Thoughts on Nokia-Microsoft

I’m not quite sure what to think about the latest revelations. Should I be disappointed that my favourite handset manufacturer has joined forces with my least favourite operating system vendor? Or should I rejoice that, perhaps by the end of the year, I’ll be able to write games and play them on my own handset without jumping ship?

What I am not feeling, is surprise.

Anyone surprised by these revelations simply hasn’t been paying attention. Nokia has been in trouble ever since the end of the 6310 era. The hardware has always been world-class, but the software, er, hasn’t. Trying to juggle two-and-a-half different operating systems was doomed to failure. But the writing was most clearly on the wall this time last year.

All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth; the “who’s going to develop for MeeGo now?“; it’s all exactly the same as for the N900 and Maemo, a year ago. To abandon one flagship project is careless; twice seems like enemy action.

This new relationship between Nokia and Microsoft might just save the Finnish giant – assuming Redmond don’t just buy them out. It’s undoubtedly their best option from here. Despite having an enormous R&D team, Nokia don’t seem to have capitalised on the innovations they have made or bought in; hopefully the merger will result in something more visionary, more Jobsian.

Would I have preferred something a bit more open? Well, I’m a mass of hypocrisy on that. I’m a FOSS advocate who writes Windows games rather than Java games. I own a Maemo N900 but bemoan the fact that there are no apps and have bought an iPod Touch (if there’s anything more closed than Windows, it’s Apple).

I think on balance, I’m happy. Ask me in December when my phone contract is up for renewal 🙂

  1. I was in the gym when I heard this – I got a lot of weird looks for my “Yesssssssssss!!!!”

    I believe the iron is hot, mate – and I intend to strike! I’m thinking that the phone is the way to go – look at Angry Birds, for instance – all we need is our own suitably addictive game for the Winokia.

    I also think that the turn-around time for WinPhone games will potentially be much faster than traditional games, and from what I can see, the XNA community seem to be more focused on playing with the tech than creating simple, addictive games.

    Don’t know about you but I’ve been kicking myself a bit for not doing more sooner – we missed the boat with the ST, but I think this is a genuine opportunity.

      • pauliharman
      • February 14th, 2011

      I’m already thinking about the touch controls for InterSceptre (specifically, I’m implementing the options screen and making sure I do it in a touch-friendly way). I’ve also abandoned thoughts for a puzzle-platformer while I try to come up with a simple time-limited puzzle game.

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