Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft + Nokia Babies: Hate at a Distance, Love Up Close

original source: http://www.pop.com.br/

Apologies to QML fans but I’m going to to extend the interruption of that series by at least one more article.  Blame a cynical friend’s recent conversion to the Dark Side of mobile MicrosoftContinue reading

The Un-local Nokia

I’ve been pretty easy on my favorite former employer lately, even to the point of gushing over Nokia World 2011 and pouring out pure fanboy praise over a fantastic phone that will only see limited release.  But I don’t think I’d be performing my duty as a recently-renewed Developer Champion if I didn’t provide some much-needed critical feedback.  Lovingly, of course.

Nokia’s physical withdrawal from certain locales is not a new subject for me, but it’s reached a point where I’m more concerned than ever.  Of course most of my focus is on the United States, and more specifically, my home near Dallas, Texas.  In just a few years Nokia as a brand has become a complete non-factor here and just about the entire country.  I’m keenly observant of devices used by others and, outside of a small circle of open source enthusiasts, I’m seeing everything but Nokia phones in the hands of the general public.

None of that is news to most people.  And Nokia has made it very clear that it expects its fairly new Windows Phone strategy, coupled with impeccable and compelling industrial design, to get its high-end products back into regions (like the US) where product sales margins matter.

The continued problem as I see it, though, is that Nokia seems to expect that they can concentrate all efforts on a few key cities.  Its shrinking supply chain system has led to greater consolidation of localization activities at sites far removed from the end customers.  Now, for core needs this consolidation need not be an issue; a phone engine is a phone engine is a phone engine.  But as many companies are becoming increasingly aware, last-mile localization is an absolute must for finished goods.

This translates to customer Care activities as well.  Contract employees at remote call centers just cannot identify with many of the diverse clientele they are called upon to support.  It’s not just language barriers; cultural differences can be a real hindrance (not to mention cybersecurity risks).  But more than that, trade customers (i.e., AT&T, Telcel, Orange, et al) will not tolerate delays in problem resolution.  They will require local presence in key markets.  Continue reading

Maemo, MeeGo, Mango and Me

Ever since the February 11 2011 Nokia event cheekily tagged as #NoWin and known colloquially as The Elopocalypse, I’ve struggled to cover Nokia’s present and abandoned strategies here with equal care.  Don’t be misled by my attempts of objectivity over Linux and Microsoft activities, though– it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve been moderating an internal conflict between a growing invasion of open source love versus a legacy of Microsoft development experience combined with strong curiosity.  Neither side has a clear advantage over the other for me and therein lies a conundrum.

I could have very easily avoided the whole controversy at the start.  When I assumed responsibility for Maemo internet tablet quality in the North American market, I could have taken the easy route and stuck to the basics.  That meant developing test plans, training auditors and inspectors, hosting Finnish and Mexican product teams, and making sure CES 2007 was supplied on time with 200 pristine N800s.  Nothing more.

But no.  I’m a device nut.  An admitted hardware geek.  As I’ve shared many times, laying eyes on the Nokia 770 tablet changed everything for me.  It put what I saw then as the future in my hands, literally and figuratively.  I could not just treat this product line as I did the various and sundry cell phones I also touched.  I took tablets personallyContinue reading

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

Maemo is Dead… Long Live Maemo

Before I launch into coverage of the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco this past week, I’d like to touch on a touchy and related issue:  the future of Maemo.

As most readers here are already aware, Maemo was Nokia’s enigmatic attempt at a Linux operating system for mobile devices.  I don’t want to go into the history in this article; it’s easy enough to find on this blog and elsewhere and I want to focus clearly on the future.   Continue reading

Getting Over Ovi

Image from Wikipedia

In a press release yesterday, Nokia informed its customers that its Ovi services would be folded back into the Nokia brand.  Is this simply an admission of brand evangelism failure, or the prelude to further, more significant business changes?

Continue reading