Not Nokia-ing on Heaven’s door

Nokia’s keynote this morning wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. 

“Our ambition is to surprise you at every turn,” said Kevin Shields, a man whose job title – senior vice president of program and product management for the smart device – is longer than many people’s lives.

And then he started shouting.

“It looks AWESOME!” he bellowed, channelling his inner Ballmer and scaring the hell out of the first six rows. “It feels GREAT in your hand!” he added, frightening everybody again. “It SCREAMS premium!” he screamed.

13 thoughts on “Not Nokia-ing on Heaven’s door

  1. Squander Two says:

    Not sure I quite get your point. You’ve been saying for a while that Nokia make superb hardware and that Windows Phone is an excellent OS. Now Nokia launch some of the best hardware they’ve ever manufactured running Windows Phone and you say “Meh.” What’s the problem?

  2. Gary says:

    I was hoping the collaboration would be more than “port our OS to your phone”. We were promised LUST!

  3. Squander Two says:

    Nokia are very good at making phones and decided to stop makimg OSes. Microsoft make OSes and have no experience of making phones. Why would the colloration ever have been anything else? It is exactly what they said it was.

    And can we compare with your reaction when Apple release a minor upgrade? When half the overexcitable geeks on the Net are screaming “But it doesn’t have a laser or a pony!” you point out that the device doesn’t need lots of superamazing stuff because a few minor refinements to the OS and an antenna that works this time is all the improvement needed. Well, everyone kept complaining about Symbian while admitting that Nokia make great hardware. So isn’t a new OS all the improvement needed?

  4. Squander Two says:

    I should add that I hold no particular brief for the Lumia. I liked Symbian and have never used Windows Phone — for all I know, I’ll hate it. It’s you who told me it was good.

  5. Gary says:

    > And can we compare with your reaction when Apple release a minor upgrade?

    The difference – and it’s a crucial one – is that Apple isn’t trying to break into a market from a position of last place. Maintaining a lead is only possible if you’re actually in the lead.

    > So isn’t a new OS all the improvement needed?

    The problem is that smartphones are a moving target. With Mango Windows Phone, arguably, is where iOS and Android were in their last incarnations – and both of those OSes have seen significant updates, and significant new hardware. Windows Phone isn’t evolving as frequently as its rivals, and that’s looking increasingly like a problem.

    Marketing may make all the difference, mind you. I wrote recently that one of Winphone’s problems is that it’s losing the marketing battle, so it’s good to see significant money being spent on that.

  6. Squander Two says:

    Windows Phone’s main marketing problem is probably the word “Windows”. If they have a decent non-crashy phone OS, should they really give it the same name as their notoriously crashy desktop OS?

  7. Gary says:

    > Windows Phone’s main marketing problem is probably the word “Windows”.

    Yep, as a brand it isn’t sexy. I’m not sure the Xbox would have done so well if it were called the Windows box :)

    It’s indicative of a wider problem, which is to see everything through the lens of Windows, the product that must be preserved at all costs.

  8. Squander Two says:

    Yes, exactly. For so many years, Windows wiped the floor with Mac OS commercially despite not being as good, but Apple have finally won that argument in the marketplace. Now that’s happened, Microsoft should stop seeing their brand name as the plus it once was.

  9. g24 says:

    It’s a tainted brand with bad associations; when I hear the word ‘Windows’ (and every time I fire up a PC running it) I think endless patches, bad interfaces, s/w bloat and chronic malware problems – none of which I would enjoy in a smartphone.

    Win7 is a well polished turd at best but the Windows Phone OS is actually quite good – why allow it to get dragged down by that unnecessary association?

  10. gary says:

    Tbh, I liked vista – on the right kit it was ace – and I like 7 because it learned from the problems vista had. It’s a nice OS. But it’s a victim of its own success, its need to keep hundreds of millions of customers happy and to support thousands of configurations. That’s where the bugs creep in. Even apple, with a handful of machines to support, cocks up from time to time.

    Microsoft’s phone strategy hasn’t been brilliant. Remember when they acquired danger, makers of the sidekick? They fucked that one up with Not Invented Here syndrome. Microsoft pretty much invented the smartphone, and they blew it. Windows Everywhere is not as appealing as Microsoft thinks it is.

    Mango’s nice, though :)

  11. mupwangle says:

    Do you not think that a lot of it was because they’ve already announced the N9 using a pretty decent OS itself? If they’d announce the Lumia and hadn’t announced the N9 then mibbe people would have been impressed.

  12. Gary says:

    Yes, that’s part of it. The phone’s been out for a good while and Mango’s been kicking around for months, so there wasn’t much wow factor.

    That’s not all of it, though. The Lumia 800 is supposed to be a flagship device, so the lack of front-facing camera – particularly odd given Microsoft now owns Skype – the 16GB of non-expandable storage and the lack of any really exciting software lets it down a bit. Flagship, to me at least means LOOK UPON OUR MIGHTY SMARTPHONE, RIVALS, AND DESPAIR. The 800 doesn’t do that IMO.

    Nokia themselves have been saying this is just the beginning, that they’ll have a whole bunch of models, but that we’ll really see the fruits with Apollo. That’s the next *big* version of WinPho, and it’s not due for ages. I dunno, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but there’s a lot of “We will be awesome NEXT YEAR” in tech at the moment.

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