Nokia granted exclusive rights to customize WP7

Microsoft and Nokia had a big day today, they announced a partnership that is unique between the two because it goes further than simply putting WP7 on to Nokia devices. Announced in their press conference today, Nokia will be given exclusive rights to customize the platform.

In the press conference today, covered by NeowinPocket-lint (via Winrumors) spotted a small blip that some may have overlooked in the transcripts. Nokia is stated as saying;

We have established a relationship with Microsoft that allows Nokia to jointly drive the future of Windows Phone 7. To jointly define the language, functions and customizations that you’ll see in the future of Windows Phone 7. To have unique access to and the ability to do unique differentiating things relative to Android around software design, chipset support, and display configuration. And, of course, to ensure that it is competitive to Android and Apple.

At the same time we have to make sure we can differentiate within the Windows Phone ecosystem. Nokia has exclusive technologies – one example is our camera technology that you see on the N8 – and, because of this unique relationship with Microsoft, contribute capabilities like that to a Nokia Windows Phone 7 phone that you will not see on any other Windows Phone device.

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.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out as HTC is a big supporter of Windows Phone 7 and they too like to customize their products. This can be seen in their Android products as they all ship with the "Sense" skin applied to them. 

If Microsoft is going to ostracize HTC and not allow them to customize the platform, it could disrupt their relationship, one that Microsoft can not afford to give up.

 

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I think this will not lead to Win Phone 7 fragmentation.
Who knows? Microsoft might take Nokia's help to merge the Nokia customizations upstream?
Why will Nokia allow this you ask? Because Microsoft might be giving Win Phone 7 at dirt prices to Nokia, ... on condition that the tweaks be made available to Microsoft, so that they can integrate it with Windows Phone 7!

I think Neowin is reading a little too much into this personally. I don't think they will be permitted to customize WP7 in such a way that it doesn't look like WP7 (Tiles, hubs, etc.), but rather to work with Microsoft to get it on smaller screens and weaker devices... The only issue I see with this is what happens with apps in the marketplace, as they may not plan to display on a smaller screen.

If Nokia will start customizing WP7 then we will end up with the same scenario as in WM6.5. The OS will become slower. Yes Nokia Hardware is great, but wares fast, and Nokia touch technlogy is really bad and buggy as hell. Plus, all Nokia phone tend to become extremely slow after the first year of normal usage, imagine this happening to you with your Nokia WP7 Phone. 12 MP Camera? Not so impressive if the phone is slow and hangs alot. I own the Nokia X3-02, and as simple as this phone is, the touch sometimes does not work, simply disconnects and then I have to restart the phone. A friend of mine owns an N8, and the same things happens, and the touch experience is really bad and laggy.
I'll stick to the Samsung Omnia 7 I'm planning to buy. Thank you Nokia but you will mess the WP7 ecosystem with your customization and the crappy hardware.

Just as it turned good, they made it made. Nokia OS was horrible on any newer phones. Only the old classic phones were decent But if WP7 is edited my Nokia and give it a similar horrible UI. Then just no.

"At the same time we have to make sure we can differentiate within the Windows Phone ecosystem."

Doesn't sound like a major change to me. Sounds like Nokia wants access to things that weren't previously accessible to OEMs, and they have been granted permission. I doubt the basic UI will be changed. With how protective MS have been of the UI, I would expect strict guidelines on what Nokia can change.

Invizibleyez said,
"At the same time we have to make sure we can differentiate within the Windows Phone ecosystem."

Doesn't sound like a major change to me. Sounds like Nokia wants access to things that weren't previously accessible to OEMs, and they have been granted permission. I doubt the basic UI will be changed. With how protective MS have been of the UI, I would expect strict guidelines on what Nokia can change.

Yep, I agree. Of particular note, in the statement it specifies chipset support and display sizes... So I think that's what their focus will be.

Hopefully Nokia is smart enough to avoid the trap that so many Android phone manufacturers made - the need to dress up the phones with subpar software. Windows Phone 7 is a fine operating system. Make a great piece of hardware and let the OS stand on its own.

Hopefully this doesn't lead to fragmentation in the WP7 market. I kind of like my experience with an OS to be how the creator intended it to be. Not full of 3rd party hacks.

The UI should not change, as far as I know. At least that's what the guy during the conference spoke of. They'll be integrating their own services like maps, local advertising, mainly stuff that Bing lacks in Europe.

LG does a similar thing, they have a store that comes with free apps for Optimus 7 users, and have a few preinstalled apps, like Panorama Shots and some other, based on their own technology.

I agree. I love HTC phones while I was using Windows Mobile 6.5.x . I used to like Sense, but it is making the UI lagging, and I didn't like the iPhone-wann-be icons. I am glad that Windows Phone 7 UI is smoother now without the sense(now with HD7), I hope MS keep the UI as is with Nokia phones.

This seems like a massive fail, no?

That was WP7's greatest strength in my view (although I don't own one) ... a consistent UI where Microsoft is fully in the driving seat of how the OS is brought to devices. Now a manufacturer is allowed to come along and ruin it?

HTC Sense for Android was good at first - it added things that were needed to keep it competitive. Now it's just loaded with more bloatware than you need, making rooting the phone more attractive.

Edit: maybe I have read too much into it... not sure.

SuperHans said,
This seems like a massive fail, no?

That was WP7's greatest strength in my view (although I don't own one) ... a consistent UI where Microsoft is fully in the driving seat of how the OS is brought to devices. Now a manufacturer is allowed to come along and ruin it?

HTC Sense for Android was good at first - it added things that were needed to keep it competitive. Now it's just loaded with more bloatware than you need, making rooting the phone more attractive.

Edit: maybe I have read too much into it... not sure.

I can and expect small changes to the UI but overall the WP7 UI as it is works just fine so I don't see the real need for Nokia to go crazy. And the CEO said so, he said they're not going to customize just for the hell of it. Nokia might be able to add a deeper integrated Hub for example, something a bit more native that other OEMs can't do, And no, the Sense "hub" isn't really a hub when you think about it.

Only time will tell, and by the time Nokia has a WP7 device ready but late 2011 early 2012 MS could very well have added a nice chunk of things in for us to do on our own.

I don't read anything there that's really different?

Nokia will contribute to WP7 as a whole in the first paragraph, and they will have their own tech to supply in the second ... but that tech is a camera setup. Not exactly an OS customization.

We have the ability to do customizations and extensions to the software environment that are unique and therefore differentiate

Clearly says there to me, even uses the word customizations. However the most I expect them to bring is their solid hardware (camera, etc) experience that will make their versions a much better experience.
As someone already said the cameras in most WP7 devices is not great

They say the word 'customization' ... but this is a manufacturer. Potentially anything they do is a customization, from the hardware, to pre-loading of specific apps.

Kirkburn said,
They say the word 'customization' ... but this is a manufacturer. Potentially anything they do is a customization, from the hardware, to pre-loading of specific apps.

Quote
It's very important to understand this is not a standard OEM agreement. Microsoft is placing a big bet on us.
Uquote

Maybe there is a reason why they put such emphasys on the concept......

Fritzly said,
Maybe there is a reason why they put such emphasys on the concept......
Yes, but what does it actually *mean* in the end? That's what unclear to me, at least.

em_te said,
What would the DOJ do?

Probably have a coffee and a cookie while surfing on there iPhone

Unplugged said,
Cameras in WPhones have always been crap. Hopefully Nokia can make an improvement on this

What do mean by 'hopefully'?
Ofcourse they will!

Unplugged said,
Cameras in WPhones have always been crap. Hopefully Nokia can make an improvement on this

Really? My understanding was the Focus's camera is pretty darn nice.

Now, Droid cameras...*shudder*

Shadrack said,
My interest in WP7 just went down a notch.

I wouldn't be worried about this, I don't expect them to go in and totally change everything.

GP007 said,

I wouldn't be worried about this, I don't expect them to go in and totally change everything.

I expect you to be wrong

GP007 said,

I wouldn't be worried about this, I don't expect them to go in and totally change everything.

I agree. I think it's for the lower end devices that they want to keep WP7 on but with lower specs to be able to build devices for everyone. I don't think they'll change much on the higher end devices.

Shadrack said,
My interest in WP7 just went down a notch.

Personally I like Nokia flexibility as I liked the one offered by WM 6.5.

If you do not like it there are plenty of other devices running Wp 7..... and there is the iPhone too.

GP007 said,

I wouldn't be worried about this, I don't expect them to go in and totally change everything.


Let's wait and see, shall we ? Once manufacturer has the freedom to customize the UI to their liking, expect it to be very different. What will that lead to: fragmentation? WP7 is heading to the same track as Android did.

Fritzly said,

Personally I like Nokia flexibility as I liked the one offered by WM 6.5.

If you do not like it there are plenty of other devices running Wp 7..... and there is the iPhone too.

I was very excited by all the promises Microsoft was making with WP7, in-particular the promise that OEMs won't be able to go in and muck up the platform. Microsoft has an amazing design team that have made an outstanding interface. I dislike all the "HTC Sense" bull from cell phone manufacturers. Cell phone manufacturers should make outstanding hardware. That should be their focus. Leave the software to the experts. Otherwise what we get is fragmentation. If Nokia wants to customize WP7, do you know what that means? It means whenever there is a WP7 update that Microsoft has put out, Nokia phones are going to lag behind because Nokia has to ensure all their tweaks work. Ok...no now HTC is butt hurt and wants to customize so Microsoft buckles again. Now HTC phones will lag on updates (or choose not to do updates). Before you know it the whole platform has gone the way of Android. Fragmented...little hope for updates on some phones...app developers in disarray because they don't know what hardware their apps will work properly on and can't own all the different versions of the OS. This is a bad move by Microsoft. Its a shame, really.

XIII said,

Let's wait and see, shall we ? Once manufacturer has the freedom to customize the UI to their liking, expect it to be very different. What will that lead to: fragmentation? WP7 is heading to the same track as Android did.

So now you're admitting Android has fragmentation?

Shadrack said,

I was very excited by all the promises Microsoft was making with WP7, in-particular the promise that OEMs won't be able to go in and muck up the platform. Microsoft has an amazing design team that have made an outstanding interface. I dislike all the "HTC Sense" bull from cell phone manufacturers. Cell phone manufacturers should make outstanding hardware. That should be their focus. Leave the software to the experts. Otherwise what we get is fragmentation. If Nokia wants to customize WP7, do you know what that means? It means whenever there is a WP7 update that Microsoft has put out, Nokia phones are going to lag behind because Nokia has to ensure all their tweaks work. Ok...no now HTC is butt hurt and wants to customize so Microsoft buckles again. Now HTC phones will lag on updates (or choose not to do updates). Before you know it the whole platform has gone the way of Android. Fragmented...little hope for updates on some phones...app developers in disarray because they don't know what hardware their apps will work properly on and can't own all the different versions of the OS. This is a bad move by Microsoft. Its a shame, really.

Ideally I'd love for smartphones to be much more like PCs in terms of corporate roles. Let Microsoft be fully in charge of keeping the OS up to date. Let the hardware vendors, much like OEMs, be in charge of keeping hardware drivers up to date (but only like how newer versions of drivers on a computer work--not the bizarre Android nonsense where everything needs to be reworked for every new kernel). And let carriers be in charge of the phone's connection to services.

That's all. Hardware, software, connection. This crap where everyone wants to dabble in everything needs to stop.

FarCry3r said,

So now you're admitting Android has fragmentation?

Who wasn't ignorant enough to admit Android is fragmented? But Android did that desperately to expand its market. It is ironic to see that WP7 was originally claimed to eliminiate fragmentation and now it follows exactly the same course as Android did... Talk about being hypocrites...

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Sense is crap. Who wants that stupig big clock widget or the gimmicky weather widget???
People who like that kind of stuff, which I suspect is not a small number. Else they wouldn't be doing it.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Sense is crap. Who wants that stupig big clock widget or the gimmicky weather widget???

Sense looks a whole lot better than stock Android in my opinion. Sense is more than just the weather widget which you can remove from the screen very easily.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Sense is crap. Who wants that stupig big clock widget or the gimmicky weather widget???

If you think that's all Sense is for, you're horribly misinformed.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Sense is crap. Who wants that stupig big clock widget or the gimmicky weather widget???

....you really think Sense is just the clock and weather widget?

Sad.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Sense is crap. Who wants that stupig big clock widget or the gimmicky weather widget???

Yeah right, like you are the only one using HTC. Your opinion doesn't mean squat to me. Sense customization added quite a lot of usability to the OS, whether WM or Android. It's great to see manufacturers go out of their ways to enhance user experiences.

XIII said,

Yeah right, like you are the only one using HTC. Your opinion doesn't mean squat to me. Sense customization added quite a lot of usability to the OS, whether WM or Android. It's great to see manufacturers go out of their ways to enhance user experiences.

And your opinion on WP7 doesn't mean any squat to me either.

Figured they would be able to since their current customers (and ex ones including myself, i loved my N95!) would be in for a world of hurt to totally switch up everything on them. They need a N98 or something, they make killer hardware just the software was kinda dated.