As the dust begins to settle on the Nokia/Microsoft partnership announcement, we're learning that Nokia may have more latitude with Windows Phone 7 than other WP7 partners. Nokia is of the opinion that their agreement with Microsoft will allow them to make better use of Windows Phone 7 than other manufacturers. Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO stated,
“We have the ability to do customizations and extensions to the software environment that are unique and therefore differentiate. It’s very important to understand this is not a standard OEM agreement. Microsoft is placing a big bet on us."
Elop was quick to follow up that while Nokia had the ability change things, he felt it would be the worst possible option.
Additionally, Elop added,
"We will resist the temptation to customize simply for the sake of customizing."
With devices not expected until 2012, we can hope that any modifications/customizations will be well thought out and that the momentum Microsoft has built with Windows Phone 7 isn't jeopardized by Nokia giving into such temptations.
In a seperate interview with All Things Digital, Elop describes the relationship with Microsoft as one of balance with deliberate dependence in both directions. Elop felt that both Microsoft and Nokia would work to offer an overall successful ecosystem.
The new relationship between Nokia and Microsoft has a strong potential for success and puts a little pep into Windows Phone 7 development. Still, one has wonder if Nokia's freedom to customize is a good thing? Is Microsoft headed down the same path with WP7 as we saw with Windows Mobile in that you eventually have multiple variations of the same system. Variations that often frustrated developers.