Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An open letter to Mr. Elop

Dear Stephen,

I have to say: I'm a big fan. Having someone in the drivers seat of Nokia who really understands modern software and ecosystems is exactly what the boys in Espoo need. You seem like a guy who loves gadgets. Although I appreciate OPK as a business savvy number-cruncher, I couldn't see that he really really loved the things the company made. The burden also on your shoulders is not an easy one - making Nokia great again would be one of the most legendary turnarounds in modern industrial history. And I totally support the decision to phase out Symbian and place a bet on WinPhone instead. Anyone who dares to defy that should use the N97 mini for a week or two.

But this MeeGo thing, I do not understand. The thing is, once hope dies, there's nothing left.

Instead of telling everyone that it's essentially a dead OS or "research initiative", why wouldn't commit to doing one software release and hardware update a year for the next... lets say three years. This is a minuscule investment in the grand scheme of things - and you could keep the team really lean. Then invest a little bit in technology that makes porting or running Android apps on it really simple. I heard it took a one day to port Angry Birds on Meego. With making the effort required really low, you could mooch off Android's ecosystem and have a viable offering in no time. It would annoy the hell out of Google! And look what Apple did with one phone a year. This would give you some sort of leverage in the OS market and give Nokia at least have some relevance with tech pioneers and gadget freaks. Have you read the early reviews? Geeks love this stuff. If you end up as just one more OEM for WinPhones, i'm sad to say, there's very little to love about Nokia.

So the deal is; now the N9 is just a very sexy Zombie.

So I urge you, please reconsider. Come out and say that MeeGo will get a software and hardware updates for a few years and that you'll invest in developer tools that make porting simple. Keep hope alive. Give us geeks some reason to love you.

Your sincerely,

PS. In the spirit of full disclosure: I had the privilege of working at Nokia before your time. My final gig was planning marketing executions for what now turned out to be the N8 and N9. I'm sure my work was rewritten a thousand times as it seems things were constantly in flux in the marketing department. But i guess change is good. Best regards to Kari and the team in Nokia House 3G.