Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Nokia Appears on Verge of Adopting Windows Phone, as MeeGo, Android Fade From Consideration

While neither Microsoft nor Nokia will confirm it, the software giant appears to be less than 48 hours away from scoring a huge new backer for its Windows Phone operating system.

Nokia has said it will announce its future direction at a meeting with investors in London on Friday. During last month’s earnings conference call, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop suggested that the company was considering new alternatives to power its next generations of high-end smartphones.

What appeared to be several viable options has narrowed significantly. For years, Nokia has been planning a move to MeeGo, a mobile variant of Linux that has been backed by Nokia and Intel. However, Elop had nothing nice to say about MeeGo in this week’s scathing memo to staff.

“We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones,” Elop said in the sharply worded note. “However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.”

Windows Phone was seen as one of two primary options for Nokia. Android was also said to be under serious consideration, but a tweet from Google’s Vic Gundotra (pictured below) suggests that it, too, is out of the running.

“Two turkeys do not make an Eagle,” Gundotra wrote, using Feb. 11–the date of Nokia’s investor event–as the lone hashtag for the post.

That appears to leave Windows Phone 7 as the last operating system standing.

That Windows would end up as Elop’s choice is not a huge shocker. Nokia has been inching closer to Microsoft for some years now. Initially, Nokia licensed Microsoft’s technology for connecting to corporate email, and, in an expanded deal from 2009, Microsoft agreed to develop mobile versions of Office for Nokia’s phones. The two companies also struck a deal in 2007 to load Windows Live services on Nokia phones.

And, of course, there is the fact that Elop was a division president at Microsoft right up until he took the top spot at Nokia back in September.

Mobilized is looking forward to the family reunion on Friday and is wondering only which of Elop’s former co-workers will be there to shake his hand. London is right on the way to Barcelona, where Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is slated to deliver a keynote at the Mobile World Congress on Monday.

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