Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Google Tweet-Bashes Nokia Again, but Will Elop Get the Last #Laugh?

Well, another day, another snarky tweet from a prominent Google personage aimed at Nokia over its apparent decision to choose Windows Phone 7 over Android.

Earlier this week it was Vic Gundotra–a 15-year Microsoft veteran before he joined Google–who tweeted that “Two turkeys don’t equal an Eagle.” On Thursday, it was Google’s Tim Bray taking a shot directly at Stephen Elop.

“Poor Mr. Elop. Has to make the big tech call not ever having written a line of mobile code or done system bring-up work,” Bray said in a tweet.

Bray later backpedaled, taking down the tweet and adding in subsequent postings (see below) that he has no inside info on Nokia, that he is not an executive at Google and that what he said is true of lots of executives, not just Elop.

But, of course, words aren’t the real issue for either Microsoft or Nokia. Apple and Android have already posted their real challenge, and it isn’t anything they have said on Twitter. Between them, they not only have most of the ultra-high-end smartphone business, but also the lion’s share of attention from developers, investors, advertisers and other key parts of the mobile world.

In going with Windows Phone, Elop is making a bold bet–both that Nokia will be able to stand out on someone else’s platform and, more importantly, that Windows Phone itself will be a winner.

Only time will answer that question. I would point out, though, that Nokia is not the first phone maker in a jam that made a bet on Microsoft. Some years back, Palm decided to start selling phones with Windows Mobile–the predecessor to Windows Phone. The venture was launched as a bringing together of two giants, with Bill Gates and Palm’s chief executive sharing a stage in San Francisco to tout the promise of the union. In the end, neither the Palm OS nor Windows Mobile were able to gain ground and the partnership fizzled.

We’ll get to hear directly from Elop on Friday when he addresses investors at a meeting in London. Mobilized will be there with live coverage starting at 11 am local time (3 am PT).

But it is a new day. Nokia is not Palm and Windows Phone is not Windows Mobile. The question now is whether this sequel will have a different ending.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik