Skip to navigation

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.

// Home / Blogs

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Barry Collins

Nokia’s been badly burned by Windows Phone 8

Nokia Lumia handsets

Poor, poor Nokia. Already caught in a terrifying tailspin of falling sales and heavy financial losses, the company now faces the prospect of – once again – having nothing to sell but obsolete handsets for the next few months.

When Nokia leapt off its infamous “burning platform” and into the arms of Microsoft, it knew the fall would be unpleasant. After announcing its intention to move to Windows Phone in February 2011, it took nine months for Nokia’s first Windows Phone device to arrive, in the shape of the Lumia 800.

That gave the company three quarters of a year with nothing to sell but outdated handsets, running an operating system its own CEO had publicly derided as sub-standard. The consequences were all too apparent in Nokia’s first annual loss in living memory – and tens of thousands of job losses.

Who in their right mind is going to buy a Nokia Lumia handset today in the knowledge that a better operating system is coming along in a few months’ time, which they can’t upgrade to?

Now, Nokia finds itself in the same leaking boat again. Microsoft’s decision to shift Windows Phone 8 to the Windows NT core, with no upgrade path for current Windows Phone 7 handsets, leaves the company sitting on piles of soon-to-be obsolete handsets. Yes, Microsoft will throw a sop to old handset owners in the form of Windows Phone 7.8, but nobody knows quite how many Windows Phone 8 features and UI elements it will contain – nor how long Microsoft will continue to support it.

Compare and contrast to Apple, a company often rightly criticised for leaving customers behind with aggressive upgrade cycles. An iPhone 3GS released in July 2009 will still get the iOS 6 upgrade released later this year; a Nokia Lumia 900 released this spring will be outdated by the autumn.

Sure, all those Nokia handsets already in people’s pockets won’t become bad handsets overnight, just because Microsoft has released a better operating system. But who in their right mind is going to buy a Nokia Lumia handset today in the knowledge that a better operating system is coming along in a few months’ time, which they can’t upgrade to? And with apps that aren’t, by default, backwards compatible with the old 7.x handsets?

Nokia’s still standing on that burning platform, and the flames are getting ever higher.

Tags: , ,

Posted in: Random


Follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

56 Responses to “ Nokia’s been badly burned by Windows Phone 8 ”

  1. Ed Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Nokia should move to Android, probably the option they have left…

  2. C. H Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Do you not think that nokia might have known in advance what Microsoft might have been planning to do?

  3. Henry Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Apprently Nokia will bring all the new features that aren’t tied to the hardware.

    @NokiaUS: We will bring the elements of WP8 to Lumia 900 that aren’t tied to the new hardware.

  4. Ryan "The_Scrote" thomas Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I can’t for the life of my work out why Nokia put all their eggs in the MS basket? After giving up on Symbian/Meego etc, why not produce hardware with a choice of Phone 7 and Android? Same hardware, optional OS.

  5. Henry Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Nokia conversations say this –

    Elsewhere, you may have read about the new Windows Phone 8. How does this affect your Lumia? Well, you are not being left out. All Lumia smartphones will be getting an update to give you some of the features of Windows Phone 8, including the new Start screen, as well as a pattern of ongoing updates going forward.

    As ever, stay tuned.

  6. Steve Hammatt Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Windows Phone 7.8 isn’t going to run Windows 8 apps though. Can Nokia survive another period of limbo like this ? I am not sure.

  7. Journo Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I have a feeling that Nokia and Microsoft might become something more than just partners in the future. SurfacePhone anyone?

  8. ChrisM Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    A little bit of perspective; most folk on the street have no idea about Operating System upgrades (well, expcept when the press goes all GaGa over any announcement Apple makes). Despite all their recent missteps, I’d find it hard to beleive thqat Nokia has not learned something from it’s mistakes and begun working on more forward looking phones ages ago, especially considering that Nokia is a key Microsoft partner.
    Should all this proove wrong, I’m claiming all IP rights to the term ‘Brokia’ (until Apple decides to sue me in a Liechtenstein court or something)

  9. THT Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    WP7 phones are set to receive as much of an update towards WP8 as the iPhone 3GS is going to receive of ios6. In other words: as much as the hardware will support, which means no NFC, dual cores or HD resolutions, as no WP7 phones have those currently anyway.

    You’ll recognise that the iPhone 3GS (and the iPhone 4) will be missing out on turn-by-turn navigation, Siri, and 3G facetime, amongst other key ios6 features. And the iPad2 isn’t getting Siri. So, if you truly “compare and contrast” you’ll find MS and Apple’s positions are actually remarkably similar (/identical) – it’s just that Apple is better at hiding things in the small print and MS seem too honest (I never thought I’d be typing that!). In fact, since the hardware of the iPhone4, iPad1 and iPad2 can theoretically handle the full ios6 upgrade the decision to exclude sections is purely arbitrary, and MS is actually doing better by its customers. Wonders never cease.

  10. Peter Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    The upgrade path for iPhone is part of the problem as you can’t realistically opt out.
    When the iPad was introduced they bloated the operating system in such a way as to make things like Maps unusably slow on iPhone 3 machines.
    Similarly the iTunes upgrades have removed a lot of features they had to please DRM rights people. A recent upgrade even removed podcasts altogether (though they put it back in the next release).
    They control what your phone provides to suit them, not providing you with what you paid for!

  11. Damian Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Android and Apple have done the same type of thing in the past.

    P.s. Nokia will have known about this well in advance

  12. ding_jimmy Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I’m sorry but this seems like a very short sighted blog post to me. I’m hoping that you are trying to wind everyone up today. As has been mentioned a couple of times already in other comments, I would find it highly unlilkley nokia did not know about this; they themselves have hinted about a Nokia tablet for months which implies they have been working on WinRT and WP8 devices for a while now. I expect Nokia will, in the next few months, announce their new line of Windows 8 based smartphones and tablets.

  13. StuartN Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    not only were Nokia well aware of this, it looks like they have been responsible for several of the new features aside from maps (Camera, data usage, etc.) so will probably have a greater slice of the WP8 pie as I imagine there will be a royalty coming back to them.

    Good work Nokia!!!!!

    Paul Thurrott writes more about this at

  14. wittgenfrog Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Neither Barry Collins nor me has any knowledge of NOKIA’s precise position, nor that of Samsung, HTC and other WP7 handset vendors.

    I’d be reasonably confident that MS wants\expects some of its current handset ‘partners’, and particularly NOKIA to be around to make WP8 handsets. In support of this I’d cite a paucity of announcements of ‘new’ hardware (NOKIA aside) for most of this year.

    My take is that this was the makers drawing breath and ramping-down production and stocks during the inevitable hiatus period between the announcement and the products. Pleae correct me if you know this is wrong.

    I rather suspect that NOKIA, precisely because it is MS’s favoured partner, was given\has taken-on the role of ‘patsy’ as Mr Collins sees it. During the time it has made handsets, it has developed some gorgeous designs and developed lots of WP7 software Like mapping), that might just appear to all in WP7.8 – who knows?

    I’d also guess that both MS’s product team nor NOKIA’s have forseen this situation and worked together to mitigate it.
    I’d wager too that NOKIA knows more than anyone outside MS about WP8 \ Surface , and that they have played a key development role.

    If NOKIA’s WP7 ‘phones are anything to go by, then its WP8 ones should be stunning, and very competitively priced. As for the old stock of WP7 ‘phones I’m sure they’ll sell well in the ‘developing world’, albeit probably at a loss….

    Oh and apropos of another WP8 thread “MS developers eat babies” or some such (OK it was sreally omething about users being ‘cut adrift’ by MS)
    Mr Collins castigated posters (myself included) for starting a ‘turf war’. We had the effrontery to exemplify points in our posts by refering to Apple.

    Perhaps he’d like to check-out Matthew 7:5

  15. wittgenfrog Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    OOPS apologies for typos – couldn’t be bothered to compose in Notepad++

  16. Barry Collins Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    At no point have I ever suggested that Nokia wasn’t fully aware of Microsoft’s plans. That doesn’t mean it won’t be harmed by them.

    Barry Collins

  17. MacDew Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    You have to marvel at the inconsistency of reporting on this website. I realise that this is a blog post only, but the new MacBook Pro can’t do no wrong because nobody ever opens up their laptop, but mobile phones are doomed to failure because they will not magically absorb new hardware features?

    It has been publicly announced that WP7 will be maintained for some time to come, including new WP8 features that don’t rely on new hardware (WP7.8).

    As others have already pointed out, Apple is no different excluding arbitrary features from updates claiming hardware limitations (which we all know to be rubbish). But of course it’s much more fun to be critical of Microsoft / Nokia than Apple.

  18. grunthos Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Clearly Nokia did know since Joe Belfiore was using a Nokia development device running Windows Phone 8.

    The thing is Barry, while Apple may well release iOS6 for the 3GS, it’ll probably bring the phone to it’s knees much like iOS4 did to the 3G. It really wasn’t worth the upgrade because it made the phone so dog slow it was horrible to use.

    At least MS aren’t just abandoning the 7.5 devices, they are giving them a useful upgrade.

    It’s not ideal but it looks like the best they could do.

  19. Mike Baldwin Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Watch out, the 808 pure view may keep them going till windows 8 surfaces (no pun intended) as this is based on the killer camera mostly and not the software.

  20. Dale Lane Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “who in their right mind is going to buy a Nokia Lumia handset today in the knowledge that a better operating system is coming along in a few months’ time, which they can’t upgrade to?”

    Would you say the same about Android? Who in their right mind would buy an Android handset today running 2.3 in the knowledge that two better versions have already come along, which they can’t upgrade to?

    Erm… it would seem that lots of people would. And still are.

    Version numbers matter a lot to us geeks and early adopters. I’m not sure this concern is shared as widely as you think, though.

  21. This is bloody twice! Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I bought a HTC HD2 on Windows Mobile only to be told 2 months later it wouldnt recieve Windows Phone, now I’ve got a Titan and been told I won’t get WP8.

    I agree with people that say it’s still the same phone as it always was, but c’mon to abandon us all again is a piss take.

    I also think this could have been avoided by releasing 7.8 with more fanfair and waiting a bit to announce V8

  22. Mikhael Michaelides Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    So it looks like Microsoft are changing their approach from making everything completely backwardly-compatible back to year dot, to only as far back as a certain minimum of hardware supports it (which is Apple’s approach). The former used to be one of the attracting factors for Microsoft.

    It isn’t necessarily a better or worse approach, but a significantly different one. Whether or not this upsets the userbase only time will tell. The major difference between Apple and Microsoft is that the number of apps supporting their platform is vastly superior in Apple’s case, whereas Microsoft is effectively starting from scratch.

    A dangerous game to play? Perhaps, but again only time will tell as to whether this was a good idea or not.

  23. james Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I am glad that I didn’t but an 800, nokia seem to be dropping their handsets long before they come to the end of their useful lives and I see the same thing happening here. I’d rather see some promotion for the 808. No network I have contacted can even tell me if they will be offereing one with a contract. Amazon says it’s launched on the 30th of June but I can’t find any offical date. Saw the same kind of behaviour from Nokia when the N9 was coming out.

  24. sihaz Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    my lovely honda civic was superceded by the new civic a few months ago. should i immediately hate my car that i have previously been very happy with? ditto my gorgeous htc titan which is the best phone i’ve ever had?

  25. Markg Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    “who in their right mind”……? Well, me for a start as I lost my lumia 800. I’ll replace it with same. Why…..solid hardware, superb UI, enough apps, great email and social sync is core to the OS….oh, and v simple to use. I’ll live with that for 12 months, then upgrade.

  26. David King Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Lumia in some countries means prostitute. So why did Nokia prostitute itself with Microsoft? Everyone knows that a Microsoft Windows phone is a bad idea. They had a great OS with Symbian. They could have developed that, or even a new Linux-based smartphone OS to rival Android. Instead they made a very poor choice and now are stuck with phones very few people want. If they had made an Android phone that was really good, I might have bought it instead of my HTC phone. Maybe Nokia can still redeem themselves and go for a Linux-based OS on their smartphones that can rival Android or else just go for Android.

  27. Marekj Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I am very disappointed; yet again PCPro appears to be pushing overhyped criticism of MS and pandering to Apple. This is precisely why I no longer subscribe to PCPro magazine. Objectivity seems to be of little value now. Verily, the Hews of the World of computer magazines. Bold headlines, biased opinions, little fact.

  28. Ak Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 6:19 am

    The demo phone shown by Joe Belfiore was made by Nokia. So Nokia always knew whats going on inside and how its going to turn on. It’s all part of statergy ..

  29. Richard Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Wow, I’d just like to say; good comments guys! Most of the comments are actually more balanced and informative than the original blog!! (sorry Barry but give us less hype more solid content please)

  30. Peter Tennant Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I think the only hope for Nokia is to sack Elop and make a quick dash for Android. The Windows experiment has failed (and Microsoft have proved to be an uncompromising and somewhat unsupportative partner). Only fast and decisive action can save them from being engulfed by the flames.

  31. sihaz Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 11:27 am

    @peter tennant i’m guessing you’ve never used a windows phone then peter?

  32. j9chapman Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    It’s worth remembering that apple released the 3GS in July 2008, just shy of 4 years ago, and it’s still getting firmware upgrades – whether any users want them is another matter.

  33. bookmac Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Newer does not mean a better operating system. Given you have zero details on Mobil 8 how can you claim it will be better?

  34. Charles Says:
    June 22nd, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    There’s a term in economics, ‘Preference failure’, which probably applies here. Its always been the case that huge swathes of consumers buy mobile phones without understanding properly the technological limitations which often exist.

  35. Peter Tennant Says:
    June 23rd, 2012 at 8:10 am

    @sihaz No, I’ve not. But few people have. Nokia is making unsustainably large losses because less people are buying their WP mobiles than expected. Given that, I do not understand how they can survive another 6 months selling an ecosystem that everyone knows is now at it’s end (at least in terms of app development). Sadly, it doesn’t matter how brilliant WP is (and I have no doubt the experience beats my flakey Android phone) – Nokia’s debt has just been downgraded to ‘junk’ status, meaning they have to start making money very very quickly, else it’s all over.

  36. Zork Says:
    June 23rd, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Nokia knew thee risk and they sent a message to Microsoft when the released their first handset running on Meego/Tizen. They own and continue to develop Tizen, so I guess that’s their backup plan. They’ll be fine by offering hardware upgrade discounts to customers.

  37. Mark McCormick Says:
    June 23rd, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I love my lumia 900. I’ve already put the Nokia maps on it and look forward to the 7.8 interface’s resizable tiles. I test web and apps on all three platforms and own a Iphone 4s, an HTC One X in addition to my Lumia 900. For day to day use the Nokia is in my pocket and I’ll likely upgrade to another Nokia as well. Most of the haters here probably haven’t used all three environments side by side and I submit that anyone that spends an extended time with WP7.5 would be quite pleasantly surprised.

  38. sihaz Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    @peter tennant thought not!

  39. TheBigM Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    No interest in talking about things like WP8’s features for enterprise hey?

    Yep, this is “PC Pro” after all. About as one-sided as John Gruber.

  40. NotSoFastMatey Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Phew, I’m not sure it’s a step forward to “shift Windows Phone 8 to the Windows NT core”… :-)

  41. Neil Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Barry, whilst I do not agree with many of the comments on here, A few have a point – read your first two paragraphs again and tell us with a straight face that this in unbiased reporting. I have an HTC Desire which was once the phone to own but which cannot be upgraded to the latest version of Android. I bought mine cheap with the full knowledge of this and I love it!

    I’m afraid I am also an ex-subscriber and I have to say I think that PC Pro missed Tim Danton’s contributions and whilst most contributors / writers are second to none, I’m afraid that the same cannot be said for the editor (yourself) and the main news writer (Nicole Kobie). I woul dbe surprised if your subscription figures are holding up.

    Please don’t bite, just take an objective look and ask if all of the writing is first class, unbiased, technincal writing…

  42. Barry Collins Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Neil – you’re absolutely right. I couldn’t tell you “with a straight face” that the blog is unbiased, because it’s not – it’s an opinion, and no opinion comes without a degree of personal bias. That doesn’t mean I – or we as a magazine as a whole – are anti-Microsoft. Far from it.

    I don’t doubt we miss Tim’s contributions, but if you’re looking for a completely neutral piece of writing, I suggest you read the Swiss phone book, not PC Pro, because you won’t find it here. You never have done.

    Barry Collins

  43. Marekj Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Sorry Barry
    I think that your response to Neil is quite simply just being rude.

    My earlier comment was facetious and silly, but the bottom line having an opinion is all fine and well if it can be justified, but bias as in this case appears to be unwarrented and therefore unfair.

    To come out with the headline you did, but not be able to justify it in the context of a balanced assessment comparing against rivals smacks exactly of unwarrented bias.
    Many readers have given very specific and concrete examples of similar practices by Apple and Android, but these have been ignored in your article.
    Instead of taking offence at Neil’s comment, perhaps taking some time out to reflect would be of benefit.
    I still visit the PCPro website on an almost daily basis and I find much of the information and discussion very valuable. However, on occasion, and this was one of them, things go awry.

  44. JohnAHind Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    “the inevitable hiatus period between the announcement and the products” @wittgenfrog

    Hm.. Seems Microsoft has learned everything from Apple except the importance of keeping their powder dry!

    Same story with Surface – by the time Microsoft actually get it to market its only real innovation (that natty flat keyboard/cover) will have been copied by a hundred after-market suppliers for iPad and Android!

  45. JohnAHind Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    @wittgenfrog, @Marekj, @Neil – get a grip lads! Sheesh – corporate identity really is the new religion!
    Hammering one company over some aspect another company does better is not bias, it is leveraging competition in the service of improvement. Bias is when you support the company to which you have bound your personal identity regardless of what it produces or how it behaves. PCPro is not guilty of that, but some commentators posting responses are!

  46. Mark Thompson Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Dear Barry, your use of a website blog to carry an opinion piece is a shocking abuse of journalism. I only keep coming back to the website to read the sub-standard output of your (award winning) news editor because of the paucity of IT related websites on the internet.
    I now subscribe to a quality IT journal that contains nothing but well written and in depth journalism. MicroMart.

    The above may contain a tiny speck of sarcasm.

    There is little doubt that Nokia is in for another disappointing period,the only disagreement can be whether Microsoft’s new operating system will be popular enough to drive their sales, share price and profits back up. If not, well, Microsoft has been getting into hardware recently and may be happy to pick up a handset manufacturer at a bargain price.

  47. TheBigM Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Barry, it’s completely natural for one’s own experiences and preferences to bias writing, it’s human. But most journalists are aware of that and consciously try to write in a manner that their articles add value to all readers and, other than in editorials, try to encompass multiple views.

    The above is all fine, but can you appreciate that not only is it about the content within articles but also the choice of articles as a whole (i.e. which topics are chosen and not chosen) that matters?

    Admittedly the Windows Phone Summit only showed a number of things that developers needed to see and is holding back on end-user features but by ONLY headlining this article (with a relatively sensationalist headline) and not even mentioning any of the other announcements (e.g. shared core with Windows RT), the impression is of a partisan writer.

    I fully accept some bias is natural and human, but is writing in a partisan manner professional? And to be clear, it’s nothing to do with defending MS or Nokia; if there appeared to be active partisanship against any other platform, I would be commenting on that too.

  48. Paul Ockenden Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Has everyone missed the point that this is a blog post, not a news article or feature?

    If people can’t be opinionated, biased and partisan in blog posts then I think the world is doomed.

  49. Ryan "The_Scrote" Thomas Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    @Mark Thompson – it is a blog post, which are by design opinion pieces of the author! You cannot seriously be surprised by the structure of the site – news is in the news pages, opinions are in the blogs. Sheesh…

  50. Mark Thompson Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    @ Everyone
    I thought the sarcasm in my post obvious: the OTT hyperbole; the contradiction of a substandard (yet award winning) news editor; using quality and well-written in the same sentence as MicroMart and finally a statement that the post contained a ‘tiny speck of sarcasm’.

    The second part of the post was serious.

  51. Davis Staples Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 7:20 am

    The iPhone 3GS may get iOS 6 but given that it already runs iOS 5 quite slowly, I wouldn’t get too excited.

  52. Leroy Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Well as someone who has an HTC HD2, Only to be told that it would not get a OP system upgrade, and was forced to put Android on it, to get a modern Mobile operating system , I envy Apple users and feel sorry for Nokia users.

    The 3GS get upgrades and is 4 years old , the HD2 was at most one and abandoned

  53. PWGC Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Proportionately, very few Android phones are running ICS because there is no incentive for the networks to roll out updates. Not many people will root their phones, so for all intents and purposes there is no meaningful upgrade path if you buy Android either.

  54. Christopher Hussey Says:
    July 2nd, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Sad news for them.

  55. Mark Says:
    July 6th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    You need to get your facts right before publishing this apple centric mush.
    My iphone3 cannot run a lot of iphone4 or 5 or 6 stuff, and now is a complete dog due to ‘upgrades’, and some of the comments are right apple is very good at forgetting to mention that most features are not in upgrade

  56. gregzeng Says:
    July 7th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Android has a vigorous third-party op sys development sector, as do most open source Linux derivatives. My HTC HD2 & Motorola Defy easily upgrade to op systems undreamed by the manufacturers.

    Youtube: How To – Update Moto Defy to Android 4.0.1 ICS – MIUI”, etc


Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

* required fields

* Will not be published






Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010