Go Time for Nokia's Windows Phones

Carl Weinschenk
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The day (or days) of truth are nearing for Nokia, which has made a big bet with Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system.

 

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, according to this piece at eWeek's Microsoft Watch, said that the two Lumia phones being introduced now in Europe and in the United States during the first quarter of next year will go a long way to deciding the fate of Nokia and Microsoft's mobile efforts.

 

The story does a nice job of describing the two phones. The Lumia 800 is a high-end device, and seems like quite a package. The story says that it includes a 1.4 GHz processor, a 8-megapixel camera using Carl Zeiss optics and other attractive features. The Lumia 710's processor is the same speed, but the other features are aimed more at the middle of the market, according to the story.

 


More details are available on the two new phones in this Apple Insider posting. The heart of the piece is a detailed graphic contrasting the features and functions of the Lumia 800, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. The chart compares eight categories as well as price. The writer's opinion is summed up in the first line of the commentary that surrounds the story:

Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 device offers specifications somewhere between Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but is missing some key hardware and software features and will only debut in Europe, effectively leaving the US market to Apple and Android this holiday season.

Jessica Dolcourt at CNET offers a positive review, which includes another comparison chart - this one compares the Lumia 800 to the Nokia N9. Her positive review concludes in this way:

I've said elsewhere that the two key ingredients that Microsoft needs for Windows Phone OS to succeed are: (1) really outstanding software features (the iPhone 4S has a killer camera and Siri; Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has facial unlocking and Android Beam); and (2) fantastic hardware that matches rivals' top-notch specs.
With the Lumia line, Nokia is potentially off to a good start. It's proving that it has the design chops to make Windows Phones stand out. Now it needs to go deeper and absolutely deliver on the specs that consumers expect for phones in the Lumias' price ranges.

It's hard to imagine that these aren't good phones. It also figures that anything else that comes out of the Nokia/Microsoft shop similarly will be good. What is not so easy to answer are those things not under direct control of the companies. The most important is whether the coveted third spot in the mobile OS game - behind Android and iOS - is a realistic target for Nokia's Windows Phone. There is, after all, no shortage of competitors.



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