feb11

€ 18 million

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And after having sold:
– Nokia’s soul
– Every Finns confidence
– The pride of so many people

[here]

Look what he has got? First he was given a joining bonus to cover his losses from previous employer [here] and now, he is being paid a staggering 18mn for having to finish this deal.. (even though this money could be a part of his shares in nokia).

There is only one man benefitted in this whole saga.. Mr. Stephen Elop and I f****ng hate him.

I am sad for Nokia.

Update, Sep 24, 2013: Look what one man has done to a great company! Anybody has any “shame”?? Nokia board of directors?? [here] WTF!!

RIP #Nokia

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Rest in peace and pieces, Nokia

 

End of an era

End of an era

 

In my blog post dated Feb 12, 2011 (here), I explicitly mentioned that “Nokia is just like a hardware store for MS now” and I think that I was quite right about it.

Though, before I talk more about it, few days ago #Feb11, on Feb 2nd, I wrote a post (here), where I was just wondering what are the five elements that could put nokia far above its close competetors, esp apple and android (google)?

Just about 9 days after that, Nokia was “Elopucated” and this guy, killed #MeeGo and #Symbian. Honestly, I always felt that the way the #Feb11 announcements were made was wrong (read more: here). Both, #Symbian and #MeeGo did not deserve being killed. Moreover, #Symbian could still serve as the money maker for a couple of more years for Nokia and #MeeGo was still a #future disruption.

Nokia was never on a f***ing burning platform and not in such a bad situation as Mr. Stephen Elop thought.

I firmly believe that he joined Nokia with a specific strategy and as of today, he has been successful in that. Given his career history, I always believed that he is a MOLE.

[writing more to this post, need a sleep first] [More, Sep 15, 2013]

I have read somewhere that Elop wanted to sell Nokia even before #Feb11 for a price around $21bn. I do not know how true this “fact” is, but one thing is for sure that he always wanted to sell Nokia, to the employer he has always been loyal to. I personally think that there is lot of money laundering involved in it.

It wasn’t until the time when they pulled in the Trojan Horse the Greeks left which led to the destruction of the mighty city of Troy and it wasn’t until the time when Stephen Elop was pulled into the Nokia Leadership Team, which led to the ultimate loss of Nokia own self identity.

Once the biggest mobile phone player of the world, Nokia always wanted to win the US smartphone market (which it never was able to do, despite of all the efforts made). Probably, this was the only reason which might have propelled the recruitment of a Canadian as the CEO or lets say, a NON-FINN CEO at Nokia. In this pursuit of gaining US market share, which was so far, pre-dominated by Apple, Nokia always forgot what it had in share was the rest of the world, a perfectly growing set of economies that could have served as a perfect breeding ground for the future innovations Nokia had planned to bring into.

The “dream” of beating iPhone in US (and also other markets) was a major factor in collapse of Nokia. The situation was never so bad as portrayed by Mr. Elop. We were not on a burning platform. We could have waited a little more to realize this dream. Nokia N9 was one step already in that direction. Another bold step that Nokia already took was the acquisition of Trolltech. With a dream of “Qt Everywhere”, the moment #Qt was scaled to both the mobile platforms owned by Nokia (#Meego, #Symbian), it was the time to give this dream a fair chance.

But we never did. Or actually, Elop never did. His burning platform memo and decision to kill meego, symbian killed the sales for Nokia and from 32.8 percent of market share, we dropped down to 3 percent. Who has to be blamed for that?

Today, look at Qt, it is available for Android, iOS.

Down the lane, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a WikiLeak cable that says that this Nokia’s downfall was well architectured by some of the biggest players in the market and successfully executed by Mr. Stephen Elop.

the PILL

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Today, I took the red pill. For those who might not connect to this, I decided to be in the real world and handed over my resignation to Nokia.

This means that very soon I will be an ex-Nokian. Precisely, in another 2 weeks. My resignation is pretty well influenced by the latest reorganization happening at Nokia.

The good thing about this is that I am now allowed to work on something that I like, explore new opportunities in the area that I like. Pretty much, I can now tailor my future as per my wish.

With all great aspirations and wishes, I bid adieu to Nokia and wish myself good luck.

Mr. Elop, its kind of pity that Nokia has such a thinner innovation force now. Even worse that many people who are working under you do not really feel good about it!

Nokia: IMHO

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Yes, you are right, I work at Nokia and I am writing this post about my feelings for Nokia, keeping in mind the recent state of affairs. Other than writing as an employee, I will also try my best to pen down my feelings as a consumer.

To start with, as a consumer, I am a hardcore Nokia fan. I firmly believe that as a mobile phone company Nokia has contributed a lot to the market and its share of contribution has not yet ended. As an employee, Nokia is a great place to work. You get to learn a lot of things, you learn how to apply innovative ideas and the best part being the ability to touch the life of millions of people. I really appreciate the Nokia values and their ways of working.

Now, looking into current state of affairs as a consumer, I might have been happy to see Nokia investing in an array of windows phones but I am unhappy with their strategy of discontinued MeeGo and Symbian platforms. Today, I see that windows phones are not a feature complete devices. For example, Lumia 800 does not have a reliable Bluetooth. I personally don’t like the Metro UI very much. I think that it is a waste of space on the screen and I am more comfortable with full utilization of all the available screen space as it is done in MeeGo, maemo or Symbian phones. As a normal user, I can’t even select a normal mp3 as my ringtone on Windows phones. I have to first cut the file short to one minute and make it folllow some rules to be able to set as a ringtone. There are some known problems with the Audio quality and battery life. These might be very small points, but they do affect people who want to personalize their mobiles. Talking about the strategy, I just feel that Nokia has choosen the wrong path now. The #Feb11 announcement could have been better. Probably, it would have been best if Nokia would have left the option of choosing the platform to the end-users and would have focused on making and promoting world class products like N9, PureView and in side-ways, investing a little in Windows phone to see the capability of the product. After making a technology shift to Windows immediately and killing all other platforms Nokia has, how did they think they would make money? By selling those phones to which they say that they will be killed in future? What I appreciate is that even after making a huge technological shift, firing a lot of people, Nokia still managed to come out with a few of Lumia phones in the market in a remarkably less time. What I do not appreciate is that they are investing big time on a platform that could not gain a substantial market share even though, all other OEM manufacturers are using it as their smart phone platform too. What I do not appreciate is that the Lumia products were not a complete solution to smart phones (esp. when compared to MeeGo’s N9).

As an employee, my heart really goes out with the decision of abandoning MeeGo, Symbian. All the innovations, patents, good work, quality lines of code, talents will now rest in pieces. While, the innovations, patents still remain with Nokia, the talent will now be scattered. So much money and time was invested in building such an asset and today, there is no future for all of them. On #Feb11, I would have rather loved to see MeeGo released already, followed by few updates and then, another device with a stripped down MeeGo (functionality, feature and price wise) coming soon to cover up the lower price segments. As for Symbian, it has been paying Nokia’s salaries since ages and I see it has the capability to do so for at least a couple of another years. A ramp-down of Symbian was something I might not rule out, but I would have probably expected to hear something like ‘We will pursue Symbian for a couple of years more while doing an RnD for Windows phone based smartphone products. Once we find that Windows phone is the right place to be, we will try to phase out Symbian. In future, we see Nokia investing in both, MeeGo and Windows phone’. Today, as compared to all other Lumia products, I see Nokia N9 as the most innovative, sparklingly fresh and the best smartphone any company could make till date. I see PureView as another flagship device Nokia produced. But all in all, I don’t understand, why they decided to sell it in limited stocks?

Why wouldn’t a company want to sell phones (which have been applauded in the market) and make money?

As an employee, a consumer and just another person who admires Nokia as a company, I am really sad at its current position. Nokia is very much uncertain about the future of Qt within the company. Why in the world? You spend billions of euros in making an ecosystem so common that could have supported both Symbian & MeeGo without much efforts and when the time came to get the pay-back, you are uncertain about its future and decide to abandon it? WHY? Just because you are running out of cash? Just because you need more money? If this is so, then why did you not sell flagship devices like Nokia N9 and Nokia PureView? I am sure they would have broken all previous records in sales and their sales would have provided enough cash flow for Nokia to easily sustain the huge competition.

Based on my “limited” mindset, I seriously think that the current path of Nokia is not right. I (and probably all the developers, consumers out there) would have rather appreciated a Qt based ecosystem supported by platforms like Symbian, MeeGo. In order to build a more bigger developer ecosystem, may be Nokia could have released an official Qt port for Android in association with Google. I see this as a huge leap towards keeping the developers happy. One peace of code, running on all the major platforms like Symbian, MeeGo, Android. And after all this, if they were still not happy, invest a little in a small portfolio for Windows phone too. Port Qt there. Make developers, consumers happy.

When a company needs cash for operating, firing people is not always the right thing to do. Especially, for company like Nokia, probably, selling more phones (like N9, PureView, Asha series) makes more sense because it brings in the cash flow.

I am sad for Nokia. I just want it to grow big, bigger that it was a few years ago, which as of today, seems to me like a long path to cover. Although, it would not have been difficult if, in my opinion, we would have chosen a bit different path than what we have right now.

At the end, I just want Nokia to succeed. All the best.

Some other reads:

http://dot.kde.org/2012/07/09/kde-rely-qt-protect-qts-freedom-contribute-it

—8<—

With the recent strategy changes within Nokia—the largest contributor to Qt, there is uncertainty about the future of Qt that concerns KDE.

—>8—-

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/07/jolla-promises-meego-will-live-on-plans-new-smartphone/

—8<—

More than a few N9 aficionados felt their hearts sink when important MeeGo team members left Nokia this week, putting the fate of the entire swipe-friendly platform in doubt. Recently-founded Jolla was clearly watching, as it confirmed just in the nick of time that it’s planning to carry the torch further. The Finnish startup, which includes important members of the N9 team as well as veterans of the unofficial MeeGo community, not only plans to iterate on MeeGo but to build its very own smartphone…

—>8—

Feb 11, almost a year down

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It has been a little more than a year to the ‘Elop’ucation of MeeGo and Symbian. Even though the work for these platforms have still been going out at Nokia in order to fulfill the commitment of Symbian Belle and MeeGo 1.2 update, we very well know that very soon MeeGo, Symbian will be the words of the past. They will be replaced by WP7, WP8, metro ui and what not…

Personally, my heart still goes on for MeeGo. I seriously feel that MeeGo has the capability to win the smartphones market for Nokia. Most of the people who have worked for MeeGo think the same. The sad part is that the leaders within Nokia feel that Windows is the only way to go forward.

I am a big linux fan and enthusiast, but that does not mean that I would not have liked a Windows phone by Nokia. It might have been a good thing to start with. What I think more is that MeeGo was not so immature to die soon.

It deserved a couple million or billion phones more, worldwide, every corner of the globe.

I have known a few people in India, who have seen the teaser of Nokia N9 and are ready to leave their androids, iphones, wps for that.

Today, when I write this blog from my Nokia N9, I have a mixed bag of emotions. Something that worries me the most is that because of this strategic change, many good programmers and talented people have left Nokia. I sometimes also fear if Nokia just becomes the hardware store for Microsoft?

Let us see what life brings on a year down the lane. Lets believe in the Nokia leaders for a better tomorrow!

Nokia N9

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Finally, after months of hard work, Nokia N9 is out to public. Very soon, it will be available in the stores.

Nokia N9, an excellent piece of innovation as it is, has brought in focus a completely new way of user interaction: “the swipe”. Of course, all you need is a swipe!

Powered by MeeGo, N9 is a phone anyone would like to poses. With superb features like:

  • excellent social network integration (it comes with dedicated apps for facebook, twitter pre-installed and many more in the ovi store)
  • mail for exchange, pop/imap email, cal dev calendar support, skype, google talk, sip calling, voip support
  • extremely catchy ui (yes, nokia has outdone iPhone/apple in just one shot)
  • innovative gestures
  • a very good camera (8mp, carl zeiss); shoot, capture, share (over sms/email/social networks like fb, twitter)
  • good battery life
  • sleek hardware, sexy display
  • nfc
  • excellent and responsive browser, html 5 support
  • free maps (both offline and online) + navigation
  • angry birds (my personal favourite)
  • internal memory (16 to 64 gb)
  • and what not!! Visit nokia.com/n9 for details

What a general, active on social network user would want in their phone…

  1. a good camera to take pictures/videos
  2. one single ui to share the picture/video to social sites
  3. keep self updated with whats happening around (weather, social network etc) without much fuzz
  4. an email client (i personally would have more than one accounts configured into one)
  5. good integration with online services where one can keep a backup of contacts, communications
  6. personally, i would also prefer to have a good rss feed reader, also integrated with social networking features so that i can share what i read and liked

and yes, all of these features are pre-installed on this small genius. You dont really need any separate app or purchase a separate app for all this..

I have been using nokia n900 since long time. I am addicted to it. There is not any phone till now that has proved itself to be as useful as N900. N900 has been an important part of my day-to-day life. Right from checking my office/personal emails to making sip/voip calls to being in touch with friends/family using skype/google and not loosing my mobility to even writing blog posts using a dedicated application for that (wordpress for nokia)… etcetera

But now, after having used N9 for a while, I am proud to say that I have found an excellent, smarter, sexy and appealing replacement for my N900.

Nokia N9, powered by meego, rocks!

(As this is a personal blog, if you want to comment/ask something about N9, please leave it on twitter @aseemshakuntal)

http://swipe.nokia.com can be watched for more details on this excellent piece of technology.

Job cuts and Nokia

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With the February 11 strategy (of using windows as the primary smartphone development platform) in place, huge job cuts were expected. Yesterday in its workforce alignment for the latest strategy, nokia did an excellent job! The officials, it seems had crushed their brainpans to make this sad decision as helping as possible for every person that is fired.

I personally appreciate this decision because after this, the situation is not that bad as it seemed earlier. They still announced a cut in the core nokia workforce by 7000 people (not at one go though) but the way and timeline it was announced seems that it will help the employees find a new job with sometime in hand and no one will have to worry about “grave things” like what do I do to pay my child’s education from the next month or how do I pay my home load or any such thing.

Good decision taken by the Nokia Leadership team.

3000 employees to Accenture

  • nokia no longer has 3k symbian people in its payroll, but working as externals and they can be asked to leave at any time when symbian is actually stopped being used. Moreover, these 3k employees do not face layoffs and can easily be accomodated either for the windows phone program or for other projects within accenture
  • nokia saves a good deal of money as it does not have to pay compensation to at least 3k employees and easily avoids the “black mark” of firing such a huge chunk of people
  • the rest 4k people will not be fired immediately but in phases until end 2012, the first phase starting end 2011
  • whoever is fired, gets to know about this well in time and nokia promises to help them find new jobs within or outside nokia. They also help you in case you plan to start something of your own!

Nokia, connecting people?

Win DOZE!!

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Until now, the whole world is aware about the new strategy of Nokia in order to “re-gain” its lost shine. Well, in my opinion, Nokia never actually lost its shine. It were others who did new things. Though, it wasn’t the case that Nokia didn’t do anything new. We were in the right path and the results were expected very soon. It was just the case that our CEO did not believe in its own employees and thought that relatively small players in the mobile market could help Nokia shine again.

A terribly wrong (perhaps influenced and pre-decided as well) decision was made. How can one decide to put out phones primarily on a so called ecosystem which was never a success until now?

Personally, I dont find this decision that would help Nokia but Microsoft. I read somewhere that: “The best thing about Stephen is that he is not emotionally attached to a platform”. Though, after the decision, I feel he was so much attached to his previous employer!

There is not going to be an ecosystem now, no open governance; rather everything closed.

If Nokia had to go this way, I guess a better approach would have been to see the likelyhood of one or two windows phone in the market and if successful, try a few more. Moving straight forward to a decision where “windows is their primary platform” does not solve the things. They might gain some profit by reducing the head count. What else? It is only Microsoft who has been benifitted by this tie-up and not Nokia. Nokia is just like a hardware store for microsoft now!

Bullshit burning platform thing!