Microsoft Buys Nokia (But is it too late for both companies?)

Good old, saying what some of us are thinking…

News of Microsoft buying Nokia are all over the place.  Question is: Is it too late for these two companies? Can Microsoft actually make itself relevant as a smartphone manufacturer? Will Nokia become another Danger Inc. (maker of the Sidekick phone) and risk becoming a forgotten division of Microsoft?

There was a time when I thought Nokia phones were the best all around. But that was in the late 1990s. Maybe I was influenced by the amazing product placement in movies like The Saint and The Matrix, but I thought back then that Nokia was far ahead of the competition when it came to selling phones that did more than take calls.

I got my first Nokia phone sometime in 1999-2000, after a few years jumping from Motorola, Nortel and Erickson. It was a decent Nokia 6110 from Omnipoint (the mobile company that went on to become today’s T-Mobile, after many incarnations). After that, I had a couple more Nokia phones, but eventually I figured I needed something entirely different. I needed a cool phone and what Nokia had out there just wasn’t that cool.

My cell phone choices over the years
My cell phone choices over the years

So I went with I gave the Sidekick II a shot. Sadly, despite all the great options, the Sidekick (or perhaps its parent company, Danger), was plagued with issues. In 2005, socialite Paris Hilton had her Sidekick hacked, leading quite a few people, including myself, to question the phone’s ability to keep our data safe.

So the natural update was for me to move to a Blackberry. Yes, I know the Blackberry was far from cool, but the reality is by then, I actually need a “professional” smartphone. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I stuck with the Blackberry for quite a few years before ditching it for an iPhone. Sure, the iPhone was cooler than the Blackberry (and all those other phones) by the time I got mine.

But today the question is, will Microsoft buying Nokia lead to the creation of a “better” smartphone? A phone that will appeal to those looking for something cool and yet professional? Personally, I do not think so. Sure there are those who will buy anything with a Microsoft operating system and any phone made by Nokia. But those people are a minority and if these two companies hope to stay relevant, they have to truly innovate with their combine strengths. Otherwise, they will meet the same fate of many other contenders.


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