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Nokia welcomes Android developers

Barcelona, Spain – Today at Mobile World Congress, Nokia unveiled five new affordable handsets including a new family of smartphones debuting on the Nokia X software platform. Based on the Android Open Source Project AOSP, and backed by Nokias deep ties with operators, the Nokia X platform gives AndroidTM developers the chance to tap into, and profit from, a rapidly expanding part of the market.

via Nokia welcomes Android developers; expands global developer footprint with momentum across Lumia and Asha » Nokia – Press.

It’s worth remembering the distinction between operating systems, platforms and ecosystems.

Today’s announcement is consistent with the declaration of Nokia is engaged in a “war of ecosystems.” Note that this is in contrast to “a war of platforms” or a “battle of operating systems” or a “competition of devices.”

Devices are commoditizing, operating systems are commodities and the Android platform is a commodity. Value will not be captured in any of these technology modules. Ecosystems are another matter. It’s where Facebook (and its acquisitions) reside. It’s where Google lives and it’s where iTunes has been for a decade.

Nokia’s adoption of AOSP as an operating system is consistent with the ecosystem strategy set forth three years ago, and is also consistent with Microsoft’s competitive strategy.

Which is why I believe Microsoft is not only comfortable with this development but had agreed to it over a year ago when work on this initiative was already well under way.

  • gprovida

    Wow, this claim needs some expansion. Apple has worked hard not to have commodified devices, and largely successful, but how does the ecosystem drive this.? Most alternatives provide many of the same features as App Store and iTunes, albeit Apple’s is more complete and integrated, so how is this not going to be commoditized?

    • currently

      Not seeing where in the article it says that they won’t be, necessarily. Just that they aren’t currently.

    • StevenDrost

      Any of the individual pieces likely will be. Operating Systems have become free as well as most apps. Services are where the money is moving, think Netflix, Spotify, Dropbox, Office 360. Apple is differentiated through software and services which they give away for free. But the cost of accessing those services are the purchase of high margin hardware.

      See the last article, “A margin of error” where Horace talks about exactly that question. http://www.asymco.com/2014/02/12/a-margin-of-error/

      • marcoselmalo

        Right on. And there’s even more money in Enterprise Cloud services. Think AWS and IBM.

      • StevenDrost

        That’s an interesting point. It’s not surprising that Apple is giving away Pages, Numbers and Keynote and did a ground up redesign of the Apps. It was not an earth shattering announcement, but overtime will add a lot of value in the enterprise.

        The problem with using the IPad for work is the lack of Office which is the enterprise standard. Microsoft could have released an app long ago, but they never did and Apple was forced to develop their own apps. I see the move very much like Maps. It may not catch on, but it will force Microsoft to develop Office for IPad, just like Maps forced Google to redesign their app and add turn by turn navigation.

      • charly

        See the total failure in how they handled their SSL flaw and it is clear Apple isn’t enterprise ready and probably never will.

      • http://info-tran.com/ Info Dave

        “total failure” may be a bit of a statement, seeing as how both iOS and OS X have now been patched.

      • charly

        With a 4 day difference and with OSX included in a mega patch. Especially that last bit is what makes Apple not ready for the enterprise

      • bugfix

        What’s the time delay between a Linux and Android bug fix, on average? What about Windows kernel and Windows Phone? What percentage of those Android and Windows Phones will ever be updated?

      • charly

        IOS & OSX share significant amounts of code, especially at the lower levels. Any IOS patch will be diff-ed to see the change and compared to OSX to see if the same bug is present on OSX. That takes for a small patch less than an hour. So Apple published a zero-day themself which is in one word dumb.

      • bugfix

        So do the pairs of other examples I gave. They fixed it on the platform that is most vulnerable and easy to test first, yes. If you think that it really takes “less than an hour” to do the testing required to deliver an OS security update then I don’t know what to tell you.

      • charly

        Not testing. For hackers to find the bug after a patch and checking its presence in OSX.

      • http://info-tran.com/ Info Dave

        Using your criteria, what does that say about Microsoft? I seem to remember an IE10 zero-day that’s been floating around for going on a month.

        I think Apple showed agility in making a late addition to their scheduled patch.

      • Walt French

        Until you show that this exploit ever got past proof of concept, that claim, on the basis of one vulnerability, that this proves Apple’s greater threat to Enterprise security is just trolling.

        I’m not saying Apple security is faultless or even better than Microsoft’s. Just that nobody responsible for or competent about actual security would make such an absolute claim on such flimsy justification. Flies in the face of this site’s mandate of “So data!”

      • charly

        Including an essential update into a mega patch and only in a mega patch is simply not being enterprise ready. Microsoft or any of the Unix/Linux distributors don’t do it in that way and for obvious reasons.

      • http://info-tran.com/ Info Dave

        Give it up @charly:disqus, you’re sounding less inform by the moment.

      • marcoselmalo

        Total failure? Can you explain why you think it was a total failure? Why was this exceptionally worse than bugs that have been discovered in MS, Adobe, or Android software?

      • enterpriseready

        What software is bug-free and therefore enterprise ready?

      • charly

        It is not bug-free that matters but the way you handle bugs. Apple doesn’t handle security problems well

      • Glaurung-Quena

        “Microsoft could have released an app long ago, but they never did and Apple was forced to develop their own apps”

        Actually, no. Pages, numbers and keynote were available on the first generation Ipad from day one. They were demoed in the keynote, months before anyone knew that there was an Ipad to make software for. Microsoft’s inaction on releasing a touch version of Office was still in the future.

      • StevenDrost

        I never said they were new. But there was a ground up redesign of the apps. With all the thousands of things they work on each year they chose to present that software during the product announements. Then they changed the pricing structure to make them free. That seems like a lot of thought has gone into productivity on IOS. Also i could point out that during earnings releases they talk a lot about the enterprise.

      • StevenDrost

        That is true, but I never said they were new this year. I said they were redesigned and made free. But more than that, they were featured at a product launch. That says a lot about priorities.

  • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

    I agree, timing is also important, it just happened before Microsoft takeover, so if it fails to gain traction it will be a Nokia fault, and if it succeed it will guide Microsoft strategy transition serving as a test.

  • Sander van der Wal

    Indeed. Google is now paying for the bits nobody was going to buy from Microsoft anymore.

    Microsoft still makes money from Android courtesy of the patents. Microsoft will still have to pay for its own high level stuff, but I’m quite sure they do not mind that.

    Essentially, Microsoft is still reaping the benefits of a closed source system, but with somebody else paying for the commodities.

    If this was planned all along the way, Ballmer is effing brilliant.

    • Sander van der Wal

      While it is bad form commenting on one’s own comments, what about Microsoft making a competitor for Google’s Apps and Services? They won’t be making much money on that, but think of what it will do to Google’s business if they gave it away for free.

      • bing

        Perhaps about as much impact as Bing, Bing Maps, etc have had.

      • Sander van der Wal

        Google depends on device makers for its mobile strategy. That is a weak spot that Microsoft can exploit.

      • Walt French

        Please spell this out. Right now, almost all of the biggest mobile manufacturers all over the planet, are making Android phones, and Microsoft would have to reduce the license+IP rights somehow below the $0 to Google and the $10(?) for Microsoft IP, to draw them in. And yet, the availability of apps, and a clean go-to-market approach from Redmond is at near-disaster levels.

        Likewise, it’s hard to see why devs will put much energy into empowering Microsoft, as much as they are enthused about opportunities on Google. (No, I am not saying there aren’t devs who’ll be happy to work with Redmond, just that the existing Android developer base is people who’ve learned to like the status quo.)

        Further, today’s actual manufacturing is either owned by Redmond and Microsoft, or available to the Android manufacturers on terms that they like. How Redmond gains operational efficiencies over zero-margin shops is beyond me.

        So it looks like an AWFULLY tiny weak spot.

      • Sander van der Wal

        Nobody apart from Samsung makes money with Android, so lowering the license fee will be an incentive. Secondly, MS can give device makers better terms for the Microsoft replacements of the Google Apps.

        Thirdly, Google is in it for the data. If Microsoft manages to cut off that supply of data on mobile, Google’s core business, ads, will take a hit.

        A bit like like Google going after the office business with Google Docs, methinks.

      • Walt French

        Yes, if Microsoft could undercut Google on price — as you say, by supplying WP cheaper than the free Android+Redmond’sIP, and lower-cost or better split search, maps, etc.— then yes, Microsoft could harm Google’s business.

        It’d be even MORE expensive to Microsoft. And why would either OEMs or devs trust Redmond more?

        Sooner or later, Microsoft has to find markets they can serve profitably, so they can pay back all the investments in WP, music stores, developer relations & the like. I’m not seeing how this kamikaze approach does anything close to that.

      • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

        I agree with you that it is not such a weak spot for google, but Microsoft really could undercut google on price, since for OEMs android is not free, they are paying copyrights to microsoft.
        For MS could be an exchange game, pay me windows license as much as the android copyright and you can have a windows phone instead of an android phone with the same or even lower cost.

      • obarthelemy

        Indeed but… who’d buy a WP phone instead of an Android one ? Notwithstanding the lack of apps, even the base OS is inferior (but hey, they’re getting Notifications… soon…)

      • marcoselmalo

        According to many reports, WP8 runs smoothly on low end hardware (Lumia 520), while Android bogs down on similar hardware.

      • obarthelemy

        Indeed, but if that was the case before, why did Nokia come up with Android phones and say specifically they needed Android because the hardware is low-end ?

        Plus, today’s 4.4 is specifically optimized for low-end hardware (512MB dual core), and the transition to ART’s install time compilation instead of Dalvik’s run-time compilation should be effective in the near term (it’s already available, not yet default nor fully optimized)

      • charly

        Don’t forget Moore’s law. High end power now is low end power in a few years so wait a few years and even the low end Android is fast enough

      • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

        Nokia X has inferior hardware than Lumia 520 and run android, motivation from Nokia: WP does not run on cheap hardware and we had to use android to fill the niche.

      • marcoselmalo

        That’s as good an explanation as anything. Any word from Barcelona? Did they show of their Android phones?

      • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

        They did, reports say they are slow but working. Based on 4.2 though not 4.4 kitkat that is optimized of low-end hardware.

      • Walt French

        Nokia’s Android-like (AOSP/non trademarked) are aimed at sub-$200 markets. Expectations for screensize, speed, capacity are all wildly different from US &EU markets that WP is species for.

        Mozilla seems to think its all-HTML phone is a player in that market; aiming at $120, 3.5″ screen, a scant 128MB of RAM. That’s a pretty clear signal of what X is aimed at.

      • Kenton Douglas

        Motorola Moto G

      • Kenton Douglas

        Spot on again. Especially so for the latest version (4.4) of Android.

      • Kenton Douglas

        You should try it :)

      • marcoselmalo

        I’ve seriously considered buying an unlocked 520. I might do so if they release a version with a better camera.

      • Walt French

        Maybe you could be more clear about your point. Approximately one smartphone buyer out of 30 bought a WP handset in the US; EU sales are maybe a bit more robust.

        Neither you nor I would be one of those buyers, but Microsoft apparently still hopes to expand from that tiny share, with apps, cloud services and other of them newfangled mobile services.

      • Kenton Douglas

        Agreed. Their best option would be to give away the System X (Android) licence for free. That would minimise the work for an OEM to produce a MS Android device.

      • charly

        Not for free. Same price as Google asks. But with unlimited laywer fund if Google tries to pull their Google android license. Don’t forget that the market share of Android in smart phones is almost as high as Windows 8 is on PC

      • Sander van der Wal

        They have such a market. It is called Windows for Desktops. And another one. Office for Desktops. Those markets are not going to disappear any time soon.

        Besides, getting one on Google should have a certain appeal.

        And why would anybody care about what investors think? They can always sell their shares. And buy them back later at a higher price point, when the strategy appears to work and the market will be its usual irrational self.

      • JohnDoey

        Windows has been disappearing steadily since the Intel Mac shipped in 2006 and took the whole high-end of Intel hardware and the majority of PC hardware profits. What iPad is doing to the low-end is just the other shoe dropping.

        Imagine if there had been no Windows notebooks in the 1990′s — XP would have been a niche OS because it didn’t run on batteries. That is what is going on today with phones and tablets. As people move to mobile they also move off Windows. It’s no surprise that the collapse looks slow because the replacement cycle is 3–4 years and software subscriptions are almost pure profit while people still have the hardware. But there is a Blackberry moment coming for Microsoft very soon.

      • charly

        The whole Intel high end is gaming. I believe that Linux is stronger in gaming than Mac and Linux is almost as successful as the Wii U in gaming

      • StevenDrost

        Your right, but only for the consumer PC market. The enterprise is the hold out and there are many other services which Microsoft can profit from. Blackberries problem is they have no other revenue streams.
        I’m not saying Microsoft will ever be dominant or won’t shrink, but they are far from the apocalypse which Blackberry is facing.

      • charly

        Blackberry has QNX and with it just enough developers to stay relevant if they can beat Blackphone

      • marcoselmalo

        Good point about QNX. Even if their phone business continues TP plummet, QNX gives them at least the opportunity to succeed in the “Internet of Things” market. I don’t know all the details, but I have heard that QNX is a rock solid small footprint embedded OS.

      • marcoselmalo

        Windows for desktops is at best a stagnant market. Office for Windows has become part of the life support system for ailing sales. If Nadella is smart (and I think he is) he will unbundle Office and do the unthinkable: make office for Android.

      • Space Gorilla

        If I’m remembering correctly, Gruber reported that Office is coming to the iPad, and that it is actually impressive. I’ll wait and see, I’m not convinced Microsoft can create great software. But I’ll keep an open mind.

      • marcoselmalo

        Gruber’s source was Mary Jo Foley, whose sources are insiders at MS. Mary Jo has a pretty good record on breaking these stories.

        Ms doesn’t need to create great software. They only need to make better software than Google. :) seriously!

      • Space Gorilla

        That’s an interesting notion on the Android side of things. While I doubt Microsoft can beat Apple or the cream of the iOS developer community, they probably can beat Google. And Microsoft has a services back end as well. Beyond search, everything I’ve used from Google has been mediocre. Sure it scales but it is often poorly thought out and poorly designed. I avoid Google services as much as possible these days, they’re just not pleasant to use. Maybe between Google and Microsoft it’s a battle to see who can be the least worst.

      • marcoselmalo

        I’m actually migrating from Google to MS services. I just moved all my photos to OneDrive (and all my documents to dropbox, not a MS service). I’m starting the email migration, which is a huge pain.

        Why don’t I use iCloud for everything? On one hand, I want to spread my data eggs to more than one basket. On the otherhand, believe it or not, iCloud has very poor iOS support for some functions. For example, I cannot make an email alias in iCloud email on my iPad. Apple support confirmed it’s a JavaScript problem.

      • Space Gorilla

        iCloud isn’t good enough yet, in my opinion. I do think it will get where it needs to be, but I am realistic about how much Apple can do at once. Apple has to think about serving a billion users that actually do quite a lot with their devices, that’s going to take time to implement properly. I bet we’re three to five years away from a great iCloud.

      • Kenton Douglas

        Starting with Nokia Android …

      • Walt French

        Just to be clear, I DO NOT and did not say anything about investing in $MSFT; I was referring to its internal allocation of efforts—salaries, expenses, capex and management oversight. No firm can long survive if it doesn’t get any internal return on its efforts—whether the payback is direct or by bolstering results of other products thru ecosystem effects or halos.

      • Kenton Douglas

        They might believe disrupting Google in the consumer space (even at a cost) is the best way to defend the enterprise market.

      • Walt French

        Do you have any evidence, other than the very weak success of WP and their tablet business, that Microsoft would contemplate anything of the sort?

        To my eye, OEMs’ primary concern is unit sales, with margins being a distinctly secondary consideration (because a popular phone can be priced enough higher to cover a handful of dollars of expense). Microsoft would ALSO need to find a developer base, or a lot of users who want a powerful phone without broad app support.

        The fact that *I* don’t think that’s possible is irrelevant; what matters is what Microsoft might think. I see no evidence they’d try the strategy. What can you propose?

      • JohnDoey

        Microsoft makes $2 billion per year in profit off Android.

      • charly

        Seeing the speed at which some Android phone brands grow does seem to indicate that they are making money so “only Samsung is making money” is only an Apple fanboy dream

      • StevenDrost

        No, thats a fact. The majority of phone makers like Motorola and Sony are loosing money. Horace has posted charts that show Apple and Samsung making beyond 100% of the profits. The ones that are growing are doing so at the expense of margins and profits like xiaomi.

      • charly

        You are claiming that Lenovo, ZTE, Oppo etc. aren’t making money? Why would they want to be in this field if they weren’t.

        The legacy feature phone makers are in trouble but that is normal when technology shifts

      • JohnDoey

        The ultimate problem is there is zero consumer demand for anything running the Zune UI that is Microsoft’s one major new client software feature since the iPhone shipped. Nobody wants it.

      • Walt French

        Pretty sure that’s what services and app store on the Nokia “Android” (not Android®) phones will be.

      • marcoselmalo

        Bing!

        er, Bingo!

        The revenue comes from Enterprise Cloud services, which integrates with a platform agnostic web/mobile service stack.

        Hardware sales would serve as a “demo” of the MS service stack. Low margin low end phones grab users from the GMS service stack.

    • obarthelemy

      I’m sure MS would prefer to have the same kind of presence -and revenues- in Mobile as they have in Desktop/Entreprise, though.

  • Sacto_Joe

    So to what degree does this hasten the fragmentation of Android?

    • obarthelemy

      I’m not sure what “fragmentation of Android” is, except a strawman.

      To the end-user, Android version don’t matter that much because:
      1- all relevant apps run on all not-so-recent (4.0+ if not 2.3) versions of Android
      2- Android is not monolithic like iOS, so apps (browser, mail…) and even system tools (keyboard, PlayStore…) can be upgraded independantly of the OS. Also, they can be replaced by 3rd-party stuff.

      For the developper, various physical characteristics and even OS versions are handled automatically.

      • JohnDoey

        There is a 14 month old unpatched bug in 75% of Android devices that makes them wide open to anyone running a commercially available Android hacking kit that comes as a Windows app that anyone can easily run and use. There is no technical way to patch those devices because of Android fragmentation. So what you said was absurd.

      • obarthelemy

        Source ? I could only find something from 2012 than has been patched since ?

      • normm

        The Android OS doesn’t get patched if ordinary end users don’t have any good way to upgrade to more recent patched versions.

      • obarthelemy

        You’re confusing Android and iOS. Android gets patched all the time w/o having to push an OEM update. everything that’s GMS-related or app- or tool- related is patched/upgraded independently of the core OS which is the part that *does* require OEM and carrier validation: stuff like TRIM support, or the SSL bug… oops sorry, that’s iOS.
        Still waiting for info on that vuln…

      • Sam

        I think he’s referring to this: http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/e-z-2-use-attack-code-exploits-critical-bug-in-majority-of-android-phones/

        It was patched in Android 4.2. But over half of Android phones in use are older than 4.2 and most of those cannot be upgraded to any recent version.

      • obarthelemy

        Oh, OK, a browser bug. It indeed looks bad. But, again, this is not iOS: just get another browser. Fixed !

        It would be better if the AOSP browser were patched, but using another one also works. Again, that’s would be fatal on iOS, and is a sideshow on Android. Bio-diverse ecosystems are more resilient.

        Edit: thanks for the link !

      • goodjoke

        Very good joke.

      • Sam

        Point 1 I think is especially critical in understanding the Android “platform” versus the iOS one regarding “fragmentation”. In iOS, almost all new features are released as core OS frameworks. Developers must test for their presence and version and only use them if they’re running on a recent enough OS. Fortunately, Apple makes it dirt-simple to upgrade and almost everyone does, so a new major version gets 90% adoption within months.

        Android uses a different philosophy. Most features are shipped as libraries that are linked into an individual app, and can be hosted on much older versions of Android. It makes for bulkier, less efficient app packages, but they can use more recent features on less recent OS versions. To compensate for this and bytecode-based deployment, most Android phones need twice the RAM (which they tend to have), and it gives the developer a lot of flexibility.

        Two philosophies which further muddy the waters as to what the addressable market might be for any developer releasing an app. (As if vastly different monetization models weren’t complicated enough.)

      • Walt French

        Already, app developers targeting the US have to consider GMS/Play and Amazon versions. The Nokia X would add a third platform, with different APIs for any Google service. As you are quite aware, most of the apps’ use of new features on older handsets that don’t get the OS upgraded, work because developers are quite reliant on the Google APIs.

        Nokia insists many apps can be ported in a day. Many more will take much more time. You can look at the number of quality, high-revenue apps that are ported for Kindle as a sign that a late start is hard.

        One dev I know, who worried about the lousy payoff of porting to WP hasn’t commented on this (no doubt because he hasn’t seen the Nokia docs, nor the market potential), but won’t be thrilled about the incremental testing and QC required for any bugs in the re-implementation of the APIs. He’s already tweeted that one of the nicest things about the Google Market is being able to send the customer’s money back — essentially to “fire” an obnoxious customer who chews up time over OS bugs etc — and move on. That’s an indication that fragmentation is already making life hard for devs, which inevitably means an inferior app space for customers.

        BTW, a recent offhand comment from Ben Evans (on BloombergTV) noted how mobile functionality is going in all sorts of crazy, exciting directions — away from the browser, which is just the wrong place for messaging, robust, location-based notifications, social networks and all the other current developments in mobile. Dedicated apps will matter EVEN MORE, and anybody who thinks we’re entering a phase where the internet is/will be MORE about mobile than about desktops, will want the best possible reach for engaged app users. Difficulty in reaching large swaths of prospective customers due to outdated handsets or incompatible OS support should only become more important, if it is allowed to persist.

      • obarthelemy

        As per Nokia, 75% of apps don’t use any GMS service at all. I’m sure there’s some work involved to get listed on the Nokia store (assuming you’re not already on Yandex or another Nokia-partnered Appstore. inded, the remaining 25% rquires work – Nokia say 8hrs… maybe they made an exact duplicate API, leveraging Google’s work to make APIs non-copyrightable ^^.

        Anyhoo, if that’s “Anrdoid fragmentation”, it’s purely a developper issue, and a small one at that.

        I’m not sure about your last paragraph.. ;you mean to say homepage widgets will become key due to their immediacy ? Because you cannot possibly mean that older version of Android can’t access the ‘net and its servers ?

      • Walt French

        Just talking about the ease of putting modern apps on a device. E.g., a WhatsApp + voice.

      • obarthelemy

        from the whatsapp FAQ:
        Which Android devices are supported?

        We support all Android phones provided they meet the following requirements:

        Your Android phone is running Android OS 2.1 or later.

      • charly

        Paid apps are not important, especially not on low end phones like the nokia X

      • Walt French

        Maybe you’ve forgotten that even feature phones usually have address books, simple calendars, TXT capabilities and maybe a mini-browser for very minimalist sites; the whole reason we talk about smartphones is because they run rather full-featured apps.

        If people only want a dumbphone with no apps, then there’s no problem with fragmentation. Neither is Android much good, either, as it merely ups the resource requirements.

      • charly

        I said paid apps don’t matter, apps do

      • obarthelemy

        all those apps are in the default AOSP kit.

  • handleym

    “operating systems are commodities”
    “is also consistent with Microsoft’s competitive strategy.”

    It fits with MS’ two most recent announcements (which, let’s note, are from Nadella, not Ballmer) — the 70% cut in the price of Win8 and the reduced control over WP8 device manufacturers.

    The problem MS has, and I am not at all confident they will handle this without screwing up, is that old MS makes lots of money from OSs and doesn’t WANT to see “Windows” considered as a free commodity. So we get this weird hedging like “yes, license fees for Win8 will drop — but only for budget PCs”. At some point, even if Win8 is free, you’re still going to have to put up with the pain of “verification” and not being able to seamlessly move your old PC world to your new PC world, because of this obsession that the world wants to steal MS’ precious bodily fluids.
    Compare with OSX where Apple doesn’t give a damn how much you “copy” OSX, and just how easy that makes it to move external (or even internal) boot drives from one machine to another.

    We’re going to see the same thing soon with services. Half the company wants to charge for services, because they see that as MS’ future, and they see MS as a business serving other businesses. The other half of the company believes in the gospel of market share and MS as a consumer-facing company, and they want services to be free.

    It’s basic strategy tax…
    And what I see is MS trying to do the same thing it did with Win8 — refuse to make a decision about what its real customers are, claim it is a no-compromise company that offers everything to everyone, and as a result piss off their ENTIRE user base.

    • obarthelemy

      Google can afford to give the OS for free because they make their money via ads. Apple can afford to give their OS for free because they sell a hardware+software bundle at a premium, and then have a captive market for content (100% for apps, probably close to that for media)

      MS don’t do either. Are revenues supposed to come from
      a) apps ? Doubtful, consumer-side apps (Skype, Office…) have plenty of free-to-use equivalents
      b) services ? ditto: Hotmail, OneDrive… have free-to-use competition
      c) entreprise sales ? The idea would be that having a revenue-free consumer presence is a cost of doing business to keep their stranglehold on the entreprise. That bodes ill for their motivation and investment in that space though.

      Or they can go Google or Apple.

      • JohnDoey

        Microsoft is not Microsoft anymore — they are MicrosoftNokia. They have already gone the Apple route. Now they just have to get rid of their former partners like they did with Zune versus PlaysForSure.

      • obarthelemy

        I’m not utterly sure of that:
        1- they’re still actively pursuing 3rd-party OEMs, for phones and tablets as well as the usual laptops/desktops/servers.
        2- Nokia’s purchase might be purely about keeping WinPhone alive. Before the purchase, Nokia was dying and/or moving towards Android.

        We’ll see how MS handles OEMs and the race to the bottom issue going forward. Also maybe: grab share and make money ^^

      • marcoselmalo

        Nadella is a cloud services guy. I think he will (or hope he will, for Microsoft’s sake) move the company’s emphasis to a platform agnostic services stack. This really depends on being able to convince the board that making the company a life support system for Windows is a losing proposition. Device manufacturing becomes a support for getting people on MS services and cloud services.

        But how does MS make money with free or freemium services? I think that’s where Nadella leverages Microsoft’s traditional strength in Enterprise. Cloud services is a fast growing business, and Nadella has already identified MS’s ambitions in this area.

      • Kenton Douglas

        The other problem is the line between consumer and business is becoming partially blurred by BYOD.

      • Jared Porter

        It is too bad Microsoft can’t seem to get Bing going, despite all of their efforts. (Maybe they should offer to pay registered users $1 for her search attempt, limited to $3 per week or something. This would be a marketing expense.)

    • StevenDrost

      With how new Nadella is I’m not sure you can give him much credit for any of the current moves. These products would have been in devopment for years and credit would have to be given to Balmer. Most of the rest i agree with.

  • jpintobks

    With so many new Android based phones unveiled, including a the Galaxy will make Android market even more fractured and glutted. Nokia and Microsoft have a better chance to compete with 10 year old iTunes in the Ecosystem war. Google is to flaky to say the least,
    Regarding the new Samsung Galaxies, if the press will be more open with a big advertiser will mock the new features like better finishing, finger password (another copy of Apple) and s sensor to feel your pulse.

    • obarthelemy

      Finger password was on the Moto Atrix way before it was on the iPhone.

      • swipe

        Agreed, and Samsung even accidentally did it the useless Moto Atrix way (barely functional swipe sensor), instead of the correct iPhone way, by all reports.

      • JohnDoey

        But Samsung did not do it because Motorola did it, they did it because Apple did it.