Ever since last Friday’s monumental announcement (do I have to say which one?) I have wrestled with Nokia’s new direction. I admit to being skeptical of its success, and I’m very disappointed in what I see as a significant retreat from open source… but I’m going to try really hard to be objective.
I see a lot of very polarized reactions and people forming into two distinct Pro and Con camps. This is understandable; Nokia’s new clothes signify a very different empire than the one to which many of us have grown accustomed. Because we’re looking at so many unknowns, I have to lean toward the doubters on this one, and Nokia is going to have to work harder than it ever has to prove itself in my view. Too many words from the past unmatched by action. Not that the past need dictate the future, but after repeated bumps and potholes one begins to distrust the road. The one Nokia has been on requires much more than simple patching, to be sure, but the jury will be out on the shotgun wedding to Microsoft for some time yet.
As an (unpaid and often gonzo) journalist I often walk a fine line here between opinion and strict reporting, but I will always make it clear which is which. In the same vein, I will work at not letting my personal opinion get in the way of highlighting the positive aspects of Nokia’s new developments. That won’t be easy though! But I was recently reminded that being a Forum Nokia Champion means supporting the communities, whatever form they take.
I do think some of my peers have been far too eager to radically embrace Nokia’s abrupt shift, but then, I can understand it– especially from employees concerned about their future. On that note, I left a post at forum.meego.com about showing understanding toward Nokia employees and I hope it’s heeded. They certainly don’t need any grief right now.
So expect me to cover this subject some more, maybe at times in an aggravated tone but perhaps with some hopeful accents as well. I don’t want Nokia to fail… far too much at stake that goes beyond the success of Stephen Elop.
Disclaimer: author is a current stockholder and customer as well as former employee of Nokia, and a longtime developer with Microsoft Visual Studio.