Nokia’s Investor Event kicked off in London this morning among the flurry of news surrounding the new partnership between the Finnish handset manufacturer and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform.
Nokia will now officially be using Windows Phone 7 as their core smartphone OS, but that nearly wasn’t the case according to Nokia CEO Stepehn Elop, who took to the stage with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to talk through the details of the partnership. Android very nealy became the OS of choice.
Elop explained that Nokia had “explored the opportunity with the Google ecosystem…there’s some attractive elements but our fundamental belief is that we would have difficulty differentiating.”
Problems “commoditizing” the software, as well as the growing number of Android handsets at all price points were noted as hurdles, particularly given Nokia’s already-sturdy mid-and-low range catalogue of handsets.
Elop has a point when it comes to making the Android software experience unique and there are certainly difficulties when making “differentiating” incusions to the OS. Only HTC, with the Sense UI have managed to truly put a worthwhile stamp on the platform that is their own. But with Windows Phone 7 software all-but-identical from handset to handset, you have to wonder how differentiated even Nokia’s new WP7 gear turns out to be.