There is bound to be lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth today from the european old guard who remember the enemy of the mobile industry being the Microsoft domination of the PC market.
Let's drop a dose of reality onto things
1. The mobile phone market isn't going to become a clone of the PC market, with a dominant duopoly - Android + ARM won't become Windows + Intel, the switching cost - even with dominant application ecosystems is lower, and the opportunities for switching more frequent than the WinTel domination was able to take advantage (plus, an AnArm duopoly is a oxymoron)
2. The Microsoft that has produced Bing, Xbox Live and WP7 is a radically different Microsoft to the microsoft that gave us Windows - they are being nimble, radical, and consumer focussed - and producing better products for it.
3. Nokia has failed at producing software and services. They were early to market with smartphones, early with services (remember Club Nokia?) and early with Linux platforms (remember Maemo?) They have failed to execute on the lead they have - and failed to successfully make the transition from a great hardware business into a great software business.
So let Nokia focus on it's core - produce great, robust, hardware products, and deliver those to market on time, at low cost and with massive scale and distribution - and market those to consumers.
Let the Microsoft that produced WP7, XBOX Live and Bing focus on it's core - producing great, desirable consumer focussed products.
What do we have?
A resurgent Microsoft in the mobile space - who are able to leverage Nokia's scale and distribution to deliver great WP7 products to market at low cost in wide numbers of countries.
I'm optimistic on a three way platform race in Mobile between Apple/Google/Microsoft
The losers? The also ran providers - RIM, HP who are going to struggle to get the momentum behind the ecosystems - who would launch a new application on WebOS first? RIM first? These platforms are going to lag.
How could it go wrong?
The single biggest challenge is going to be ensuring that Nokia staff align behind Elop's vision - compelling would be demonstrations of WP7 running on Nokia hardware fast. Today? Next week at MWC? Next month? The dual teams at Nokia and Microsoft have a timescale measured in days to achieve this, and bringing the devices to market should have timescales measured in weeks.
Once the first products are in market then the challenge is to focus on key, core innovations that play to Nokia's strengths. The good news is we'll know by the end of Q4 - Nokia can, and must be the #1 manufacturer of WP7 phones by the end of that quarter. Time is short to prove yourself Nokia.