Marko Ahtisaari, son of the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, is Nokia’s Head of Design. According to Reuters, he recently told the Finnish publication Kauppalehti Optio that he’s spending a third of his time working on “a tablet for the cellphone maker, which would stand out among hundreds of iPad-challengers.” What exactly can he do to make Nokia’s tablet stand out … we have no idea. But something tells us that due to Microsoft’s special relationship with Nokia, their tablet will be the equivalent of a Google Nexus device, meaning it’ll run Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating the way Microsoft wants, i.e. with no extra bullshit installed and all of Microsoft’s online services deeply integrated. What we want to know is will Nokia be given a special licensing deal for Windows 8? When Nokia announced their Q4 2011 financial results, and more recently submitted their annual 20-F filing, this choice nugget of information was discovered:
“The total amount of the Microsoft platform support payments is expected to slightly exceed the total amount of Nokia’s minimum software royalty commitments.
In other words, Nokia is using Microsoft’s software not only for free, but that Microsoft is actually paying Nokia to use their software. Right now this only applies to Windows Phone, but surely the same type of contract will also likely be extended to desktop Windows, right? If this is the case, how do you think that’ll make ASUS, HP, and Lenovo feel? They have to cough up an unspecified amount of dough to make Windows devices. If Nokia doesn’t have to do that, expect the PC industry to be absolutely livid.
Truth be told, we’re kind of worried that the future success of Nokia is incredibly tied to the future success of Microsoft. Both companies are losing not just mind share, but market share too.
Expect to hear more news about this topic in late Q3 or early Q4.