Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Microsoft buys the Parts of Nokia that Matter

Well, it's not like we didn't see this coming. Microsoft buys most of Nokia, after initially investing enough in them for Nokia to kill their Symbian system and not invest into the Android phone OS. So the only two major tech companies who have not bought a cell phone manufacturer are Apple and Oracle.

Like the Google-Motorola deal, this one is about positioning. Some say this proves Microsoft is committed to the mobile device market. Some will say it's one market loser going after another. Personally I think Microsoft should have bought a company that's less politically encumbered - HTC springs to mind.

I actually have a Nokia phone running Windows 8, and I actually have to admit that what they have done is stellar. App availability and quality aside, the platform is stable, responsive, and has a lot more thought put into it with Bluetooth interaction and other things than Android and the iPhone. And Nokia has most definitely put its expertise in making excellent hardware to good use - even on the Nokia 810 the display is excellent, a true black, and they still cater to people who like to be able to remove the batteries from their phone.

Out of the box it has locally-stored navigation, which is huge if you spend any time at all outside of the 3G+ coverage zone, like for instance how to get home when your phone navigates you into deep, deep West Virginia.

I certainly wish Microsoft all the best. Most of us in the tech industry like bashing Microsoft, but nobody has done more to make technology accessible to end users. The rode the cheap PC wave, embraced the Internet, and created one industry after another. Without Microsoft, Linux would be nothing. And I am very interested to see what they do to the mobile market now that they bought themselves one heck of a head start.

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