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From Meego to Mango: How two letters make all the difference to Nokia

Posted By TelecomTV One , 24 June 2011 | 0 Comments | (1)
Tags: apps Nokia Devices business Microsoft mango OS MeeGo Windows elop strategy

Only days after it debuted its first (and last?) smartphone featuring its still-born Meego operating system, video of Nokia’s first Windows Mango phone has leaked onto the web. Guy Daniels reports.

It looks like Microsoft is finally on the right track with its mobile strategy, and perhaps the Nokia decision wasn’t so bizarre after all. The first reviews of Microsoft’s new Mango release for the Windows Phone OS are very positive.


Mango contains around 500 new features and improvements to the Windows Phone OS, including multi-tasking, conversation views, voice and Twitter integration and Facebook Chat.


Nokia has already admitted that it’s deal with Microsoft came too late for it to be involved in the Mango specification and development, but it has wasted no time in porting the OS to its hardware platforms.


A video of the first Nokia handset to use Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system has just hit the Internet, and guess what, it looks like a clone of its N9 Meego phone – which was only announced earlier this week in Singapore.


We say ‘leaked’, but there is plenty of speculation that either the leak was sanctioned, or at least a blind eye turned. The video is of an internal presentation given by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in Finland the day after the release of the N9 in Singapore. Featuring tripod-mounted multi-camera shooting with live mixing, it’s obviously an official Nokia video production.


Ferenc László of the Hungarian Technet website posted the video yesterday. Codenamed ‘Sea Ray’, the phone was demonstrated by Elop and videoed by Nokia (we presume), although whether it was meant to be leaked is another question – especially as instructions can be heard given to the audience to turn off their recording equipment and not to take photos. Yeah, right.


Here’s the Google-translated and edited report:


“The device itself is nearly identical to the just-announced N9. Some difference, we can see: different LED placement on the back (but the same 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens) and the hardware for the camera button on the right.

We already knew for a fact in May that it's running Windows 7 Phone Mango, so we get multitasking, the better and faster browser IE9, and deeper third-party app support.”


Knowing that the Meego OS is a dead duck, Elop asks the rhetorical question, “Why release the N9?” Why indeed, as many of us have wondered. Well wonder no more, here’s what he told his staff in the video:


“There’s a whole collection of innovation in the N9 that will live on. The user experience you see here will live on. [Another] example of innovation that will live on is the beautiful industrial design.”


He then took a new phone out of his pocket and placed it on an overhead projector device, so that the whole audience (and the video cameras) could see. To a round of applause, he introduced the Sea Ray:


“This is super confidential, and we don’t want to see it out in the blogosphere. It is Nokia’s first Windows Phone device. Applause. You know what, it is hard right now, but you are getting the stuff done.”


Following a demo of the device, Elop returned to give a rallying call to the troops. “Do you get the sense things are moving forward?” he asked. He also confirmed that the Sea Ray is not a one-off early prototype: “I have other devices, completely different from that, that are already working as well.” He then mentioned four areas that the company must focus on:


“The criticality of sustaining our business We are at war, fighting every single day… We have to keep charging hard on the transition… Deliver and launch – we have so much to deliver and launch in the weeks and months ahead, it’s staggering but that is our ticket to success… We have to continue to change how we work…. The capabilities of the mighty Nokia are shifting around.”


‘Mighty Nokia’ might be pushing it a bit, but give Elop his due, he’s fighting hard to turn around the fortunes of Nokia.


Switching back from Meego to Mango, one of the most interesting features is the move to decrease the dependency on apps. There’s much speculation about the apps market, and whether or not it will prove to be an interim phase in connected device development. Mango seeks to incorporate many of the standalone features of popular apps into the phone itself, such as through recommendations via Microsoft’s Bing search application.


But just when you think you understand the strategy, Microsoft confounds you, because another aspect of Mango is an app search feature. Quick Cards gives you app recommendations when you search for information, thereby combining traditional search results with app suggestions. So maybe the strategy is less about reducing the dependency on apps, and more about reducing the dependency on an apps store?


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