Nokia's in a weird place. As if they weren't already in a weird place. They decided long ago to side with Microsoft and use Windows
Phone 7 as their smartphone OS, shuffling MeeGo under the mattress in order to do so. But the N9 was already in the development pipeline. And the N9 ran on MeeGo
. So, Nokia
decided to go ahead and launch the N9 with MeeGo, hopefully selling a few while tiding over Nokia fans until 'Sea Ray' phones could launch with WP7 later this year.
But we're guessing Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, never saw this kind of reaction coming. By and large, analysts and media members have praised MeeGo and the N9 in general, leading many to wonder why on Earth Nokia would do away with MeeGo before even giving it a fair shot in the market. That's not music to the ears of Microsoft, and definitely not to shareholders of Nokia. In a presumed attempt to push away some of that noise, Elop revealed the first actual WP7 Nokia device a few days ago, but we have to wonder if somewhere deep inside, Elop was still reconsidering the decision to shelve MeeGo.
Turns out, he has no public regrets, and no intentions of going back on his decision to side with Microsoft. In a recent interview, Elop made clear that there's no possible comeback of MeeGo on Nokia smartphones. Talking to the Helsingin Sanomat, he said this: "“I have talked a lot about how we increase our staff’s accountability, our empathy to listen to our clients and each other, and our aim to avoid being arrogant. The N9 features many new breakthroughs related to its usability, design, and materials, which we will be utilising and developing further in our upcoming models. I cannot speak of them more specifically just yet, but they will soon become apparent. I have taken part in the conversations with the teleoperators and I have been part of the consumer test groups. The feedback has been extremely positive and I am sure that the Windows Phone system will be a great success. Nokia will continue its research and development on the software side, as well as in services and equipment design. We will build inventions for our Windows phones that will make us stand apart from our competitors and bring significant additional advantage to our application developers."
For MeeGo lovers, that's a tough pill to swallow. But hey, at least the N9 is actually shipping, rather than being just another canned handset.