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More on Nokia vs. the Rest

Just in time for my previous rant  on the topic of web angst the admirable Robert X. Cringley wrote his article "Mobile 2010 Predictions: Apple, Google & RIM, Oh My!" in which not very many favourable things about Nokias perspectives over the next years came up.

Now we all know that Nokia is No. 1 in the mobile phone business and a technology giant.
But nevertheless he's right with many of his observations concerning Qt and the difference of strategies between Apple, Google here and Microsoft and Nokia there. (Unsurprisingly Sony-Ericsson isn't even mentioned in the article as a player, just like Samsung and the others.)

But I don't agree with Bob's vision of Nokia being doomed at one point: Nokia is not only a typical hardware company that doesn't dig software.
Nokia started with tires and rubberboots a long time ago.
From this rather uninteresting industry they travelled a long and successful journey to todays' Nokia Maps and Ovi, not even mentioning the firewall appliances and mobile phones.
This is true for the originating country Finland, too: from an often looked down upon as a poor "soviet satellite state" to a culturally leading European hightech country is not something you would expect to be easy and achieved by anybody.
So in this respect I'd rather compare Nokias transitions with the homecoming of Steve Jobs to Apple and the road (t)his company has been on since then.

This isn't Sculley's Apple any more and it isn't the company of the founders, too, this is a whole other force.
I think that Nokia is a company with much of those "Change" genes, which really has the power to re-invent itself every now and then.
Maybe Maemo 5 is the milestone for such a quick and dirty enough turnaround.
if you read vowe's observations on the N900 eg. you get the image of a gem.

I own it's predecessor and remain sceptic, because IMHO the whole device integration process at Nokia is broken and I can't see how this can be cured in short time.
The gap between Nokias awful PC Software - with nearly no offerings for Mac or Linux, and if, then eternally "beta" -, their flashy, pre-Web 2.0 catalogue like web site and the original device experience is so big, the holistic product experience so broken that nobody who knows the alternatives will even consider this an offering in terms of competition.
Maybe the management was too busy feeding their cats to get the upcoming work done at the turn of the millenium.
Maybe the sky was too open. I have no idea who told them that S60 would be enough and the world would happily wait decades for a S100.

But I'd not be astonished to see a next generation of engineers in their footsteps building up another modern and from the ground up leading company already.
Maybe American opera glasses are not enough to estimate the strength of the procedures that are already taken.
How the issues at the mobile phone industry front resolve in the near future remains to be seen.
And if only for the knowledge that the raptors, the so-called "carriers" are still out there in search for their prey.