Tag Archives: Ovi

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?

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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

Rebuilding a Nokia North America Presence

The surprising selection of Canadian and former Microsoftie Stephen Elop for new Nokia CEO has triggered mass speculation that the company has finally decided to walk the walk on this continent.  The invitation to numerous bloggers from North America to attend Nokia World 2010 in London pretty much seals the deal.

What isn’t clear however lies in the dust of details.  Continue reading

Nokia CEO steps aside for former Microsoft exec

Note: this article was mentioned 4/4/2011 on twitter in order to stimulate follow-up discussion.

It hasn’t been that long since many pundits, self included, read the technology tea leaves and predicted the pressure on Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo would end in a change at the top.  Sure enough, I was just pointed to a MarketWatch article stating that OPK had resigned and was being replaced by Stephen Elop, a business executive coming from Microsoft.

I take neither pride nor delight in calling this one.  I was certainly not the first to bring it up, and as I’ve said I highly respected Mr. Kallasvuo.  But even if Nokia’s struggles the past few years were not his fault, directly or indirectly, it’s an unfortunate fact of the fast-paced business world that stockholders often need a sacrificial lamb in order to regain confidence.  CEOs, right or wrong, make the most obvious target.  Continue reading

Who’s Minding the Ovi Store?

Nokia has been proudly touting some impressive statistics of its Ovi store recently, and on the surface they do seem promising.  Given their global cell phone sales numbers, that shouldn’t be surprising.  Even though Nokia has hit a rough spot, the company still manages to crank out more devices per year than any competitor.

However, looking into the details exposes some disturbing aspects.

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Post holiday present from Maemo… and Ovi

Twitter and maemo.org are buzzing with great news: you no longer have to wait on the Nokia N900 firmware upgrade I teased you about.  That’s right: a new update, 1.2009.44-1, is now available.

Lack of Nokia-generated buzz along with the version number suggests that this is apparently a minor release and meant as a precursor to something bigger to follow soon.  Yes, “soon” is a vague political word but I don’t have a date.

But it must be a banner day for Nokia as well as customers, though, because as small as this update may seem it comes with Ovi Store support.  That’s right, the long-promised N900 knob to the Ovi Store door is here.

Initial access success was reportedly mixed, as the greenlighting appeared to occur on a region-by-region basis.  Some URL tricks were necessary at first for some but the ever-resourceful maemo.org community figured it out quickly and had eager users buying games like “Angry Birds” in short order.

The Ovi Store access has also been said to be accompanied by a nice improvement to the Application Manager, something long requested and overdue.  Sorry, no screenshots yet– I still don’t have a replacement N900.  However you can catch a glimpse at some N900 technical blogs like maemo-freak.com.

Today proves once again that big things can come in small packages.  And it’s still speculative, but I’m betting these advents precede an announcement regarding T-Mobile US and the N900.  We’ll see…

Apples and applets

Just as Nokia does some perplexing housecleaning by shuttering Flagship stores (more on that later perhaps), Apple engages in a bit of store flushing of its own.

Turns out a Chinese software publisher was gaming the iTunes App Store with a little insider trading of sorts.  “Give me 5 stars for my app, I give you promotional codes”.

The payoff of course was a meteoric rise in rankings for what turned out to be crudely-constructed code fluffed up by equally low-grade user reviews.

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Maemo rubber hits the road

I just got back from the Maemo Developer event held in Santa Clara, California December 3 and 4.  The tenor was more about developer outreach than training but that was not a bad thing at all– sessions like these are needed to cultivate interest, especially amongst commercial contributors.

The trip was made all the more… well, exciting for me because everything was last minute.  I did not know for sure I would be attending until a week or so before, then received three day notice I would be presenting on behalf of the community.  Halfway there on the plane it became clear to me (thanks to GoGo wifi and Ovi mail) after a couple of exchanges with Maemo folks that the event’s main audience would come from the business side of the software world, which meant more changes to my presentation.  By the time I got done there was so much text on the slides I tripped myself up trying to read it!

Ah, the benefit of time to practice… 😉

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A little Ovi update

I have beaten up on ovi.com a bit so I wanted to commend the team today for recently getting a detail right… something small but important: persistent login and state-sharing.

For some time now I’ve been frustrated by Ovi Mail’s petulant refusal to hold on to cookies for me, or recognize my Ovi portal login.  Persistent login is a standard web feature we have come to naturally expect, even if there is a deadline attached (such as eBay’s 1-day limit), and shared user state across a portal is to be taken for granted.  After all, that’s part of the Ovi promise: single sign-on to a multitude of useful services.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see last week that returning to Ovi’s email service after a day away did not require a new login, and similarly logging into the portal on a different computer provided seamless entry to the email service.  Hallelujah!

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Ovi: door, wall, or minefield?

Sorry to be picking on Ovi.com again, but it has been a few months and recent developments (such as announcement of Nokia’s N900 tablet phone) beg an update.

I’ve been slowly trying to move into and live in the beautifully remodeled house of Ovi, but there are so many broken appliances that the landlord deserves a complaint.  Ovi Contacts can’t be used by Ovi Mail (???!!!) for one, but then again, the Contact syncing started acting up on me last week so maybe like the Mail service it is still too immature for regular use.  Ovi Mail is so far only sending 3 out of 4 emails for me.  That’s not good enough for me to switch from Hotmail (my current internet email provider).

Then to top things off, I read that Nokia’s music service will not be coming to the United States until 2010.  This increasing delay continues to confound me, although blogger opinions on the subject make sense.  What doesn’t is Nokia’s failure to solve the purported issues (like burdensome Digital Rights Management (DRM), lack of blockbuster phones for the service and carrier demands for higher cuts of profit) that have kept a program like Comes With Music from being a success.  Music is a highly compelling usage for handheld devices so this ongoing issue only serves to fuel the cynicism of pundits claiming that Nokia’s promise of renewed US presence is hollow (see my recent post on the subject).

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