At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer, Rich Greene, answered a few questions from Matthew Bencke, General Manager Windows Phone as well as audience members. A user interface manipulation question came up since it does seem Nokia’s special relationship with Microsoft may allow them to mess with the UI if they wanted to, but Greene responded with:
We certainly do, in the context of this agreement, have the right to manipulate the UX, the UI, etc. but…I’m not speaking for the plan, I’m speaking as the Chief Technology Officer: Why would you?
Let me clarify. There are so many places to innovate, it is critically important to provide the greatest opportunity for you the developer, you build once and everybody gets it, when you create more and more variance it becomes a hindrance. We also want customers to move between devices, preferably towards Nokia devices, but move between devices and not to hinder that in any fashion. The hardware and additional services we can offer will bring people to us, but if there are unfamiliar with a different environment, there may be a barrier to that, so why do it?
The other issue is would I rather invest our resources in building really cool augmented reality applications or move tiles around? It just doesn’t make sense. We’re going to invest much more of our time, as we should have over the years, building on the platform as opposed to building in the platform. There’s unlimited amounts of opportunity to differentiate and innovate in these things.
PC Magazine is also reporting that the enhancements and additions that Nokia makes to Windows Phone 7 can also be used by other manufacturers.
It’s in Nokia’s interest to encourage other companies to build Windows Phones, because Nokia will make money from services on all manufacturers’ Windows Phones, Sullivan said.
For instance, Nokia could take a cut of location-based advertising on Samsung or HTC Windows phones that use Nokia’s mapping technology.
“We’ll be using their map technology, and they’ll have opportunities to monetize their location based services,” he said. “There’s a range of possibilities in terms of how they can monetize this, and those possibilities are increased if the ecosystem is larger and more robust.”
This all sounds like great news for the Windows Phone 7 ecosystem.