One of the buzziest news items we’ve heard this week is the announcement of Nokia’s dropping of Ovi Mobile Services by the end of 2012. Nokia finds both Symbian and MeeGo unable to keep up with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. It is making a transition to Microsoft Corporation’s Windows Phone 7 as its next smartphone platform. The company’s mobile services such as maps, music tracks, e-mail, contacts backup and downloadable applications for phones will simply be known as Nokia Services.
“We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike,” said DeVard.
The partnership of Nokia and Microsoft are beneficial for both parties. It gives Nokia a more powerful operating system that can compete with Android and iOS, and in return, will give Microsoft more areas to dominate besides the PC. Whenever I see Microsoft making significant investments outside of its stronghold, I am reminded of Steve Ballmer’s promise (threat) that “Whatever device you use, now or in the future, Windows will be there.” It’s creepy in a way.
An equally big news is RIM’s revocation of some 1,000 Playbooks because of buggy operating system. The units affected were only the 16GB versions. They clarified that these units were yet to be purchased by consumers and is still in retailers’ hands (thank God). The news came from a leaked memo to Staples.
“The majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven’t reached customers. RIM is working to replace the affected devices,” RIM said. “In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance,” said RIM.
While Nokia and PlayBook are experiencing glitches and are trying to get back to their stance, the Android and Windows Phone platforms have already done so. First off, Android Honeycomb is getting a version 3.1. The new version really does seem to have fixed much of the bug issues, and whether or not to what extent the refinement has gone is something that we’ll have to see when the version is released. Also, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang believes that Android will get it right this time. We can remember Huang to be one of the very displeased with the previous version and in Xoom’s insane price tag. Xoom runs on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor.
“It’s a point of sales problem. It’s an expertise at retail problem. It’s a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price point problem,” Huang said.
Windows is also updating Mango to 7.5, as announced at TechED 2011 in Atlanta on Monday. The version is expected to roll out late this year though no exact date is publicized. It boasts consumer features not found on Windows mobile such as integration with XBox live and Zune. Microsoft this time is rather consumer- than enterprise-oriented. It will improve Office Hub by adding document sharing support with Windows Live SkyDrive and Office 365. IT-wise, Mango can connect to hidden Wi-Fi networks and support alphanumeric passwords with intricacy. It will also retain Information Rights Management (IRM) to allow users to send and view confidential e-mails, as well as read-only and self-destructing docs.