If there was any question today about what Microsoft thinks about the Nokia X and its Android phone, their public line is that they’re fine with it. During Nokia Developer Day, John Shewchuk, a Microsoft technical fellow responsible for “strategy for cloud platform services”, took to the stage to demonstrate Microsoft services running on the Nokia X, noting that they’re a ‘devices and services company’ first and don’t consider Nokia’s choice to be against their interests.
Before the session even officially kicked off, Shewchuk chose to address the elephant in the room by talking about Nokia X and Microsoft. Their stance, at least overtly, was that they knew about Nokia’s Android work going into the deal (to acquire Nokia’s hardware division) and that there were “no surprises” here this week. Instead, Microsoft’s focus on services, specifically OneDrive, Outlook.com and Skype, were considered to be just as important business for Microsoft as Windows Phone.
The session then focused on the benefits of developing services on Nokia X and Lumia phones, with Microsoft’s services being front and center. Nokia then later returned to the stage to discuss their imaging SDKs and development work.
We spoke with Shewchuk briefly after the session regarding his statement. He was forthright in stating that Windows Phone, as a developer platform, is still superior for many companies out there whom are making apps. The idea here is yes, Android is popular, but Windows Phone has momentum now and things like the web developer tools offer a great alternative.
Microsoft clearly has two business here to consider. More, actually. It’s not about just Windows Phone, but about Skype, OneDrive, Bing and even Azure. While to Windows Phone users, prioritizing that OS seems very obvious, Microsoft is taking a different approach. At least in this regard, publicly, they are on board with Nokia X and do it see it as an opportunity to grow Microsoft’s services in emerging markets.
Will Nokia X remain after the sale? We’re leaning towards yes, that this is a long term strategy by Microsoft. We’ll just have to wait and see. But for now, Nokia and Microsoft are acting like everything is business as usual.