Friday to bring big changes.
Nokia's homegrown MeeGo and Symbian operating systems may be about to go the way of the dodo. A new memo titled 'Standing on a Burning Platform' and penned by CEO Stephen Elop appears to be circulating around the company. TechCrunch reports that the memo proposes three solutions to Nokia's current precarious status. They can "build, catalyse or join".
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"Build" obviously refers to MeeGo and (to a lesser extent now) Symbian. "Catalyse" is a reference to the infant Windows Phone 7 OS, which Nokia could push into full bloom. "Join" can mean nothing but Android. Apple has the high end of the market and Android seems to have a lock on the mid-range. Elop knows that Nokia needs to get in the game, fast, or risk losing everything.
MeeGo simply isn't seen as being competitive. One source described the OS as "on life support". Which is sad, but not far off from what I expected. MeeGo doesn't bring much new to the table, and at this point it is so tardy that I doubt its ability to capture a market. There were a lot of issues at the MeeGo Summit. While I'm sad to see that the project appears to be dying, it isn't at all surprising.
Nokia has been shaking a lot up lately- Elop recently fired a ton of top execs. Now rumors have the company considering a move to Silicon Valley. The Finnish company won't move their headquarters over, but they may create a "virtual HQ" here. It would include the CEO's office and the MeeGo development team.
Considering Nokia's legion of troubles expanding their brand into the US smartphone market, a local base of operations isn't a bad idea. But switching away from iconic Nokia platforms and over to Windows Phone 7? Or Android? Such a move could save Nokia...at the cost of changing the company into just another handset maker. Friday will give us a better look at what Elop has planned for Nokia. We'll keep you in-the-loop.