Several years ago, as it became clear that there would be a shakeout in the PC manufacturing industry, Microsoft, Intel, and Dell sat down in a series of talks billed as the Yalta of our time.
Determining the future of the market, they shut out other manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard from their discussion. Today, Hewlett-Packard is the largest PC maker in the world; with its strategy that brought it out from underneath Dell, the stuff of legends.
In the mobile platform market, it was starting to become apparent that Microsoft and current smartphone market leader Nokia were the ones starting out behind as mobile software platforms began to shift toward Iphone and Google Android-like feature sets.
The recent announcement, therefore, that Nokia is jettisoning its longtime labor of love, Symbian, and embracing Windows as a smartphone platform, took many people by surprise.
Even Nokia employees were shocked to hear about the scope of the changes, with Linked In and other social networking sites seeing a sudden flurry of activity as software engineers started to update their external connections.
For Nokia, a company that started out selling tires and moved on to making cellular phones, the challenge will now be to avoid becoming just another commodity equipment manufacturer. For Microsoft, the idea is that by combining their efforts, Microsoft and Nokia can do the same thing that Hewlett Packard was able to do in the PC market; combine with another maker- and then win in the marketplace.
With critics’ reviews of Windows Mobile 7 trending towards the positive, they may have already taken an important step in that direction.