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Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki
Exiting Nokia exec guns for Android

There has been a lot of turmoil at Nokia in the past few weeks. Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was ousted and replaced by a former Microsoft exec, Stephen Elop. Just days later, Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki announced that he would leave the company within six months.

With all the hubbub surrounding these departures and Nokia's efforts to launch new products, an article on Vanjoki in the Financial Times went unnoticed last week. Engadget managed to pick up on the piece in which Vanjoki is highly critical of Google's Android operating system.

Vanjoki states that smartphone manufacturers are flocking to Android, seeing it as a panacea to help boost profits. However, he states that using Android is only a short-term solution, and it won't be viable in the long-term as more manufacturers hop on the bandwagon and it becomes harder to differentiate between handsets.

Vanjoki bluntly states that manufacturers who use Android are like Finnish boys who "pee in their pants" to stay warm in the cold of winter.

Harsh words indeed, but this isn't the first time that we've heard such criticism of Android. Microsoft has long voiced its opposition to Android and most recently made it clear that the mobile operating system should not be considered "free" because of associated legal risks.

“It does infringe on a bunch of patents, and there’s a cost associated with that,” said Microsoft CFO Tivanka Ellawala. “So there’s a... cost associated with Android that doesn’t make it free.”

For the time being, both Nokia and Microsoft should be worried about Android growing even stronger in the U.S. market. Android has already surpassed Apple is making a run at RIM.

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RE: Already an issue for Android.
By Octoberblue on 9/22/2010 1:48:12 PM , Rating: 1
       Android is only a short-term solution, and it won't be viable in the long-term as more
       manufacturers hop on the bandwagon and it becomes harder to differentiate between

This statement is misguided on so many levels I hardly know where to start. As someone already pointed out, nobody cares about any of this "differentiation" of operating systems. The job of an OS is to be stable and functional (by which I mean smooth and 'snappy'). The differentiation occurs in the hardware and, to a lesser extent, the custom apps that run that hardware (ie: camera, camcorder etc). And of course the old stand-by: branding.

Similar to PCs, customers care about things like the processor speed and graphics performance. Items unique to the smart phone market, which are of the most importance for differentiation, include: Screen size, contrast, color, luminosity, and durability. Photo and video quality (which are becoming increasingly important). Battery life. Also, the hot "extras", such as tethering, hot-spot performance, etc.

These mostly hardware-based features provide PLENTY of room for differentiation! It seems idiotic to me that anyone would consider the OS terribly important for differentiation. As long as it performs well and is flexible and extensible, the OS has done it's job.

Naturally Apple is going to make noise about patents on multi-touch and the like. But Apple has been prone to patent trolling for a while now, and I doubt if this will go anywhere. Apple likes to patent overarching areas of functionality. But these seem unlikely to stand up in court. Patents that cover the function of anything without regard to it's method of implementation are really not supposed to be issued in the first place.

In order to get a patent, you are SUPPOSED to be required to describe the uniqueness of your invention. Not just the functionality, but the unique way in which you have implemented that functionality. You can't patent putting a piece of cardboard on the floorboard of a car to keep it clean while the mechanic works on it. But you can patent a piece of cardboard with a specific shape, specific folds in certain places, etc, to place on the floorboard of a car while the mechanic works on it. I know a man who did exactly that back in the 1970's. He is quite rich today.

The point is that you can't just patent "multi-touch". At least I don't think you can. I am not a lawyer. But if someone else creates the same functionality with a sufficiently distinct design and implementation, I don't believe a sane judge would consider that infringement. Otherwise Ford could have simply patented "mass production of cars through the assembly of individual parts". Then Ford would be the only car on the road!

RE: Already an issue for Android.
By jive on 9/23/2010 7:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
your post would have made some sense if the companies would really operate on the basis what is best for their customers. Hate to burst your bubble but that unfortunately is not the case.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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