Posted by Mike Evans in Mobile Phone Industry on March 15, 2011

Nokia is well aware that its decision to tie itself so closely to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was fraught with one enormous strategic risk – that its entire strategy, and even its entire business, is now solely in the hands of Microsoft. If Microsoft screws up with Windows Phone 7, then Nokia is screwed as well.

Unbelievably, that nightmare scenario is now starting to play out just a month after Nokia’s billion-dollar deal with Microsoft. Apparently, Nokia isn’t interested in the current generation of WinPho7, and so is waiting for the next generation to be developed (codenamed Mango). This will give Nokia more of a chance to put its own stamp on the new OS, which will help it to differentiate its WinPho7 devices from any other manufacturer stupid brave enough to develop competing WinPho7 devices.

But there is a problem. A very large problem. A problem that users of Microsoft’s software know only too well.

Microsoft isn’t exactly renowned for shipping products on time!

Windows Phone 7 Mango delayed until 2012

The new update to WinPho7 is called Mango, and Microsoft was originally meant to release it in October 2011. If it had managed to do this, Nokia would have been able to release its own Mango-based device well in time for the crucial Christmas period.

However, a source claims that Mango will now only be finalised by the end of the year, meaning that Nokia’s new device won’t be on sale until 2012 at the earliest.

Even worse, this all depends on there being no further delays between now and then, but Microsoft’s track record so far hasn’t exactly been stellar. It started to roll out an update to WinPho7 (called NoDo) two weeks ago, only to have to hastily retract it as it bricked certain Samsung WinPho7 devices.

So Microsoft is now working on a software update to upgrade its phones so that they can be upgraded with the first update to WinPho7! And even then, the new NoDo update provides certain crucial features – such as cut and paste and faster operational speed – that really should have been part of the mobile OS when it was first released.

Worse – NoDo is WinPho7’s first update, yet it’s being rolled out a full 5 months after the mobile OS originally launched – and it only offers an incremental improvement. Mango is the real biggie, but its “…release to customers by the end of the year…is a near impossibility.”

If I was in Stephen Elop’s position, I’d be getting very very worried about the postition I’d just put my new company in!

[Windows IT Pro]