I’m making the rounds in Finland to survey its mobile tech scene (disclosure: FinnFacts paid for my trip) and it was somewhat surprising to hear that the country’s software industry may see Nokia’s shift to Windows Phone as a big opportunity. I say it’s surprising because there has been a lot of (deserved) doom and gloom because the move is leading to the layoff of 7,000 people.
The Software Industry Survey 2011 revealed some interesting facts and figures about the country’s perceptions about the strategy shift. Nokia is the largest employer in the country and the Symbian and MeeGo platforms have been providing tens of thousands of jobs for the last few years. While there is obviously some concern about the shift, only 3.3 percent of those surveyed said the shift directly impacted its core business.
You can expect that trend of Nokia leading Finland to continue but with the Windows Phone platform, as 23.8 percent of those surveyed expect to be developing for Microsoft’s latest smartphone operating system by 2012. If Nokia hadn’t chosen that platform, you definitely wouldn’t have seen the same amount of enthusiasm.
Because of the Nokia effect, I don’t think it’s fair to say that this fervor for Windows Phone will bleed over to developers in other markets. The response from most app makers I speak to is tepid but that could quickly change if those Nokia Windows Phone handsets gain a significant user base.
By contrast, that survey also found that the same percentage of companies expect to be developing for Android by the 2012 as well. With a rapidly-growing market share in many markets, Android is just too big of an opportunity to ignore. This is just another sign that Android’s momentum is not even close to slowing down.