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Elop gambles Nokia’s future on Microsoft partnership

13 February 2011 No Comment

THE world’s top mobile phone maker Nokia unveiled this week a radical new strategy by partnering with Microsoft, but warned of substantial job cuts around the world.

In a counterattack against the accelerating advance of rivals Apple and Google, Nokia chief Stephen Elop said the company would cast off its own mobile platforms in favour of Microsoft’s.

This meant that Nokia had effectively surrendered the battle of platforms in the hope that Microsoft would prove a good gamble. ‘The game has changed from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems,’ Mr Elop told reporters at a joint news conference with Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer in London on Friday.

Nokia’s Symbian operating system will gradually be phased out. MeeGo however, an operating system it developed with Intel, will be kept around for ‘longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices,’ the company said.

‘I think there was a recognition that for something to effectively compete and ultimately win against Android and iPhone, it would require some big muscle,’ Mr Elop, himself a former Microsoft executive, said.

Friday’s briefing was the first time that Mr Elop, a Canadian who took over as the first non-Finnish CEO in September, could really put his stamp on the company’s direction.

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