Nokia employees stage mass walkout over new Microsoft-centric business strategy

Up to 1,000 Nokia employees in Finland walked out on the job yesterday, following the news that Nokia's future would be based on integrating its products with Microsoft services and abandoning most of its own technology. The walkouts either simply downed tools and walked away or took a day's worth of "flex time."
Many of the protestors work on the Symbian software so their jobs will be in jeopardy as Nokia begins to implement Windows Phone 7 on its handsets. Their future is not at all clear after today's news-broad strokes have been painted but much of the logistics have yet to be revealed. Nokia will not work exclusively with the Windows Phone 7 operating system (and they will be customizing it) so jobs will be preserved but Symbian will no longer play the prominent role it once did at the company so job loss is inevitable.
Nokia workers walk out in protest after Microsoft news (via /.)



  1. Does Symbian have a future? No disrespect to anyone who wants to avoid Windows development, but it seems like if in some parallel world where this merger did not happen, what would Symbian developers be doing? Still work at Nokia while they slowly sink into the sea of more common dev platforms?

  2. I guess Nokias thinking is that if they become just another manufacturer of Android phones they’ll die a slow death by proven Asian competitors advantages and hope to carve a separate niche for themselves with Microsoft carrying the expensive software developement ball.

    Sounds silly to me. I’ve been thinking Nokia was going to have to adopt Android for a year or so and I still think doing that but developing their own Launcher and other customisations (on top of the Kernel – modding the Kernel is silly) is as good an option as anyone’s got for being an independent phone manufacturer.

    Using a popular platform attracts programs and features from all the worlds interested developers but there’s still a real need for someone to do the hard work of producing the best device and interface from the options available.

  3. Sadly that’s going to have zero effect on stragegy. The decision was made. One can argue about whether good or bad, but something had to be done, and their being decisive.

    I hope nokia are successful, and of course that the engineers still have plenty of interesting work to do regardless of platform.

    1. True true. i don’t think there is much hope for Nokia anymore. Pity. i used to be a nokia fanboy but saw the light and switched to Android. Meego would have been a better choice for them

    2. Do you mean the new CEO of Nokia, recently of Microsoft?

      I suspect he’ll be taking a helicopter to his summer house soon.

  4. WAlk now and avoid the ignomiy of being pushed. Symbian was dead years ago, Nokia (and its employers) just didn’t realise it.

    1. The workers need to get over themselves. Basically Nokia’s only market these days is fellow Finns and the developing world. So this move is likely meant to create a whole new demographic of Microsoft allegiance to the other 5 billion people in the world that have never heard of nor will ever use/see iOS or Android, but sure as shit know the name Nokia.

  5. So when the management at Nokia starts making layoffs and are faced with the difficult task of deciding who to keep and who to let go, this will make it much easier for them to decide. Of course they won’t come out and say that. I suspect the workers there have some sort of legal protection against retaliation, especially those who used flex time. But this kind of thing, especially since it is getting so much play in the press, won’t go unnoticed.

  6. They’ll all quit anyway, already the head of Meego development has left. It’s not as though they can release WP7 powered Nokia phones tomorrow – the hardware requirements of WP7 are far higher. They would still take a year or so to release those devices – time better spent working on Meego.

  7. The things is that few really believes Nokia can pull this off. The Nokia Stock plummeted after it was announced they would team up with Microsoft.

    Likes Turtles: probably their part of a union and if they are it would be extremely difficult to fire them for a strike a walk-out or… I dont know if english has this as a word at all but “pretending to be lazy”(?). Also since many unions in Finland have sister-unions abroad (like here in Sweden) it would create a ripple effect if they tried.

    1. The Nokia Stock plummeted after it was announced they would team up with Microsoft.

      It plummeted beacuse Nokia announced they would make no growth for a year until the new phones are released.

    2. I love that expression “pretending to be lazy.” So how do they tell if you’re lazy or just pretending?

  8. I know SYmbian is coming to an end but I though they were pinning their hopes on Meego/Maemo Linux of the n700, n800, n810, n900 series.
    It is too bad because the new flagship N9 was supposed to be a really great hackable/rooted Linux phone.

    1. It is too bad because the new flagship N9 was supposed to be a really great hackable/rooted Linux phone.

      Now who would want to see that sort of thing killed? I mean, aside from Apple, Microsoft, Palm, Motorola, and Samsung?

    2. It is too bad because the new flagship N9 was supposed to be a really great hackable/rooted Linux phone.

      Which really is meaningless and useless to the other 99% of potential buyers of the N9. Geek features does not a successful phone make.

  9. I wishfully thought Nokia would get to work on redesigning Symbian while they “partner” with MS for the time being. I guess they just want to make hardware huh. Like a beauty queen that gives up on chasing her dreams and settling down (with a married man).

  10. I guess I don’t feel a whole lot of sympathy since Nokia’s spent the last five years making phones no one wants. They need to do *something* different, and if that means partnering up with someone who makes a phone OS that people seem to actually like, so be it.

    I’m not exactly waving the flag in praise of Microsoft, but these people were going to be getting job losses anyway because *they make phones no one wants!!*

  11. They knew Symbian was done for, so they decided to pick a horse that should be able to keep running a while longer, and concentrate on their stregnths- the hardware. This would be a sound decision. protest all you want but if your job is to make a product that isn’t selling you simply won’t have that job much longer no matter what

    1. Nokia said they can’t differentiate themselves enough on Android – it’s too commodity, so it’d be really hard for them to beat Samsung or HTC in the Android space. And I have to agree, especially since companies like Samsung are moving at turbo speed on releasing new Android devices while slothful has-beens like Nokia take years to get a mediocre product out. Obviously they’re trying to change this now, but just moving to Android wouldn’t have fixed it.

      This seems like their only out to me. They can’t have iOS, they let Symbian die too far to resurrect in timely manner, and they can’t compete with the Koreans/Chinese in Android space – that leaves WP7. And I’m sure MS is ecstatic to have someone take them seriously here.

  12. Looking at this thing in a cold-hearted business sense, it would make more sense to go with an OS that customers are demonstrated to actually like (Android) vs. one that has no history of being liked (Windows).

    So an impartial businessman would choose Android.

    However, the Nokia leader is an ex-Microsoft guy, so he’s not impartial.

    Too bad for all those Nokia employees!

  13. No one noticed the MEEGO SIGN on the bus?

    N900 and related fans are going to be disappointed. Nokia had a Linux system under development, guess it’s going to be like another project Microsoft bought and killed.

  14. Interestingly, the CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop, does not own any Nokia shares… but has 200k Microsoft shares.

  15. It seems the current rate of development and innovation for both Nokia and Microsoft make them perfect for each other.

    At the same time I’m a big fan of competition, the more pushing innovation in the marketplace, the better it is–most of the time–for us here consumers. So I do hope Nokia succeeds, just wish it was sticking to its own OS.

  16. Nokia are sitting on a HUGE Phone technology patent mountain, I wonder will the partnership with Microsoft lead to troll-ish behaviour towards other companies?

    I liked the many low-end budget Nokia phones I’ve used. Pity to see the identity and feel of that effectively being gelded by a company like Microsoft.

    I do not think the relationship will be a healthy, well balanced one. Pity.

  17. Interesting to see Nokia’s market described as “only the developing world”, obviously an American wrote that, Nokia are/were huge everywhere except North America. The American market was always a tricky one due to the strange nature of the market and rather xenophobic nature of the American shopper. SMS interchange that was so unreliable that everyone uses email instead (hence the Blackberry). CDMA instead of GSM etc etc.

    I’m torn between how I feel about this tie-up. I used to really like Nokia, ex fan-boy if you like. Up until a few years ago you couldn’t go wrong with a Nokia phone. You knew it would last. You knew it would work. Why do you think they are so popular with less developed countries?

    Then they rather lost their way. They went off in too many directions and never committed to any of them. Symbian, Maemo, Meego, Qt… Anyone that started to develop in those environments has basically wasted their time. I was almost one of them except I couldn’t get the Qt SDK to work correctly on my PC (wouldn’t even compile the included examples!) – typical of recent Nokia software!

    Instead I decided to try Android SDK instead. Everything installed, everything worked. I’ve already written a couple of little apps whilst learning the environment, and I don’t even own an Android phone yet (still plodding through the last painful 24 month contract on my N97).

    I could have even forgiven Nokia for the N97 if it wasn’t for the impression of “we’ve got your money, now f*ck off” I get from their support staff. Absolutely no loyalty shown towards their customers equals absolutely no loyalty from this customer.
    They were off my “upgrade” list for the first time in over 10 years before the M$ announcement. They could announce a device with a 1920×1080 500 dpi screen and 3 days hard use battery life free on £30 contract and I still wouldn’t trust them enough to try it.

    The decision to go M$ has alienated most of their remaining loyal fans in the official discussion group. So if they’re going to make this tie-up then they are going to have to build the user base up from pretty much zero! Good luck with that!

    Sorry to see you go Nokia, but as far as this customer is concerned, you’re not the company I used to know and trust, and haven’t been for at least 3 years.

  18. This is much more embarrassing for Scandinavia than when Ericsson teamed with Sony. The early golden years for phones have gone – it must have taken a lot out of Nokia to last so long..

    Finland may join the EU soon?

  19. What poetic justice for Petaluma now that Redland will gear up with Nokia people. Still, teaming up with M$ won’t help with their dreadful presence in the USA market.

  20. The engineers have good reason to revolt – Nokia is merciless when it comes to trimming staff. Look what happened at Bochum a few years ago. The only thing keeping Copenhagen afloat is their canteen.

  21. News items for y’all:
    1- This deal was in the works before Elop was hired.
    2- These guys still would have walked out if they picked Android.
    3- Nokia is getting some of the “$” in your precious M$ attack tag. Google could give a crap about Nokia, and does not love you as much as you’ve fooled yourself into loving them.

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