No I didn't break the story of the Nokia-Microsoft deal. In case you haven't heard about it, Microsoft and Nokia have agreed to make Windows Mobile7 the handset makers "smartphone software of choice". The deal between the two will also have Microsoft using Nokia's mapping software as the default mapping software in Windows Mobile and Bing will be the default search on Nokia. The bottom line is this a big nail in the coffin of Nokia's MeeGo open source OS and leaves Symbian as a dead man walking on just lower function phones.
That is what you read here first. Back in October I wrote,
While still the leading OS on phones, Symbian and its cousin MeeGo appear to be MeeNot
While I am not hear to crow or throw dirt on anyone's grave, at the time I wrote this there were more than a few commenters who called me names and I am sure if they had the chance would have thrown sticks and stones. Go read some of the comments to that article to see what I mean.
But as someone once said, "the truth will set you free". In this case the facts have borne me out. It is the end of MeeGo. If Nokia themselves won't use it, who will? Do you really think they are going to be a player in the tablet market? With iPad, Android tablets and now HP's WebOS (via Palm), does the world need another tablet OS? Who is going to push it? MeeGo is MeeNot, just like I said months ago.
The future for Symbian is no rosier. For now Nokia will continue to use Symbian on its lower level "non-smartphones". It is a dead man walking at this point. Virtually every other phone maker has abandonded the OS. The clock is ticking and it will soon strike midnight for Symbian as well.
A question is where does this leave Nokia. If they are not making the software, they are just making the hardware. Do they bring enough special sauce to the phone handset side to continue being the power they have been? That remains to be seen. Their ability to sell a customized Windows Mobile 7 phone that is distinguished from others will be key.
That is where an open source OS like Android shines. Because it is OS, handset makers have the ability to change and evolve the OS to make it different enough to distinguish their phones in the market. An HTC Android device can have different software than say a Samsung phone and vice versa. I am not sure this will be the case with a closed source OS like Windows Mobile7.
Anyway, here are the two CEOs on the new partnership: