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  #1  
Old 02-08-2008, 03:00 AM
Darius Wey
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Default Microsoft Talks to Nokia About Windows Mobile

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16510/127/' target='_blank'>http://www.itwire.com/content/view/16510/127/</a><br /><br /></div><i>"Software giant Microsoft is in discussion with Nokia about plans to have the handset maker add Windows Mobile-powered devices to its portfolio. Virtually all Nokia phones currently run the Symbian operating system and such a move would be a major change for the industry leader. Microsoft’s mobile communications business international marketing director John Starkweather confirmed talks were taking place with Nokia but would not confirm when any announcement would be made. “They obviously have significant investments in Symbian but there are a lot of places where we have significant synergies and we would love to see the day where those synergies would extend completely with Windows Mobile,” he told IT Wire."</i><br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/web/2003/wey-20080108-nokiawinmo.jpg" /><br /><br />There was a time when I proudly toted around a Nokia device. And then came Windows Mobile. While I loved Nokia's hardware designs, Windows Mobile's capabilities won me over, and that's when I thought I'd never own another Nokia device again. I'm hoping these talks change all that. Some of their recent devices look great and pack some punch - N95, anyone? Slap on Windows Mobile and I'd probably be all over it.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:08 AM
Menneisyys
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It'd be GREAT to see for example the Nokia N95 (which, hardware-wise, is, IMHO, WAY better than ANY Windows Mobile device out there right now - even some 9 months after its release!) running Windows Mobile if you're mainly into entertainment (audio, video, gaming) and/or want a decent phone with call recording / answering machine features and don't necessarily want a touchscreen.

It'd be GREAT if Nokia managed to get the drivers right and port all the goodies already present in Symbian S60v3 (FP1); for example,
  • the Nokia Web browser (way better than IEM, except for the lack of true Flash support),
  • the Music Player, which is, when compared to ANYTHING on Windows Mobile, exceptional in the following respects:
    1. it's HE-AAC v2-compliant (!) and uses VERY little CPU (and, therefore, power). WinMo players, when at all compatible (very few of them are) use buckloads of CPU (=power on non-Samsung architectures) for HE-AAC v2 decoding. See THIS for some figures
    2. its stereo widening is way better than even the official SRS WOW HD support, let alone (even worse) software implementations like Conduits Pocket Player's widening.
    3. built-in UPnP support (only supported by Pocket Player and two other, definitely worse players, including that of Nero, ATM on WinMo; CorePlayer 1.2 will only add it later)
  • Nokia's A2DP implementation (much better-quality than that of the MS BT stack and consumes less power - for example, the MS BT stack's A2DP consumes 50% CPU time on Samsung CPU's running at 400 MHz!)
  • working (!!!!!!!) graphics and/or 3D drivers. Nokia has no problems with them - unlike with the Qualcomm-based current and future (!!!) HTC models (see THIS for more info). The latter are pretty much useless for gaming / emulation, let alone 3D hardware-accelerated gaming. The latter is (also) seamlessly supported on Nokia's devices.
  • full support for call recording / local answering machines. See THIS for more info (follow the links back to my previous call recording-related articles too if interested).
  • or even the Next-gen N-Gage platform - think of it, a LOT of nice, multiplayer or, at least, lobby-based games!
[/list]
 
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2008, 11:49 AM
Yata
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It sounds like Microsoft has aspirations for Nokia to use Windows Mobile rather than any serious talking having taken place.

From a business point of view, I don't think it would be wise for Nokia to use Windows Mobile. It would show a lack of faith and confidence in their own S60 platform. Palm has been in free-fall since it started offering Windows Mobile devices and I think this public lack of confidence in their own OS had a part to play in that.
 
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2008, 07:42 PM
Menneisyys
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Let me disagree with the comparison to Palm. Palm’s death was a consequence of the complete lack of any OS development. S60, today, is just incomparably better and more up-to-date than Palm OS was in, say, 2005-2006. In many respects, it’s definitely superior to WinMo (not counting in third party app support, in which it’s definitely worse. However, you already have a decent, working, usable smartphone even w/o installing anything – except for, for example, Opera Mini – on it.). Therefore, I don’t think it’d be a bad move for Nokia to offer some of their devices alternatively with WinMo.

As Nokia has some hardware that is way better than anything from E-Ten, Asus, HTC, Toshi or Samsung, I think it’s a sound move of them

Of course, there will be some people that, assuming Nokia does reimplement all their goodies on the WinMo platforms (see my list above: a much better media player, quality A2DP (!!!), seamless support for call recording etc), it’ll have a very easy time at beating HTC in the entertainment / gaming / camera sector. (HTC is simply neglecting all these areas.) That is, it’d be pretty much understandable if Nokia offered for example the N95 / N82 (and their future models, assuming they’re even better / even more revolutionary than the N95) with WinMo. They could win millions of WinMo users totally fed up with HTC’s anti-entertainment stance and lousy hardware designs.

Again, the N95 has WAY better hardwarer than, say, the Kaiser. Yes, I know the latter has touchscreen and built-in thumbboard but, hey, an external BT keyboard works just great with the N95. (And, Nokia’s future models will also have a touchscreen – even with a 3D controller?) And, yes, the Symbian operating system supports even the ThinkOutside StowAway keyboard – no need to install other drivers. Symbian S60, as of now, is very-very well done and pretty much up-to-date – again, unlike Palm OS was some years back.
 
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2008, 08:53 PM
alese
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I also believe that this is more something Microsoft would want than Nokia. Microsoft would just love to have it's OS running in phones of the biggest Mobile phone company in the world.
But I'm not so sure why would Nokia want that, they are easily outselling Microsoft with their Symbian Smartphones world wide and WM is not really offering anything that Symbian doesn't have.
The only thing that I could think of is maybe for getting into US business market?

And one more thing, while I wouldn't mind having some of Nokia's great HW running WM, the problem is that such N95 with WM Standard would be just as underwhelming as any other WM Standard device - I just don't believe Nokia would do much in additional SW, sorry Menneisyys I just don't share your optimism - it would have great HW though :-)
 
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2008, 09:57 PM
Menneisyys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alese
And one more thing, while I wouldn't mind having some of Nokia's great HW running WM, the problem is that such N95 with WM Standard would be just as underwhelming as any other WM Standard device - I just don't believe Nokia would do much in additional SW, sorry Menneisyys I just don't share your optimism - it would have great HW though :-)
Even WM6 Standard would be great on the N95 - WAY better hardware (particularly for multimedia) than any of HTC's lousy Smartphones.

Of course, I'm eagerly awaiting Nokia's new touch screens / 3D control.
 
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2008, 11:18 PM
JesterMania
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I have been reading some articles/posts online about the upcoming WM7 and how it is supposed to address the issue of being more "fun" and user-friendly. I forgot where I read but even Microsoft apparently admitted they were too business-focused and will now turn to the consumer (I believe WM6.1 is their short-term answer, WM7 their long-term answer).

I think with a great hardware maker such as Nokia, Microsoft is right - there are definite synergies. HTC's lineups have just been boring refreshes in terms of hardware (although on the software side, they are doing a great job creating all these plugins/addons to make WM6 easier to use). I mean...how many times were we hit with the 64mb RAM/128mb ROM devices? Now we are at 128mb RAM/256mb ROM - how long will this last? It's time that WM7 launch with great, high-quality hardware and show the world that WM is not suitable only for businesses.

Let Nokia enter the WM market and give HTC some competition. Then, we may actually see WM-based devices with good hardware.
 
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2008, 01:20 PM
Yata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menneisyys
Of course, there will be some people that, assuming Nokia does reimplement all their goodies on the WinMo platforms (see my list above: a much better media player, quality A2DP (!!!), seamless support for call recording etc), it’ll have a very easy time at beating HTC in the entertainment / gaming / camera sector. (HTC is simply neglecting all these areas.) That is, it’d be pretty much understandable if Nokia offered for example the N95 / N82 (and their future models, assuming they’re even better / even more revolutionary than the N95) with WinMo. They could win millions of WinMo users totally fed up with HTC’s anti-entertainment stance and lousy hardware designs.
So Nokia should start licensing Windows Mobile (which costs 3 times as much as Symbian), re-implement all of their technologies and produce a media handset for an operating system that's only popular with geeks and enterprise in a select number of countries? That doesn't sound like good business to me.

If (and that's a big if) Nokia ever went with Windows Mobile, it would be on their E-series phones. You won't see a big focus on quality camera, A2DP or many of the other goodies found on the N95.
 
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2008, 02:12 PM
Menneisyys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yata
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menneisyys
Of course, there will be some people that, assuming Nokia does reimplement all their goodies on the WinMo platforms (see my list above: a much better media player, quality A2DP (!!!), seamless support for call recording etc), it’ll have a very easy time at beating HTC in the entertainment / gaming / camera sector. (HTC is simply neglecting all these areas.) That is, it’d be pretty much understandable if Nokia offered for example the N95 / N82 (and their future models, assuming they’re even better / even more revolutionary than the N95) with WinMo. They could win millions of WinMo users totally fed up with HTC’s anti-entertainment stance and lousy hardware designs.
So Nokia should start licensing Windows Mobile (which costs 3 times as much as Symbian), re-implement all of their technologies and produce a media handset for an operating system that's only popular with geeks and enterprise in a select number of countries? That doesn't sound like good business to me.

If (and that's a big if) Nokia ever went with Windows Mobile, it would be on their E-series phones. You won't see a big focus on quality camera, A2DP or many of the other goodies found on the N95.
Frankly, I don't think it'd be a sensible step from Nokia to try to compete in the enterprise sector. It's at entertainment / gaming that Symbian / N95 hasa VERY big advantage over Windows Mobile. Both hardware-wise (for entertainmnet, the N95 / N82 are WAY better than anything on Windows Mobile). And, if they do reimplement their built-in software comig on the N95 for WinMo, they can easily create THE device for gamers / people with high multimedia / camera expectations. Exactly the area where HTC (and the other WinMo device mnanufacturers) have left us without any decent device.

On the othe rhand, when you compare the E90 to the WinMo alternatives, I don't think Nokia would want toenter competition. The E90 has bugs and, IMHO, isn't better than the Kaiser. (Except for, of course. the much higher-resolution screen, the 3D acceleration, proper drivers etc.)



In addiiton, Symbian S60 currently, as of v3 FP1, is just not suited for communicators. This has been thoroughly elaorated on on Sybian forums (compared to Series 80 Symbian devices, there're no for example keyboard shortcuts. And, of course, no touchscreen.)



However, knowing Nokia, I'm pretty much sure they will able to come up with something much better, particularly with the forthcoming touch screens and the 3D control support (if it indeed realizes). This, however, will surely not happen in the near future as S60 is designed for non-touchscreen devices from the ground up.

I'll speak a LOT on all these matters with the Nokia folks in Barcelona (actually, my plane will leave for there in 40 minutes - typing this on my notebook on the airport) I report back.
 
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2008, 02:54 PM
Yata
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Quote:
t's at entertainment / gaming that Symbian / N95 hasa VERY big advantage over Windows Mobile. Both hardware-wise (for entertainmnet, the N95 / N82 are WAY better than anything on Windows Mobile). And, if they do reimplement their built-in software comig on the N95 for WinMo, they can easily create THE device for gamers / people with high multimedia / camera expectations.
That's exactly my point though - why go to all this expense when they already have a platform designed for entertainment and gaming? They already produce THE device for gamers/media junkies. Will moving to Windows Mobile gain them many more customers? Considering North America is Window Mobile's main market, and that Nokia doesn't have strong ties with the North American carriers, I don't see there being a business care for the move.

No, I can't see Nokia wanting to use Windows Mobile for anything other than Windows Mobile's existing strength - enterprise. From a Nokia perspective, it's better to use Microsoft to enter new markets than to replicate functionality in markets they already dominate.
 
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