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Nokia and RIM are getting similar bad press, but the realities are much, much different.

Nokia and RIM are both undergoing radical transitions that will change the core technology they have been built on for years — Nokia to Windows Phone 7 and RIM to QNX. The end goal for both companies is to have a modern, robust and attractive platform that will carry them through the next decade of mobile innovation. While their end goals are similar, and the bad press keeps piling on, the path to salvation for each is radically different.

When Stephen Elop took over at Nokia, people figured there’d be change. He was a new type of leader for the company and one with strong ties to an industry giant: Microsoft. When he announced Nokia’s intention to move to Windows Phone 7 as its primary operating system on phones, he did so by going “cold turkey” on Symbian, Meego and any other operating system Nokia may have been working with. He essentially said “we’re moving to Windows Phone 7… now. So get on-board”. It’s commendable to be so definitive and not leave any possible shadow of a doubt that this was the plan and that if you were planning on working with Nokia past 2012, you better be working with Windows Phone 7. The impact was, well, impressive. I’m not sure any other statement or direction change has pissed off so many partners of one company… ever. Resellers felt betrayed and carriers were annoyed that Nokia was saying to them that for the next year, they should be peddling phones that even Nokia was saying were shortly to be out of date and not supported by the company. The resulting (effective) boycott of Nokia phones from prominent marketing positions at carriers and resellers tanked Nokia’s marketshare about as fast as Nokia closing up shop would have.

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