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@Jeff Dickey : > And has any non-developer/non-geek ever heard of any of the above (Qt, Meego, Tizen, Mer)?
Maybe not, and many end users might not be interested in that stuff. But at least the business guys should be; and what I am actually complaining about is that they are not in many cases. It is a common misconception that you just need to be a damn good businessman to run an IT company well, but you do not need to have any clue about the underlying technology. It's wrong.
Just take Nokia as an example: From a pure (naive) business perspective the Microsoft-Nokia deal made a whole lot of sense. From a technological perspective, it didn't. The main argument of Elop for switching to Windows Phone in February 2011 was that MeeGo would not be finished in time. Nevertheless --- although Nokia heavily cooled down their MeeGo efforts after the MS announcement, the Nokia N9 was announced on June 21, 2011 and it became available to the public in September 2011. The Lumia 800 device was presented in October 2011 and became available at the beginning of 2012.
Windows Phone 7 might have a nice interface, but it is doomed to fail, even just because of it's CE kernel. With the release of Windows (Phone) 8, it will be the first time, that Microsoft has a modern software ecosystem available for all kinds of devices (tablets, samrtphones, PCs): A common codebase, which runs on ARM and on X86 CPUs, with a modern kernel and with a modern browser engine, etc. BTW: The Microsoft Surface thing is really interesting, having the metro UI for your tablety stuff on the one hand, and the nice touch cover keyboard together with the whole MS ecosystem (MS Office, Outlook (with Exchange / Sharepoint connection), ...) in a desktop UI on the other hand just on one mobile device. But that is another story.
Anyway, the day of the release of Windows Phone 8 is the first date, at which a smart manager should even think about basing the whole fate of his company on Windows Phone. Period. And <a href="http://www.micuintus.de/2011/02/12/the-death-of-the/">Nokia had it all back then in February 2011</a>: They had the Linux kernel, they had put millions of dollars into Qt, they had Nokia Maps, MeeGo was nearly finished and it was going to be hot and sexy (as you can see from the N9),... so why throw all of this away for Windows Phone 7‽ As you can see now, this decision was wrong.
2 years, 6 months ago on RIP, Nokia (1865 – 2014)
Nokia should *now* join the TIZEN initiative *and* the Mer project and bring its wonderful Qt-based swipe GUI of Meego harmattan / the N9 to TIZEN within the scope of the Mer project (http://merproject.org/). And then they should release new images for the N9, build a N10 with Mer, build Mer tablets...
They should contribute to Mer (MeeGo && TIZEN) just in the FOSS and openly governed way as they are doing with Qt. Then they have a chance of gaining ground again. http://www.micuintus.de/2011/02/12/the-death-of-the/
They could stick with Windows Phone and even go for Android in parallel.