Linus Torvalds thinks Nokia should have gone Android

Linus Torvalds thinks Nokia should have gone Android
Linus Torvalds is a name virtually every Linux user knows - he’s the person behind Linux’s kernel and his name is embedded in the very name of the operating system. The OS expert has been living the States for around 20 years now, but he went back to his homeland of Finland this week to receive the Millenium Technology Prize and local publications got a chance to interview him to learn about his opinion on the booming mobile industry.

Particularly interesting is Torvalds’ opinion on Finland’s pride, Nokia. The Linux guru said Nokia would have been better off choosing Android for its main future platform rather than Windows Phone. Moreover, the Nokia Windows Phone was a mistake according to him, but an understandable one if you look at current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s background at Microsoft. And his preference for Android is not surprising given that the platform in its core is a Linux implementation, is it?

Currently, Torvalds himself is sporting an Android phone and particularly appreciates the state-of-the-art email experience despite not liking mobile phones in general. The Linux expert also had a couple of words about Windows, which he thinks has become popular as people were forced to use it at work and didn’t have the time to learn a new operating system.

Now, agree or not, Torvalds’ opinion likely won’t change the course for neither Nokia nor Microsoft. You can voice your opinions as well - in the comments below.



1. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

So does many others. Am bloody sure android on nokia would've been the first preference for the majority in asia and europe.

2. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea....I dont think most ppl said Android only tho. But WP7 AND Android. Like most other manufactures. Its interesting reading the opinions of folks like him and Woz.

4. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Here in South East Asia as long as it has a nokia badge it will sell well, but the explosion of the low end android (Xperia minis, Galaxy Y, LG optimus one) has changed that at a growing rate.

13. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

808 Pureview is out can't wait for prodigy on WP, so excited !!!

28. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

If Nokia built Android phones, they would be the first phones I look at when considering what to purchase. Nokia-built Windows Phone are near the bottom of my list. I would looked at MeeGo phones had they not killed off that platform.

3. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

If that was the case Nokia would be in my Hands right now .....

5. AbhiD

Posts: 880; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

What he says is partially right..., going with android would have been an easy, immediate solution for nokia to gain their lost market share and earn loads of money but if WP8 actally turns out to as good as microsft or nokia claims than android itself might be in trouble, given the loads of new features, power and functionality that will come standard with WP8

17. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

Just imagine Nokia launcher and Nokia apps in Android, that would be the hit! But now Nokia was hit by WP train to nowhere.

6. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

i think they should've stuck with Meego and WP7 they're putting all their eggs in 1 basket look at Samsung they have bada tizen android and WP7

7. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

While I think Nokia would have had much quicker success if they'd gone android, I'm glad they chose WP. We need a third (at least) alternative, and diluting Nokia's focus by adding android phones to their line up might hurt its chances. Particularly if they see significantly more sales from android, they could drop WP altogether. (I'm just hoping they get rid of metro, or at least allow UI replacements)

11. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

nokia+Android= lose to samsung

32. rasinhussy

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 28, 2008

Would have a Nokia Android phone over Samsung any day. Samsung is good but Nokia > Samsung.

34. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

If there was a Nokia Android phone that offered the same specs as Samsungs phones, the Nokia would be better. Nokia makes quality phones, like Apple does, and Samsung makes junk in a plastic wrapper. I have owned a Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S1) and now own a Galaxy S2. It's almost like Samsung is ok with having an extremely high failure rate for their devices because they use sub standard components. I have had problems with every Samsung phone I've owned after 6 months of use, be it big or small. Nokia device are constructed 100 times better than Samsung and are made to last.

8. zhypher_23

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I definitely agree with this guy, Android and iOS are nearly the tops OS's *I like Android more btw* For me, IMO, the WP OS looks to simple to me, not to my liking, dunno that's just me, but sadly again, I think Nokia would be booming right now in the smartphone market if they had chosen the Android Platform, but like they say "It's Never Too Late to Change" Maybe they should give Android a Try, oh yeah and btw, "Why" didn't they choose the Android platform in the first place?

9. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am glad Victor pointed out that a Linux influenced person may lean to Android in every situation. Perfectly natural, and I would expect him to feel that way. But I still feel the same way as I did before about Nokia's decision: 1) Microsoft is backing Nokia in ways it will never back other manufacturers without them going all in, either. Financially, as well with preferential treatment. You can argue that Nokia would have better sales with Android, but you cannot argue that Google would have lifted a finger to get the (at the time) largest manufacturer in the world on Android. Microsoft saw the worldwide presence they so desperately needed, and put their money and their creativity behind them. It is STILL a good fit, though not the home run both were hoping for. 2) While I feel it was a mistake to completely shutter their Symbian line, all their eggs aren't in one basket, anymore than any other manufacturers are. If Nokias WP8 devices flop or just do not sell as well as they hope, it is never to late to start with Android. All they have to do is decide to do it, and within months they can have Android branded Nokia's out.

16. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

I'm confused but didn't Nokia end up in trouble by going with WP7 and shuttering it's own OS? Not sure I understand your point saying that Google would not have lifted a finger to get then the largest manufacturer on board with Android. This was Nokia's own decision to not go with Android as it was a competing OS but the decision was a bit foolhardy considering they are basically building phones for another corps OS(which I pretty much guessed was something they didn't want to do hence why they avoided Android). No matter what you might think it was a bad decision from any business standpoint to dump all your business into one sector and stupidly close out other opportunities and also shutter their own popular OS. Now look at their market share, whilst they are building some ace phones the biggest problem now is that with so many Android phones at different levels and price points it's going to an impossibly tough climb into a market of such variety. I'm disappointed in the fact that Nokia put on blinders just to "get the money" that MS was funneling into them. The leadership squandered their position at the top, instead of taking a cue from Samsung and spreading out a bit and still maintaining their own OS, we have Nokia in this position. No matter how good WP7/8 are, people aren't just going to jump on board like mindless sheep. Worse is carriers aren't too keen on the platform to begin with as Android and iOS are insanely popular and WP7 is like iOS in structure and unlike Androids customization. Wasn't there news of Nokia adding variation to models to different carriers, something MS didn't want...hmmm, as the world turns eh? Wish Nokia good luck as it is going to be a hard battle, should things go from bad to worse will MS just cut and run leaving Nokia like a boat without fuel in the middle of the ocean with sharks circling? Time will tell what happens from now on.

25. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

The fact is Elop did approach Android, and BlackBerry, about their OS's. This fact gets lost in the conversation about Nokia. Microsoft simply offered the moon, stars, and the sun to get Nokia onboard. Google looked at them as just another manufacturer, and would give no extra concession to them. BlackBerry wasn't interested in licensing their upcoming BB07, allowing Nokia exclusives, and giving access to their BBM. MS offered exclusive access to their kernal and guarantees concerning exclusives, financial support to their transition and advertising, and concessions concerning future updates. For the love of all that is Holy, MS put off WP8 just to create Tango so Nokia would have access to a low end OS to try and get into the developing markets where smartphone penetration is just now starting JUST to get Nokia to commit. MS went all in for them, seeing an opportunity to get a worldwide presence for a fraction of the time and cost it may otherwise have taken. Developers responded, and support for WP, and also for Widows RT for Tablets, benefited. It is easy to say something else should have happened. But it was, and still should be, a great partnership. Android is still an option. And if WP 8 does not pay off, the next Nokia CEO will probably take advantage of it. And by the way, you misinterpreted what Nokia meant by different devices for different carriers. AT&T would get a 900 sequel, Verizon would get a totally different hardware device, Sprint and T-Mo would get their own, ECT. The WP8 and exclusives on Nokia's hub would be the same, just the phones would be unique.

10. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

If Nokia went green we would have seen more upscale phones beyond the Lumia 900 but I honestly think the form factor of the next gen Lumia phones were suited best for WP7. Nokia made a tough call but AT&T was forced to subsidize the heck out of these phones to drive in business.

12. chapizzo

Posts: 116; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

I agree, it was a mistake for Nokia to put all bets on windows phone alone. What they had in Meego was very promising. If only they had given it more time.

21. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

I agree with you, Nokia would be battling Samsung and HTC if they would had went with Meego and!, the would had been sweet! Nokia vs Samsung vs HTC for the right to be call King of the Andies!

26. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I agree, but think Symbian should have kept going. Meego was new, development and apps were non-existent, and the resources were way too strained to give it the support it truly needed. Symbian was developed, had a huge fan base, and needed must a fraction of the cost to maintain. It was a HUGE mistake not to support a couple new Symbian devices while the Lumina series was getting started.

14. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Beautiful designs ruined by elop

15. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

only time will tell its only been what a year. ill check back in in 4 years and see if it was a mistake. everybody said android would fail 4 years later look at it now. i doubt windows will have a 60% market share but they will have a decent share. remember microsoft is trying to convert people to wp. there going after the 50% that are first time smartphone buyers. people seem to forget less than 50% own a smartphone and its probably less than that world wide. so in a nutshell there is plenty of people and market share for microsoft to get in, not to mention if they attack the business world with good force and show the ease integration that the windows phone and pc can do connect with server support they will eat into that market like a fat girl at a buffet.

18. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

When the world's largest manufacturer of OS's decides to fully push a "one OS to fit them all" strategy, then it is pretty naive to think they will not become a major mobile player pretty soon. The synergies between WP8 and Win8 are simply massive, and will be a major driver for both consumers and business in the next few years. What Nokia accomplished by completely embracing WP7 was to make themselves the WP brand of choice, not only through their actual deal with MS, but in consumers' minds. When a consumer now thinks or hears WP, you bet it's Nokia that embodies it. And that's likely going to carry over when the number after WP is 8 also. Nokia would not have been in a position to challenge Samsung or the other android makers on specs etc, that has rarely been their forte. What has been Nokia's strength however, is design and proprietary apps. With WP, their design makes them stand out (e.g. who on earth would want an HTC Titan when they see a Lumia), and they can add value with great apps. Imo, going for WP was a brilliant decision that will make Nokia a very successful company again in the next couple of years.

19. PhansMuneeb

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

+1 for you

35. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I would want a Titan over a Lumia, hold a titan, use it, that phone is a beautiful fusion of hardware and software, darn shame it might not get apollo....

20. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

Nokia chose WP7 because it had a sugar daddy with deep pockets named Balmer. If Nokia chose Android or Meego, it would be in an even worse cash position than it is now.

22. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Agreed.Elop should have played safe by launching both wp and android phones. Hope mr linux is not promoting android,though.

23. Awaragardiyan unregistered

IMO going with android wud have been a quicker success but in the long run WP7 is a better option.

24. profperez1

Posts: 76; Member since: May 08, 2012

I don't there is a point to be another player in that field. They say that WM will overtake Apple in 2016. Even if this isn't "ALL" true one might speculate that there will still be a strong market for Windows handsets. So I think it is worth the risk to jump on to this platform. When you walk into Best Buy and see Windows 8 tablet/pc-----then have a phone upgrade----I think the Microsoft strategy will work. The question is should RIM have gone with Android.

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