When Microsoft first announced the Surface, everyone was overwhelmed, Microsoft for the first time, would be building a complete experience, combining both hardware and software into one holistic product.
It can be argued that it is not an unprecedented step ,as Microsoft has already built game consoles, music players and even a mobile device (anyone remember the Kin?).
Nevertheless, this is the first time Microsoft has significantly morphed its business model from one primarily concerned with selling OS licenses to OEMs, to becoming a direct competitor to them.
At first, most OEMs did not know how to react to Microsoft’s move. Going from partner to direct competition is a bold step, after all.
Some OEMs, like Acer
, took it hard, but others seem to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, with the majority of OEMs noting they will sell some variant of a Windows 8 based tablet, based either on an Intel or ARM architecture.
One particularly close Microsoft partner, however, has not put its cards publicly on the table, and that’s Nokia. The Finnish phone maker has been wishy washy in its intentions regarding Windows 8 based tablets, despite the fact it is no stranger to building solid hardware.
Nokia is no stranger to the tablet or PC industry either. The firm’s so called "internet tablet," the Nokia 770, went on sale in 2005 and its first netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G ,was announced back in 2009.
Sure, the whole industry has changed since then, but so has Nokia.
In March of this year, Nokia's chief designer was cited
as saying the company was "working on it" when he spoke about an upcoming tablet.
In May Nokia's former Chairman, Jorma Ollila, said
just before leaving that tablets were “an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future."
So will there be a Nokia tablet after all? On September 5, Nokia and Microsoft are holding a joint press conference, where Nokia will likely announce its new Lumia phone series based on Windows Phone 8. Will there also be a tablet? Maybe.
When it comes to partnerships, however, in some cases, one side has to give up. This time it may be Nokia's turn.