Nokia Android

Secrets on the inside: Nokia had Android, Microsoft had the Surface Phone

Shortly after joining Nokia as CEO, Stephen Elop issued a company internal memo titled “Burning Platform”. The memo served as a wake-up call for Nokia to rethink their strategy going forward in regards to which mobile platform they were going to build the company upon. It was then a couple of months later at Mobile World Congress 2011 that Nokia announced they would be using Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

Since then, tech pundits and consumers alike have cried for a high-end Nokia smartphone running Android. Nokia has always shot down those pleas, but that might not having always been the case internally. Nokia had Android running on Lumia hardware at one point.

A post by the New York Times details the history between Nokia and Android. While Microsoft and Nokia have publically always seen eye-to-eye in regards to their bullishness with Windows Phone, behind closed doors things weren’t so rosy. An internal secret project at Nokia had Android running on Lumia hardware. The project was sort of a Plan B if things with Windows Phone didn’t work out. The deal between Microsoft and Nokia was always up for renewal at the end of 2014.

Nokia wasn’t alone in having a Plan B. We’ve always heard rumors of a Surface Phone, a device from Microsoft to save Windows Phone from OEMs. Over at The Verge, we now know a little bit more about the long rumored device. According to internal sources, Microsoft had several prototype devices internally as their own Plan B. The secret phone project was headed by Terry Myerson.

What pushed Nokia to really look into Android? It was the progress at which Microsoft had with the Tango update for Windows Phone. Tango was the update that allowed Windows Phone to run on lower end hardware, something that Nokia was adamant about having. They played around with Linux and Android on low-end hardware internally as Microsoft worked on Tango. As we know, the next billion smartphone users will come from hardware that isn’t on the cutting edge.

What would the world be like with Nokia making Android devices and Microsoft producing their own hardware? We’ll never know, but we’ll might see those questions answered in a weird way. Microsoft phones made by “Nokia”.

Source: New York Times, The Verge


Reader comments

Secrets on the inside: Nokia had Android, Microsoft had the Surface Phone



If Nokia would have made and android phone the would've been top of the notch,and they would have cell a lot maybe more than anyone else , but I'm glad they didn't take the copy way , and picked the slow but steady original WP way , I hate copy , if I were to be rich I would have everything custom made that only me have it mmmmm except WP lol

I disagree with you and I dont have a wife.
On a more serious note, this was precisely my concern with MS buying Nokia, that the urgency to get things done will die out. The verge notes that Nokia wasnt pleased with MS efforts to bring WP to low end hardware, that was pretty slow (and quite broken on WP7) to pan out. This is why I always felt more comfortable trusting Nokia than MS, they have the urgency to get things done and hence bring out great handsets since they had more to lose in the near term as compared to MS who could lose the whole of WP and still not be too badly affected overall.
RIP Nokia, I just hope your spirit lives on and doesnt get slo-moed by the sluggish MS.

True.. Nokia Still has the Best Hardware Quality! :) and Crappy companies like Samsung has Ruined Android.. I personally don't Like Android :/ I would prefer Apple iPhone ... I have never liked Android because it's Sooo much in use, every other mobile compapy (Including Local companies like intex, micromax, lava xolo, karbonn, etc etc) are providing Android on Cheap hardware... They have Ruined the mobile Quality.. :/ I don't find android easy to use as well.. :) Windows phone is slow right now, but I'm Damn sure, WP 8.1 will be the answer to all ... :) Even iphone did not have the Notifications and most of the things till iOS 4.... :)

HTC also make quality prducts and right now is in a very bad position , people seem to like Samsung "quality"

Yea you're right.People choosing android not because of android itself,but blind consumers seeking Galaxy brand in their devices.Real Consumer doesn't need blazing fast CPU on mobile device ,1080p or 20k display on small screen device such as 4 to 6 inches screen.People seeking on apps quality on the store.

Nokia the best hardware quality... Among the worst "Made in China" out there. Samsung has made Android a mass market product, if you dont like Touchwiz (I hate it.) you can get Sense on a HTC. On Android the skin makes a huge difference. As to the quality of Samsung devices, they are good for the price only in the segments they are trying to gain market share, once they dominate in Volume, they raise the price and the customer tends to gets screwed. The Samsung S4 is a prime example, much too high MRSP for what you get, much lower real street price to keep the volume up.

Yeah! thank goodness other wise WP will be doomed if Nokia strated manufacturing Android phone.
There will be no one will be at loss other than MS and WP.
and Nokia will be the one who gain most but...R.I.P Nokia,

I knew it! But to be fair, in an alternate reality where Lumia runs android, it would be almost fact that Lumia droids will dominate.

Broke would be my guess, unless Google propped Nokia up like Microsoft did in 2011. Or bought them out like Motorola.
I would hate to have seen some of these fanboys on the day Nokia went under, mass suicides most likely.

I'm kind of looking forward to this new HTC Harmony that's (probably?) coming up. But yeah, HTC's really fucked.

Weird how consumers go to Android and not realising that the choice of brands is one of the biggest advantages of going to that OS. Especially when HTC's flagships are critically praised, moreso than Samsung's...

Samsung are doing a great job with android and I would leave them to it. Whereas when Samsung made a WP8 it wasn't so famous. So lets stick to what we're good at is something I would say to nokia

I totally would have bought the Ativ if they'd have released it for TMOUS, that was the original phone I was expecting to get, more than the 920 (had that made it).  It was my original #1 choice.  They didn't offer it for me, I didn't buy it.  I got the only choice I had (8x) then the 925, and I'll likely snap up one of those 1520's because I do love my Nokia phone.  If samsung came out with a windows phone that felt better to hold than my nokia (or my next Nokia) I'd buy it.  I expect the end of Nokia exclusive apps with the purchase so they'll be competing completely on quality from my POV (which they also are #1 in)

Yeah, pretty sure of that.
Which means, if someone should be crossing their fingers and praying to all the Saints that Nokia shareholders don't vote against the deal...that someone is Samsung =P

hmm. the Shareholders of Nokia already have approve the deal. Which is the reason why the stock for Nokia is up so high right now.  MS just needs the european and US government to approve

The shares are up because the market assumes the deal will be completed. They haven't had a chance to call a shareholder meeting to vote on the sale yet.

Actually, no. The Board of Directors, controlled by Elop, approved. But they need to hold a voting for the shareholders to have final word (and the government, of course).
That voting is expected to happen in November.

We need sources to back up this fact...

 I "believe" they would be in even more trouble. People are comparing phone-phone, have to compare Marketing and Manufacturing. 

Nokia is not even close to the marketing of Samsung. You would be seeing AT&T exclusive android devices...while others go to Samsung.

Not Likely. Nokia wouldn't have gotten the cash infusion from Microsoft and it would have taken the same years time to get the android phone ready. In the mean time, they would have burned through their cash reserves and wouldn't have enough to compete with Samsung's marketing. The same nerds who say they would buy a Nokia if it had android, wouldn't buy it because it doesn't have an sd card or removable battery. There is also a good chance the initial phone wouldn't have the top specs because by the time Nokia would be ready with a phone, new SOCs would be released.

I agree, they would have given Samsung a run for their money.. and they might have come on top.. They went with windows phone alone and they perished. Very very Bad move in hindsight to go windows phone alone.

They perished? You're trippin! Nokia is just getting started and so far people are seeing that cameras are a big deal so once that multi billion dollar cash flow from Microsoft kicks in, they'll be spooning that cash like icing.

Whether people 'knew it' or not, it comes down to the fact that Nokia testing with Android and Linux was just good business sense. They would have done a SWOT analysis, and determined what they needed to do to ensure they had a plan that took into account weaknesses and threats to the business continuity if the prime Windows Phone strategy was not going to pan out as planned.

I really truly don't understand why there is so much love for Android. Fragmented. Battery hungry. Horrible to look at. Why so much emotion is poured into wanting _another_ handset maker when there are already too many Android handsets in the world - polluting the planet with its inconsistent UI, its intrusive data mining and lack of privacy. I just don't get it. They are ok, but nothing more than ok. Why so much fanboism. Perplexing. I could live the rest of my life without Android in it.

You took the words right out of my mouth! Android is just a mess... my husband just got a new Galaxy s4 a momth ago,  stupid thing has already craashed a half dozen times. 
Windows + Nokia FTW!

All I see around me, especially with higher end Android devices is people b*tching about how the phone crashes, does not run app 'so and so' or simple does not work as advertised. Problem is, Stock android is actually OK, but these Samsung phones have soo much bloat and crap added it ruins the whole idea. If you look at the way Nokia adds to the WP platform it's a much more integrated and smooth experience.
Nokia would have never been able to compete at thelevel Samsung is at purely based on resouces. They would not have been able to sell any high end devices and would be stuck in the low to mid end at best. They _could_ have been where Samsung is now if they jumped on the Android bandwagon at the same time as Samsung. That ship sailed and the move to WP was the only route open at the time.

Lies! Android users say Android never crash and its perfect and its better than windows phone! Android is the best! *sarcasm*

That is not hard to understand. Most androids are crappy halfbaked devices in terms of hardware and software so those who demanded Nokia on android just wanted for Tier 1 manufacturer to come and finally make an android phone "done right".

Well ... I have both. And setup both with nearly equal services (emails, exchanges, gtalk, facebook, twitter, whatsapp, line, foursquare, and instagram). And guess what? Within a week, my Android consume between doubled to tripled data amount compared to my Lumia. So I just call it a day and revoke the data plan for android and using wifi instead only when needed. I don't really know why this can happening.

   What he said. Just like that Sony device popped up running WP7, I'm sure that eventually, an old Lumia N9 or 800 will pop up with Android 2.3 running on it and it will be a collectable.

Well, Microsoft is calling itself a "devices and services" company now and they make all of their services available for Android, so is it too far fetched that even Microsoft would release an Android phone after the Nokia deal is done? It wouldn't surprise me. I sure as hell wouldn't get it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

They also make services to OSX and iOS, are you gonna say (going by your logic) they are going to release a Mac Microsoft version, orr iPad Windows version?
well i guess, when you actually use your brain, you will probably answer the question you asked.
of course I know you dont understand a company like Microsoft has to try and compete in some services with other with crossplatform apps/companies/services...

NYT article also says that the Android phone was started being build very early this year or already last year. Meaning on a normal 12 month cycle they would have likely had Android phone right away ready when they could have left the WP deal.
Making it quite clear that Nokia saw WP strategy not being a viable option. 
But I guess it ended up well for both. Nokia still got nice amount of cash for its non profitable part, while keeping slightly over half of the company and all the profitable parts, and they got rid of WP.
MS in a other hand got Nokia's devices plants and much of the R&D centers to push more cash to R&D. Nokia naturally kept its NSN R&D centers and the material R&D specialised to graphene in Cambridge and Helsinki, part of the Advanced technologies, 

Microsoft and Nokia haven't got anything yet. The deal was just proposed, not finalized.

It's like a marriage of praying mantis. Microsoft (the female) asked Nokia to marry them. Nokia shareholders are the male...and they have yet to say yes. If they do, then they marry and the female eats the male.

Well if the males have nothing better to do except just spend the whole day complaining and fighting online instead of taking care of the female or the family then they might as well be used to feed an empty stomach. I bet if female humans did that, world hunger would be solved.

Well, humans aren't praying mantises. Also consider that a praying mantis lays hundreds of eggs, and the male isn't always eaten.

Yep. It was pretty obvious, to non fanboys, that Nokia was leaning towards Android once the exclusive WP deal would have been up.

I don't think it was "obvious". Thus was also just testing and tinkering. I think they did it to create leverage with Microsoft to get into the lower spec race. I also think they were leveraging for more cash and/or better licensing arrangements. I don't think we would have seen a Nokia Android, but it's all speculation now. Not much is "obvious" in technology or business.

@bradbamford...I think it's safe to say that Nokia was already testing Android even BEFORE they decided to go with Windows Phone.  I remember reading an article on Engadget in 2010 where Anssi Vanjoki stated that they wouldn't "pee in their pants" (hence, choose Android as their main OS); so obviously they tested Android to the extent that they knew they didn't want to go that route.
Level headed readers knew that Android was an option for Nokia - Android couldn't be an option unless Nokia tested it first.  The Board of Directors chose Windows Phone, and Nokia+Windows Phone fans are enjoying these devices.

You know, the Lumia running Android looks brilliant. If only Nokia released that phone. Too bad Nokia won't be here anymore. (as a phone maker, that is).

The part of Nokia that made phones...will still make phones.. I don't know why people don't get this? lol

Of course, but it's going to be under Microsoft-- I meant that a Nokia droid won't happen, not that there won't be any Nokia phones for the next 10 years. :)

Sam, I've read & read this - but I can't wrap my head around this. Nokia is selling itself to MS, but only lease the patents for 10 years, but you say MS is NOT buying Nokia the cellphone company? What did & didn't MS buy? Please write this answer for a simpleton like me.

Ms bought all except mapping ,and network infrastructure.snd the got some patents other patents were licensed.thats what Paul said

To put it simply, Microsoft didn't buy Nokia. They buy Nokia's factories for mobile phones, along with it's RnD and employees. So it's not about acquisition, but buying other company's facility. That's why Microsoft can't use Nokia brand in the long run. It's different with Google buying Motorola Mobility as a company where they can makes Motorola phones as long as they like.

This is my understanding upon reading the news. CMIIW

The same people are going to be making the same phones in the same places. Nothing's changing except for who gives them the money to do so.

I still REALLY want a Surface Phone as part of the surface family of devices, it would be epic. They should do it now that they have acquired Nokia, its not like it matters if they annoy them now!

I feel ya bruh! I bet they will eventually, maybe to try and boost the Surface brand? The RT didn't go too well with that..

Would love a surface phone, too. I definitely think it would not have been good before... But now? Love Microsoft's recent hardware. Take Zune HD and marry it with the Surface.

Whilst the idea intrigues me, part of what makes Lumias so unique is the OS contained therein. Sure the phones are fun and colorful, but it's taken to the next level when the OS is too.

Also, if Nokia chose Android, devices like 520 wouldn't exist, Android is just too much a resource hog to make such budget hardware run smoothly. So while I'm glad Nokia went the Windows Phone route, I am curious to see what could've been done with Android. But just like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. Likewise, we may never know what potential the Surface Phone had.

What makes 520 so great is the fact that the HW is cheaper to comparable Android phones, dual core Snapdragon phones generally retail for twice or thrice the price of a 520, and they operate pretty smooth. WP8 min specs are NOT low!

Android really doesn't look so good on Nokia hardware. It only suits jet black hardware like the nexus and it goes very well with the HTC one. I know Nokia is in a bit of a pickle so to survive it must get busy (and yes I know they work extremely hard) therefore, they could possibly make simple black/white phones for android to run on. But here the problem is that they will be going against Samsung so im not very sure about sales. Its beneficial for them to get better and better at the WP platform, since they're leading sales anyway. WP + Nokia is a perfect match.

Yup, Nokia is champ of the Windows camp. And Android has too many competitors vying for second place against Samsung, it's just nasty over there. Nokia should continue what they've been doing: increasing the market awareness and appeal of Windows Phone, and the sale will soon follow. Honestly, Nokia is practically the only way to go in the world of Windows Phone, sorry to everyone else, but facts are facts.

True. To be honest, if I wasn't such an audiophile and didn't really want that dedicated audio chip in that HTC 8X, Lumia would've been an EASY choice. I can survive without the other things but I need my music awesomely awesome :P Hence why variety is good :)

This really is not surprising that their R&D deptartment was experimenting with Android.  I'd argue that it would be stupid if they didn't.  Most companies look ahead 5, 10 years in where they want to go.  They would have had to explore other options, and be ready, when the MS deal expired in 2014, assumming WP was not as successful as they wanted.

I think they would be testing the waters irregardless of the success of WP. Samsung has done so with WP despite the fact that they're dominating the Android world and it would make sense for Nokia to have done likewise. All your eggs in one basket and such.
I find it a bit humorous that so many of the articles pertaining to this, have tried to report it as Nokia dropping WP for Android. Just because they want to explore the options, that hardly means that they say goodbye to a space that they're dominating. Hell, I hardly even find this newsworthy, because I assumed that they were doing this well before these reports started showing up.

LOL curiously, that's what Android fans are saying too, regarding Nokia's/WP partnership.

Lol!  Curiously, when Nokia released the N8 and the 808, nary a Fandroid was craving Nokia's hardware, camera tech, or designs; it wasn't until Nokia chose to use WP on their hardware instead of Android that the Fandroids started to criticise Nokia - they felt slighted (as if every OEM should automatically want or desire Android).
Couple Nokia choosing WP over Android with the fact that Nokia brought very appealing aesthetics to mobile phones, something that no one other than Apple was doing at the time, only fueled the Fandroid rage.
Indeed, Android (the OS and the UI) would have sullied the Nokia hardware and aesthetic.

So Nokia wasn't preparing Android, right? I swear I got shot down here a couple of times by hardcore WP-fans just my suggesting that Nokia could jump to Android.
Oh, how I love to be right.

Anyway, "What would the world be like with Nokia making Android devices and Microsoft producing their own hardware?"

A much better world, where almost everyone would be pleased. Nokia WP fans would have their phones, Nokia-only fans who prefered Android would have their phones, and Microsoft-only fans would have their phones.
Plus, with what Nokia can do for an OS, I'm sure even critics of Android would love Nokia's version. 'cause remember, unlike WP, Android OEM's can change the OS at their whims. Which is why, for example, you can hate Android on an LG but love it on a Sony.
As for this...I'm now really hopping the deal fails. I want Nokia with options and alive. Not as a puppet part of Microsoft. I want options. Competition. That's what drives OS's forward.

Here you go again. I'll repeat it once again: if Nokia disappears, I'm moving to ANDROID. Sony. Got that now? Or do you want me to draw it for you?

(but yes, I am hopping to get one of those devices. You can be sure of that.)

What, you don't like Samsung? Although if you have a playstation its probably best to stick with Sony...why they don't have anymore Play phones is beyond me. Anyway, you certainly can be a drag here... =/

I actually hate Samsung =P

And yes, if I have to pick an Android because Nokia's gone, Sony is the best option to me because it has the best camera's on Android and has the plus of the Playstation connection. It's the one that offers better value (also, I also prefer Sony's mould of Android, specially when it comes to access to the multitasking screens)

Sorry, I forgot you switched it up to Android. Originally you did say iPhone though.
I think I'll keep saying iPhone, it seems to annoy you more.
I just don't understand why a strictly Nokia fan is on a Windows Phone site when you obviously hate WP. Wouldn't you be better served on a Nokia site?
Edit: I thought about it and would indeed enjoy seeing a descriptive drawing.

Ok, let me make this clear: I DON'T hate Windows Phone. I have, however, become very frustrated with its lack of improvements by Microsoft. If Microsoft had been way more committed to the platform, improving features more regularly and without all the carriers hogwash in the middle etc, I would certainly be a much happier consumer of the WP. Again, I don't hate Windows Phone. There are many things I really like about it (and the live tiles is one of them). But an OS has to be much much more than just a pretty design.
Nokia has done all the work for Microsoft. They release apps, they add features, they do everything. If Nokia goes and all is left is Microsoft's command, you can understand why I have little in the future of the OS. Sure, Nokia employee's can still be there, but their orders and their pace will be marked by MS. and Microsoft's conducting skills in regards to WP are very very poor.
(I would be far more happy if, for example, Microsoft bought Nokia, but left the company intact and, instead, had transferred the WP team over to Nokia.)

To answer your question about "why be here", I guess that's obvious. I own Nokia phones. Nokia phones run Windows Phone. And Windows Phone Central is pretty much the best place to always be up to date with what's going on not only in terms of Apps and updates but also in terms of future phones by Nokia etc.
I don't think worshipping the ground Windows Phone steps in is a requisite.

(post scriptum: I promise I will think of the best way to provide you with a drawing. And yes, I hate Apple. Which is why I wasn't happy at all to be forced into their OS if Nokia disappears. Luckily, Sony came along and released the Z1 just in time.)

He is going to get a Z1, then go flaming why Google release improvement so slow and do not do anything for Sony, and then blame all the carriers hogwash on Google.

Resources would have been spread too thinly for Nokia in the beginning. They'd only survive by a miracle. (think, r&d for both phones and OS, then production, then advertising, then distribution... They would be treading on eggshells.

Whoa their R&D team were making options for when the Microsoft deal ended in 2014 just INCASE it wasn't as successful as they hoped.
That totally means they were ready to ditch WP! WRONG!

DJCBS makes it sound like Nokia was trying to ditch the Windows Phone platform because it was unsuccessful. When really Nokia was just making sure it can still be Nokia if the whole plan went sour after the deal ended.

I would had loved an Android Lumia. Nokia would had been able to produce on their speed.

I think it was just a crappy, but somewhat humorous, graphic they posted on Twitter. Something about how your Lumia survives the apocalypse.
Of course WPC, will just act like it never happened since they hyped it up with an article and it turned out to nothing worth noting.

It all points back to Microsoft's lack of urgency in developing WP. When core features like LTE had to be forced on them its no wonder Nokia started looking for an alternative. And still today, the OS is lagging behind and MS is taking their time updating the OS. What will it take to get Microsoft off their butts and moving fast with Windows Phone?

You mean like the lagdroid fast moving updates?  Oh wait, there are millions of lagdroid phones without even the last couple of updates.  I had a droid, thought it was one of the crappiest running OSs I had ever used.

How is that ??? Doesn't Android belong to google (as a software) then how is that possible ?? And wouldn't this be Symbian (upgraded version)

Microsoft should post a picture of a Lumia running android for Halloween. Can't believe it. The NYT is simply trying to get some more subscriptions. That's the only reason they wrote this piece.

I still want the Surface Phone. I mean I really want a Surface Phone that looked like the render from last year. Of course I also still believe they should have called the OS "Surface" which would mean all WP's would be Surface Phones. But yeah, still want it and hope they do it.

There isn't necessarily strange about having a 'secret' department working on handsets with other o/s, or even pulling apart other devices all together. It wouldn't surprise me if both apple and ms don't have a secret room somewhere where they build their own android devices. It doesn't mean that it was/wasn't in their plans.

All this really means is that Nokia were keeping on top of the industry, making sure they keep up to date. From a commercial perspective it would be very bad practice if they didn't have another move available if wp suddenly got dropped by ms. I do believe that Nokia had no intention of making an android phone for release, but had their 'secret' room for r&d and a 'sh*t hit the fan' scenario.

If Nokia did went with android, they can probably recreate the swipe UI of Meego based on android. And the lumia(N9) hardware design was originally created to work with Meego.

To be honest here, Meego was underdeveloped - due to Nokia's complacency. It should have been way better than Android - it doesn't rely on Java to do work. I look forward to Sailfish, to see how they push it to its potential.

There's also a good chance that they were the reason GDR2 came out later than expected, apparently they were behind on Amber. Which sounds right, considering notifications were supposed to be with Glance.

A Surface phone would have been really cool. I mean they already made tablets, how hard is it to shrink that down into a phone?

There is already too much android as it is! Nokia would have done worse if it went the way of the droid and we wouldn't have the good competition this industry needs.
Just so no to androids, there not good for you. And keep them away from your children.

Now that MS is purchasing Nokia, I think they should release the surface phone. We need all hands on deck, to compete against Android & Apple. People purchase apple because of device quality & looks; Android for features. So while I'm a Lumia user and huge fan of Nokia, the design still hasn't converted enough users, the surface may just what we need you ignite the switch!

Nokia already has variants for every possible taste and preference, with more on the way. They have singlehandedly created as much variety as exists in the entire Android ecosystem. Anyone who wants a WP but can't find a suitable Nokia is anti-Nokia, plain and simple.

I heard Newkia will build android phones with the lumia design. I read that somewhere, probably technobuffalo

Jesus isn't real & neither are any of the "gods" religion is for week people to be controls by arse holes that no one would listen to if there was no religion..

WP was the right choice at that time for Nokia,the money injected into the company by Microsoft was a no brainer.It was way to late in the game to try and compete with Samsung.

That money went against the about 10 million WP lincences Nokia was/is forced to purchase every quarter.

Microsoft is paying their license fees for WP that's a good thing, all the other manufacturers are paying 15 to 20 dollars per handset,and Nokia isn't being forced to do anything that was their choice.Nokia was floundering before Microsoft stepped in, now they are out of the red and making a profit.

Of course, it is better for Nokia to get that "support" payment than not getting it, but they were actually losing money on that deal even with no license payments, as they part of the money went against mapping and patent licenses. Nokia was making a profit before the WP-deal, and they are not making a profit now, thanks to the WP-unit. They should be making a profit again after the sale of the Devices & Services -unit.
WP-deal had the potential to work, it would have had better potential had MS been up to the game.

Come on dude really?If that was the case then Nokia had no reason to sign a deal right,lol.The stock was tanking and there phones weren't setting the world on fire they had to do something and Microsoft was the best solution at the time.Three minor updates this year and 8.1 early next year Microsoft is doing exactly what needs to be done.

Well, obviously they expected to start selling over 10 million per quarter relatively quickly. That did not happen. MS was a solution, it is pretty much impossible to know what would have been the best solution, Android would very likely have been a better solution.

Go ask HTC how things are going? They just laid off half their US work force the other day.The only company's making a profit off Android is Samsung and Motorola.Nokia would be struggling like HTC if it wasn't for the Microsoft deal a few years back.

Funny enough, it is kinda the other way around. HTC is the only company not making a profit on Android, and I do believe Nokia > HTC in market presence(especially in 2011/2012) as well as quality.

Man it would have been great to have Nokia's excellent hardware running an OS that actually has effective notifications, working widgets, an app ecosystem that's not embarrasingly behind the times, customisable text tones, rotation lock, etc.
The design language of Windows Phone is great, but Microsoft has seriously dropped the ball at this point. The idea that they needed surface phone to "save them from OEMs" is laughable, they've dug their own grave

Not sure if they would sell more with amdroid ... Old school nokia fans never cared about OS it was always the name behind it

This leaks conveniently feels like saying, "See we were also testing Android and considering other options. And Microsoft was also planning for a Surface Phone. Hence, Stephen Elop is not a trojan horse."
I know ridiculous to link all these things. But now we finally have away of battling all those people claiming Stephen Elop was a trojan horse. Hehe...

Android is a mess,all fragmented, their os stinks,so many apps contain malware.I should know,I just switched to windows after 3 years of android.1st phone was an lg optimus one,crashed or hanged half the time.2nd phone,samsung galaxy s, same problems as lg phone,in fact worse,freeze ups,battery pulls every 2nd day or I can't even make calls,what a nightmare,I'm so happy to be out of that os,,royal pita!

I'm not sure about how much successful Nokia would have been with Android handsets but one thing for sure, phone would have been a beautiful hardware with very less skinned or pure vanilla Android. This version would have been so much better than Samsung, HTC or LG., but it all comes down to "what if" scenarios which will never happen.
But Microsoft making surface phone is a joke. I'm not saying it would have been a bad hardware (look at surface tablet, it's beautiful) but Microsoft doesn't have Nokia's brand recognition, value or trust. So Nokia would have ruled over surface brand and no question about it.
But one point is sure though Microsoft is very slow with their updates and iterations and many people don't like it and it's a fact. I have a Nokia lumia and I love it, but I have seen people saying, it's a beautiful looking hardware but "meh it runs WP". until Microsoft can change that thinking process in consumers it won't succeed much in trading market share from either from Android or iOS.

Now it clear that MS had no other option but to buy Nokia. If Nokia switched to Android by 2014, WP would have been dead.

Nokia would have to invest more time in modifying core Android to make it unique to Nokia, with respect to themeing, colours, etc... google with its Arrogance would not have allowed that and there is mapping, do you thing Google would have allowed that, no way. Here maps has the ability to save maps on the phone, Google is trying hard to achieve that but is not able to.... would google like all that location info to go to Nokia? and Nokia had invested 7 Billion in that area, they too would not have given up this.
Then there is smooth UI experience that is very difficult to maintain, Java performance issues, it is always known in the industry is that Java is a mem, cpu and IO hog, recommended only for enterprise apps. there is an industry that thrives or performance optimizing Java for running these enterprise applications. This are not possible in the Mobility industry.. That is why we see that only Nexus phones have a smooth UI. All other modifications of android have performance issues, I had a Galaxy S3, the so called most successful phone on Android. It is a known fact that you have to reboot this Android :) every 48 hours.
I am sure that exact technical reason for chooing WP over Android will be out soon, though not officially from Nokia.

The world would come to an end if Nokia made those other os(can't say that name!) phones. And we all know that not a single phone with low specs can run that os (can't say it!) as it should.
It would make no sense for Nokia as the basic models are their key to spread out. Actually those crappy sweets will kill their own markets because people won't by another crappy (that name again) phone.

You know what happens when you slip a pack of Kit Kats into your pocket?
They melt!

Look, I understand that you guys like Windows Phone over any other platform and if you do after having tried other platforms, then kudos to you.
But some of you make sweeping generalizations about Android that range from misleading at best to outright delusional and blatantly false at worst.
Android isn't perfect, none of the platforms are, but it is generally smooth, stable, has an ecosystem that outstrips Microsoft, and offers a lot of choice on both the high end and the low end.
You can buy the Nexus 4 off contract for $250, and the Nexus 7 for $229.  Both have high end hardware and run with no lag, and have a killer ecosystem.   Nokia and Windows Phone do not have a device in either category that competes.
I've owned both WP7 and WP8 devices and grew frustrated with the lack of feature parity driven by Microsoft, and which handicapped Nokia from competing on the high end.  WP has the foundation it needs to be a serious contender, but Microsoft is letting it languish with technologies that are outdated in comparison to rivals and not giving developers a compelling ecosystem to build in.   There are major gaps in Applications which prevent widespread adoption, Mobile IE lags far behind Webkit-based browsers, it lacks basic features like rotation lock and a notification center.
There are millions of regular people who are perfectly satisfied with Android, have the apps and games they want, and who upgrade to another Android when given the chance.  Microsoft has to give those people a reason to switch, and if WP development doesn't kick it up a notch, they'll never seriously compete.
If you want Microsoft to compete, they need to be taken to task to address feature gaps between WP and Android/iOS.  Living in a state of denial preaching that Windows Phone is perfect and Android is unusable just diminishes any credibility you might have and masks legitimate issues with WP that need to be public, need to be addressed, and will prevent WP from competing on a large scale.
I use a lot of Google services but I like a lot of Microsoft's as well.  But coming here and seeing the community in a complete state of denial about how WP stacks up to competing OSs makes me not want to be part of the community and makes me question whether MS will receive actual honest feedback from its most passionate users and address its deficiencies if the community denies that it exists and that everything is fine.
I challenge you all to start talking less about how much Android sucks and start talking more about where it lacks.  Microsoft reads these forums and if they think they are doing everything right, they won't address critical needs. If you want your community and platform to grow, stop claiming things about rivals that aren't true and start focusing on how WP can better compete.  Talk about WP's strengths, and its uniqueness compared to rivals while honestly addressing it's faults and weaknesses.  People considering WP will take you more seriously if you are honest and MS will start paying attention.
That's all I have to say.  I hope you don't dismiss me as a troll, because that wasn't my intention.   I just feel the sooner you all realize that Android isn't how you perceive it to be and start being open about how WP can improve, the sooner those issues will be addressed and people considering an upgrade will take you more seriously because you are speaking honestly rather than being blinded by your preference for WP.

I agree with your points, That WP needs lots of work. MS should be beaten up for it
The reason that many of us switched to Windows phone is because It has got the stability and smooth UI that Android does not have The smooth lag free UI is something that Android will never get. It will be usable on Nexus with quad core and 1 GB (can call it high to mid end resources). I switched to WP because of Nokia 70%, and 30 % is WP for stability.Nokia has good radio technology I don't get call drops, call clarity is excellent. WP gives me stablity, but we miss the features like copy and paste from anywhere, rigid hardware requirements (discourages game developers), VPN (enterprise folks miss this a lot), ability to browse my SD card from within the phone, the feature that I need the most is the discrete volume for ringer, speakerphone and headpohne Jack. This is a bug that should have been fixed the WP 1.0, but I see that tile sizes are higher priority over this and WP team does not acknowledge this, I cannot describe the level of incompetence of the WP team to ignore such a critical requirement. These are the reasons that WP is not selling well. M$ should acknowledge these, then we can say that WP is going to be a complete and we can confidently say the OS has potential and issues will be fixed. I hope WP 8.1 fixes these, the apps and devs will flock.

I'm really surpirsed that this hasn't leaked before and that others are surprised or shocked by it.
Nokia would be remiss if they hadn't had prototypes running Android and any other operating system open to them, but that doesn't mean any of these other options were realistic once they decided to abandon Symbian.
I'm sure that if Nokia had been with Android from the start they would be producing world class devices rivaling Samsung and Micrososft would have bought HTC instead. However, Nokia could never have competed with Samsung coming late to the game, because Samsung are mighty when it comes to PR and Nokia didn't have the funds to develop hardware beyond prototype. They needed Microsoft's billions and still do if they remain an independent entity.
More likely is that the prototype is a bargining chip/backdoor should a new deal with Microsoft fall through.
I also think that Nokia stayed with Symbian, because they are more than competent enough to realise that from a technical point of view, Android is a car crash. For them, there was no alernative OS until Windows Phone.

No surprises here, a company in Nokia's position would need to keep all options on the table. But Nokia's main project mentioned in the Verge article is forking Android as a low-spec replacement for Asha - hardly a plan to backstab MS.

This fight can only end if Nokia makes a dual OS phone like HTC HD2 with WP8.1 and Android JB 4.3. Droid lovers use droid wp lovers use wp, if got bored restart and switch to other OS.

still thing that there's no wrong aboyt WP, just the apps missing ... and a better integration with PCs
1) MS should make it possible to run WP apps on Windows 7  via a W7 Windows Store (perhaps some sort of emulation), having an extra billion users would get ALL developers onboard ... Even better MS should unificate the stores for all OS, W7, W8, WP, RT. MS is getting all the ecosystem totally wrong, till Win 7 Windows itself was pretty much the only decent ecosystem and sold apps, nowadays it's the size of the ecosystem (app stores) which sells devices and which block users adopting something else (WP, BB) if apps/services are missing
2) MS should better integrate with PCs both at home and in enterprise,offloading tasks and therefore give even low specced device lots of power and storage
a) Storage: allow to store or backup WP data on PC in clear or encrypted either directly or using skydrive as gateway to unsynced PC folder
b) CPU/RAM: Allow WP to unload processing (e.g. Lumia 1020 images postprocessing or games) to local PC or Azure like XBox One will do with Azure

For anyone to think Nokia doesn't have dozens of phones running Android is naive. They are / were a mobile deivce manufacturer. I bet they have phones running IOS and BB as well. All of the companies in this space have devices running their competitions software.