Nokia’s announcement in London on Friday that Microsoft’s Windows Phone would be its primary smartphone platform for the future represents a dramatic shift in its smartphone strategy, one that it hopes will resurrect its once-dominant position in that market. And Microsoft hopes that adding the scale, reach, and technology of the global leader in mobile phone shipments will establish its platform as “the third ecosystem” alongside those of Apple and Google. Our clients can read Forrester’s take from a product strategy perspective here; here’s a summary:
Nokia’s choice is the least bad among its options. Nokia rightly distilled its choice to among three, the alternatives to Microsoft being to stick with the Symbian and MeeGo platforms that Nokia controls or to join the Android bandwagon. Symbian has proven itself noncompetitive with customers, operators, and developers; MeeGo, with one lone device in the market, is a nonentity. Google’s platform would have rendered Nokia a “me-too” competitor — albeit one with massive scale — having to play catch-up in an extremely fast-moving market. Microsoft’s platform offers Nokia the possibility to create products that will motivate consumers and operators to buy, and help convince developers to elevate Windows Mobile in their priority list.