Saturday, February 26, 2011

Of Turkeys, Eagles, and Burning Platforms


Some time after that fateful Friday, February 11th, we can look at the  MS / Nokia deal with a better perspective.
And make better conclusions about it.
In fact, the  deranged acts of the current directors of Nokia, ultimately, make much sense.
We just did not know the whole story. And we'll never know, of course. But with the little that came to light, we can make a better picture of the involved persons/entities .

Elop: It didn't take long to go public that he is the seventh biggest shareholder in Microsoft. And his actions as president of Nokia are very eloquent in this regard. Doing things like the "Burning Platform Memo," which was thought to be false, it is an insult to the entire culture of Nokia, and soon after it surfaced, the company's stock began to fall.
As president of Nokia, he acts as a Microsoft employee, helping one company over another. This type of conflict of interest is something that deserves further scrutiny, after all, such attitudes fit perfectly as white collar crimes.

Board of Nokia shareholders: Interesting to know that several big Microsoft shareholders also have many shares of Nokia. And they chose to sacrifice Nokia now, trying to make Microsoft to thrive in the cell phone  market. The maneuver did not work, since the announcement of the deal, Nokia's shares have fallen 25% , while Microsoft's shares are still low. Shares of Google, on the other hand, rose by 8% when the deal was announced.

Symbian: Much is said, that the division responsible for Symbian has grown so much, both in importance and political power within Nokia, that it began to clamp the company's ability to make decisions quickly and be agile, and obviously acted to protect itself. The deal with Microsoft would be a response to the  Symbian division, ending its days of influence within Nokia.

Nokia: Nokia as a company could not have taken a worse decision. At a time when the hardware is commoditizing, that large profits are coming from software and services, Nokia will throw away its chance of being able to control its destiny, and have influence in services (Ovistore - Maps) and AppStore, to become another Microsoft OEM manufacturer. And it will happen what happened in the market of personal computers, where the hardware was a major source of income just in the beginning, with several different brands and manufacturers. When the IBM PC became an industry standard, Microsoft was the only one to profit high with it. The rest, manufacturers, OEM's and others,  were getting tighter and tighter margins.
And what's worse, since the announcement of the agreement, Nokia's shares are in free fall, and the company lost somewhere around 11 billion dollars in market value.

About Nokia expect it to become much more aggressive against manufacturers of mobile phones that use Android (patent lawsuits), since both Horacio Gutierrez(Microsoft) and Elop  said they will jointly protect intellectual property from both companies.

Steve Ballmer: This great "strategist," Microsoft's CEO tried this maneuver, to save his job. A very good plan, were not his competitors  Google and Apple. With this maneuver, practically, Ballmer has transformed Nokia into another subsidiary of Microsoft, for US$ 0.
And, there is nothing new. He has done the same with Yahoo, where he planted Carol Bartz, and everyone saw the result: Yahoo was the second largest firm in searches in Internet, has become nothing but an empty shell. And expect to happen with Nokia what has happened with Yahoo, closure of projects, mass layoffs, end of divisions.
Of course everything must be some secret plan from Steve Ballmer, devaluing  Nokia until he can buy it for changes.

Intel: Intel desperately needed Nokia, so it  joined forces with Nokia, creating Meego, which was part its creation (Moblin) and part Maemo (Nokia's creation)
Intel loses badly in the mobile and embedded scenarios, always behind the ARM RISC processors,  that are much smaller, efficient in power consumption and heat dissipation without losing processing power.
In the embedded / mobile, Intel's still pitching its Atom platform, without much success.
Now without Nokia, Intel is adrift, looking for any other manufacturer who is interested in its Meego operating system .

Qt: Qt's staff, although very optimistic, are in a extremely delicate situation: As  Symbian was officially announced as a dying platform, the future development of Qt is threatened. In Elop's plans, they will sell another 150 million units with Symbian in the next two years and then shut down. And what will be of Qt then? Being a very good framework, Elop would never let it out of his control, after all, it would compete with the Microsoft Windows platforms. Chances are he will do like Oracle did with OpenSolaris:  let it to die slowly, and terminated its development.
Therefore, it is urgent to fork Qt, for  the sake of KDE, and so many great programs written on Qt.

Microsoft: It was the only winner in this deal. It desperately needed any traditional manufacturer to pick up its WP7 platform,  because since its launch, interest in it was close to none. And has gotten, simply the world's largest maker of mobile phones.
With its "employee" Elop in Nokia's helm, Microsoft can get close to many patents in mobile telephony, and with his clumsy actions at the helm of Nokia, the company's value tends to decrease even more.
Microsoft not only manages to get a manufacturer for its turkey mobile OS, it also can get to buy a nearly bankrupt Nokia, and quite cheap.
It is no secret that Microsoft achieved this agreement injecting money in Nokia, paid a lot of cash for Nokia  to go WP7's way, but, even with the "advantages" for Nokia (save a lot of cash in R & D), these acts did not improve Microsoft's stock, which loses billions in its disastrous online adventures  (Bing, Xbox Live and now WP7). But the source of Microsoft's money  is finite, and they are now borrowing billions of dollars. Of course it is something that is not highly publicized, so the company does not have its image tarnished.

Nobody can know, however, what will happen. Maybe Nokia has success with the  Meego powered phone  it is to launch this year. Who knows, it may even draw attention back to Meego and give a new breath of life in the Nokia Meego platform. Maybe Nokia will successfully  sell the WP7 phones . Maybe Microsoft will sink so much in debt that it goes bankrupt.

Anything can happen, but, to paraphrase Vic Gundotra, Google VP for mobile technology, two turkeys do not make an eagle. And that's what Nokia + Microsoft are today, two halves, desperately trying to make a whole.

Sharing is Caring:
By Alessandro Ebersol with 2 comments

2 comments:

Post a Comment

  • Popular
  • Categories
  • Archives