillment

The current analytical buzz about Nokia’s mind and market share issues tends to be pessimistic, presupposing that the company has no chance of reclaiming its former glory days due to the unwitting tag-team onslaught of Apple and Android.  But this negative assumption arises from ignorance and forgetfulness.

It’s certainly true that customers have a stubborn inclination toward brand loyalty that can be difficult to unseat.  But Nokia was once on the positive side of that equation in areas where it now struggles (or has given up altogether).  What could keep it from returning to that former glory?

Nothing, actually.  Continue reading