Microsoft Plans to Scuttle Nokia Name

by Matt Klassen on April 29, 2014

Stephen Elop, Microsoft’s new head of devices, does not see the Nokia name hanging around long in Microsoft’s new mobile division, its just a matter of finding a suitable replacement. The news follows the closure of the Redmond company’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile division late last week, and comes even as we’re seeing the first Microsoft commercials hitting the airwaves advertising Nokia’s Lumia line-up.

“Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones,” Elop said in a Q&A post on the Conversations blog (recently rebranded as Microsoft instead of Nokia.) “Work is underway to select the go-forward smartphone brand.” When pressed on the subject Elop didn’t offer any more details, save to say, “It will not be Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone on the AT&T LTE network,” he said. “Too many words! That somehow doesn’t roll off the tongue.”

Given that under the watchful eye of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella the company has embraced a mantra of “We’re One Microsoft,” it really comes as no surprise to hear that Microsoft is planning to scuttle to Nokia name, particularly given the dearth of mobile success Nokia was able to have with it.

While the Finnish company Nokia will continue to survive through its network infrastructure business, mapping services, and advanced technology group, Elop’s announcement does spell the end of the Nokia name in the mobile sphere, a place Nokia has been extremely uncomfortable in over recent years.

Although he didn’t offer any replacement name for Microsoft’s new mobile holdings, during his Q&A session Elop did field a number of challenging questions, particularly surrounding conspiracies that he had worked with Microsoft to sink Nokia. While Elop of course denied anything but working steadfastly for the betterment of Nokia and its shareholders, even we here at theTelecomblog speculated about Microsoft’s role in pushing Nokia towards a point where selling off its mobile assets was the only choice left.

Beyond that, Elop answered questions about his time at Nokia, particularly his role in abandoning both the Symbian and MeeGo mobile operating systems. He justified his decisions by saying that Symbian simply couldn’t compete with Apple, and that MeeGo continually failed to deliver on its promise.

But all that aside, I’ve long questioned the wisdom in Microsoft deciding to bring back Elop as the head of its new mobile division, given Elop’s terrible track record at Nokia. In fact, having seen Microsoft’s first few advertising spots for Nokia’s Lumia line its clear the company is picking up exactly where Nokia left off, touting its greatest feature, colour, as its differentiating factor in the market. Unfortunately it’s an advertising tact Nokia has tried before, with little success.

So while Microsoft may be changing the name, abandoning the Nokia moniker, if the company doesn’t bring in some new perspective on how to develop its new mobile division I would wager a guess the Redmond company’s attempt will end exactly the same way its Finnish counterpart’s did: in abject failure.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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