An unconfirmed report likely to raise some eyebrows asserts that Nokia is considering putting Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system on some of its upcoming devices. This would be a major reversal for the Finnish company, which has been adamant that it’s not going to use any smartphone operating system but its own.
This report comes from Eldar Murtazin of the Russian site Mobile-Review, who has a generally good track record with leaking inside information.
The person supposedly behind this change in course is Stephen Elop, who recently became the first non-Finn to be Nokia’s President and CEO. He also used to be the head of Microsoft’s business division.
This isn’t the first time reports of a Nokia/Microsoft deal on Windows Phone 7 have come to light — the last time was in September, right after Elop was hired. Nokia has always denied these reports.
The company has also said numerous times that it won’t adopt Google’s Android OS for its smartphones.
A Company in a Quandary
Nokia is the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, but it has had little success attracting customers to its high-end smartphones, which have large profit margins.
Its attempts to turn things around have lacked a certain amount of coherence. Last year, the company announced that future cutting-edge models would run Maemo, a Linux-based operating system developed in house.
In 2010, Nokia changed course and announced that it was going to merge Maemo into MeeGo, an OS it was developing with Intel. Nokia had promised to have the first MeeGo-based smartphone on the market by the end of this year, but isn’t going to make this deadline.
This had led many people to suggest that this company drop MeeGo and instead use the Android OS, which Nokia would be able to customize as much as it wants.
However, the company is supposedly looking at Microsoft’s operating system. This is somewhat surprising, as Microsoft has put strict limits on how much smartphone makers can modify Windows Phone 7, making it a challenge for device manufacturers to differentiate their products.