I have seen a number of posts on the blogosphere today stating that the newly announced Microsoft/Nokia partnership will stifle innovation at Nokia. Some have cited the Yahoo!/Bing partnership as an example saying that Yahoo! just gave up the fight in the search engine wars.
Well, that is exactly what they did…and for good reason. Yahoo! saw the writing on the wall and decided to focus on becoming a content provider rather than a search engine provider. Partnering with Bing allowed them to offer a continuously evolving search engine product while focusing in on their new business strategy.
As far as Nokia is concerned. They are a hardware company, not a software company. They have tried to compete in the SmartPhone OS arena with Symbian, but it just wasn’t working out. So why not partner with an established OS provider and focus in on what they do best…make phones. The last time that I checked, there was still room for innovation when it comes to evolving the capabilities of mobile devices. Without having to worry about making the hardware and the software, Nokia can now focus on just that.
So is today’s announcement the end of innovation at Nokia? Probably not. In fact, it might be its rebirth.