> Distasteful as it may be, going Windows was a rational choice for Nokia.
It seems like people have a really deep misunderstanding of what Android is about. Because the code for Android is Apache 2.0, manufacturers using Android have some flexibility when dealing with Google. Google can't just "cut off their air supply" like Microsoft can do with Windows OEMs if they do something Mr. Ballmer doesn't like. Google does have closed-source add-ons like Google Navigation, but those are optional, and some vendors, like Amazon, have chosen to go it alone.
It's fundamentally irrational for Nokia to expect Microsoft to treat it differently than it treats Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and all the other current Windows OEMs. Microsoft is used to giving orders and having them obeyed, not cultivating long-term relationships with an equal partner. It's widely known in the tech community that partnering with Microsoft is a dumb idea. Some of the internal Microsoft memos revealed by the DoJ antitrust case talk about how Microsoft needs to stop "screwing its partners" because otherwise nobody would dare to partner with them in the future.
Nokia could definitely have made a good Android phone with the resources it had available in 2009. They had a great sales channel, a great brand, good hardware guys, and even good (if mismanaged) software teams. They knew how to bring up a board, how to get the marketing machine going, and so forth. The truly smart thing to do would have been to find a way to run Symbian software on Android and offer developers and users a clear migration path. If they wanted to hedge their bets, they could have also spun up a Windows phone project too, but they should have asked Microsoft to foot most of the bills for this development.
But now? They're just an empty shell of a company. Sales are down across the board, even in the dumbphone business unit, because people have lost confidence in Nokia. Microsoft is probably going to bring out its own Windows phone and begin competing directly against Nokia. One day we'll look back at Nokia much like we look back at Commodore or Tandy. Whatever happened to those guys?
The remaining assets are NAVTEQ and the patent pool. I expect that they will easily find buyers for both of those. Unfortunately, the buyers are likely to be either Apple or Microsoft. Apple could sure use the maps team right about now.