Our mobile analysts are working on the official Gartner analysis of the announcement and I’ll link to this when it becomes available.
As Gartner’s primary analyst on Microsoft, I interviewed Stephen at Gartner’s US Fall Symposium last fall. Over the past several years, I’ve gotten to know Stephen Elop pretty well. He is a great communicator with solid leadership skills. So what does else does he bring to Nokia?
The future of mobile is a synthesis of software, services and the device. Apple does this synthesis extremely well. Nokia does the devices well, but isn’t as balanced in the other areas. Stephen brings the software and services expertise to the equation. For example, under Stephen Microsoft launched its successful CRM online service. Stephen’s division at Microsoft (the Business Systems division) has also been at the forefront of Microsoft’s competition with Google in the enterprise – with Exchange Online competing with Gmail, Office and the Web-enabled Office competing with Google applications and his division’s SharePoint and FAST search technologies competing for enterprise search. Under Stephen, Microsoft also made a breakthrough with Nokia to place Silverlight on the Nokia platform as well as native versions of mobile Office.
The move also opens up interesting possibilities of a tighter relationship with Nokia moving forward in terms of expanded use of Silverlight, Windows Phone, joint application stores and so on.
Given the future of mobile is not so much about the device but about the entire experience based on the synthesis of software and services, the choice of Stephen Elop makes sense to me.