There have been several on and off rumours about Nokia doing a Windows Phone 7 handset or not, especially now that Stephen Elop (previously of Microsoft) is in charge of the Finnish handset maker.
Nokia has been steadily losing marketshare. Even in its stronghold, India, the recent numbers show that Nokia has lost share to Android and several local players. One of Nokia’s biggest problem is their platform strategy. Symbian had been Nokia’s trump card till iPhone came along and sent Nokia into a tizzy of coming out with a competitive alternative. So far, Nokia hasn’t been able to challenge either Android or iOS.
Nokia certainly needs time to figure out a long term strategy while ensuring short term marketshare stability. This a reason I believe Nokia should opt for Windows Phone 7 and Android as an interim alternative till they are confident with their indigenous mobile OS. Windows Phone 7 has a fixed spec sheet and given Nokia’s handset designing experience they can do a decent job of designing at most two phones with and without physical keyboards. Alongside WP7, some resources can be spent on developing a custom Android experience with again not more than two handsets.
Android and WP7 handsets will get Nokia some much needed (good) attention and the required time to invest in their own platform. Nokia doesn’t necessarily need to compete with HTC, Samsung, Google, Microsoft at the same time. They can forge alliances with Google and Microsoft for the short term while competing with other handset manufacturers and place themselves as a long term competitor with all the four.