updated 04:55 am EST, Thu February 17, 2011
Nokia to be given deep access to WP7 OS
When the deal between Nokia and Microsoft was made public, one aspect of interest to observers is what special influence, if any, that Nokia will be able to exert on Windows Phone 7 OS. Microsoft has exerted tight control over the phone hardware specifications that manufacturers must meet in order to licence WP7, and has strictly limited the level of customization that carriers and manufacturers have been able to add to the OS. In an interview with Phone Scoop at the World Mobile Congress, Nokia VP Niklas Savander has said that Nokia has been granted approval to delve deep into the OS to help shape its development, where previously it had been closed to other OEMs.
However, while Nokia will have the power to shape the development of the WP7 platform, its deeper changes will be reverted to Microsoft to build into a general OS release that will be available to all other manufacturers. According to Savander, high-level customizations, such as alternative tiles and menus will remain for Nokia only, as they do for other OEM's.
The rationale behind this move is so that any updates that Microsoft make to the OS can be rolled out to all Windows Phone 7 devices simultaneously in order to avoid the fragmentation issues that have plagued the Android platform due to the numerous manufacturer-specific iterations of the Android OS.
While it potentially leaves Nokia little room to differentiate from other manufacturers in terms of the both the OS and hardware experience, its special arrangement with Microsoft may help to appease some of internal dissent at the decision to abandon Symbian as its premium mobile platform. [via Phone Scoop]