Finland backs Microsoft not MeeGo

What better place to poke our nosey noses around Nokia than its home turf? Here at the Aalto university, talking to local industry watchers and keen developers in an offshoot room of its bustling start-up lodge. 

Well, Nokia’s seedy love-in with domineering MSFT might actually be *good* for Finland. Though worries of straining the relationship between Finland and the States were rife, at least some of the start-up scene thinks it’s a good opportunity to hire top new talent.

Nokia’s dealings with Microsoft were referred to as a change in strategy throughout, which is one way of putting it, and weight wasn’t given to prospects of a positive future for Nokia’s independent future.

On the bright side, the industry is “becoming more mobile despite Nokia’s hardship,” and twice as many companies in Finland will develop for mobile platforms by 2012.

The Finns love Nokia. Somewhat bizarrely, our impression among businesses we’ve talked to so far – and we will be down at Nokia HQ tomorrow to find out more – is that Microsoft has managed to buy itself something priceless. You wouldn’t think you could buy loyalty. But the Finns have let their love of Nokia transfer over to its abusive controller, Microsoft. Not the Stockholm Syndrome. Helsinki syndrome, we guess.

“If Nokia had not adopted Windows Phone we wouldn’t see these figures. If Nokia wasn’t a Finnish company we wouldn’t see these figures,” we hear. That’s talking about Microsoft’s predicted success to become the top three in the smartphone and mobile market, where it will battle off competition from rivals to really be a contender. 

What of poor little MeeGo? Yes, we’ve been ragging on MeeGo a little for a while now. We hope it does well, we really do. Unfortunately for MeeGo, in Finland – the country where it is perceived to have much of its more dedicated support – there are “only a handful of MeeGo developers”.

“They don’t view MeeGo as much of a huge opportunity as the Windows Phone.” This is the view of Aalto University and supported by the Software Industry Survey 2011, not to mention anecdotally from plenty of others.

There is still some hope for the beleaguered software. Some think there are solid opportunities for it in the automotive industry. Then again, everyone else wants in too. 

It’ll spell trouble for Intel which is demonstrating its famous committment to the operating system. Cash backing the product is largely hoisted over from Intel’s coffers, we hear, especially in Finland. But for the Finns, they don’t want to “jump ship from Nokia to Intel”. Not when Nokia’s with Microsoft now.