After giving up on MeeGo (unofficially that is), Nokia has announced that they are now courting Windows Phone 7 OS in an attempt to revive their dying brand.
Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader. […]
Nokiaâ€™s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystemâ€™s global reach. (Official Microsoft Blog)
While Nokia’s abandonment of MeeGo isn’t surprising, some may ponder why Nokia chose Android (whose OS boasts hundreds of thousands of apps) over Windows Phone 7 (who has yet to cross 10,000 apps total).
Although courting Android would have been a wiser move in the short run (especially seeing how popular the devices are in the US), choosing Windows Phone 7 was better in the long run for 3 simple reasons.
With Oracle suing Google for allegedly copying Java, the last thing Nokia needs is to be entangled in a legal affair.
If Oracle is able to prove that Google did indeed steal their code, then Nokia would be liable to pay Oracle licensing fees (which could be in the tens of millions) for Android, which could become a financial burden in the future as Android continues to gain market share.
By selecting Windows Phone 7 Nokia doesn’t have to worry about lawsuits regarding the mobile OS, and can focus their resources on building excellent hardware instead of waging a legal PR war.
Microsoft Would Have Sued Them
As crazy as it sounds, Microsoft has been busy suingÂ manufacturers over patents they claim hardware companies violate by using Android.
In order to avoid a legal PR war, some companies like HTC, Samsung, etc. have agreed to not only pay Microsoft for the right to use Android, but also have been creating smartphones for Windows Phone 7.
Although Nokia could have taken a similar strategy, it probably was far cheaper for them to simply focus on Windows Phone 7 and avoids making another powerful enemy down the road.
Money, Money, Money
While Google was also offering Nokia the same amount of money, choosing Windows Phone 7 would be cheaper in the long run as Microsoft would be (for the most part) responsible for marketing, which would allow Nokia to simply focus on building great smart phones.
Was It The Right Choice?
Only time will tell whether Nokia’s decision to embrace Microsoft over Google will pay off and help Nokia stay relevant in the mobile OS market.
Either way this move by Microsoft is a huge win as it will not only help boost Windows Phone 7’s market share, but also delay Android’s march towards becoming the dominant mobile OS on Earth.
(Image Credit: Nokia)