Nokia has stunned the cell phone industry by teaming up with Microsoft, agreeing to switch its current smart-phone software in favor of Windows Phone 7. The move was greeted with shock and dismay by many, resulting in Nokia’s stock falling by fourteen percent on Friday, but Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who took over the company in September in what was seen as a way of “shaking things up” for the firm, has made no apologies for the decision, noting that Nokia is set to earn billions of dollars from Microsoft in return for using their cell phone software system. “This is something I don’t think was completely explained,” Elop says in response to some of the criticisms of the decision.
Google Inc apparently also courted Nokia, wanting the company to use its system, known as Android, for their phones. Given that Elop is a former executive at Microsoft, some critics have even gone so far as to call him a plant who will work to try and bring Nokia into line with everything Microsoft wants, a claim Elop dismisses. “The obvious answer (to that) is no,” Elop acerbically told analysts, industry executives and journalists at a special press conference on Sunday. “Thanks for asking.” Elop insists that the decision to switch to Windows Phone 7 for the operating system for all Nokia smart-phones was made unanimously by the entire board and also prevents the Android system from grabbing too much of the market. “A decision to go with Windows Phone creates a very different dynamic,” he says. “It’s an environment where now, Windows Phone is a challenger.”