THE WRAP: Nokia's burning platform

John C. Tanner
11 Feb 2011

It was the week that saw mass speculation over Nokia’s OS strategy and Egypt’s Internet shutdown.

The Internet was ablaze with speculation this week after a leaked memo purportedly penned by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop described Nokia as “standing on a burning platform”.

The memo said that Nokia’s OS strategy is years behind rivals Apple and Google’s Android, and that the company will only fall further behind if it pursues MeeGo and Symbian – which might mean Nokia will officially embrace either Windows Phone 7 or even Android at its strategy day today.

That said, Google’s engineering VP Vic Gundotra was quick to dismiss rumors that Nokia would adopt Android. "Two turkeys do not make an eagle," he wrote on Twitter.

There was also plenty of speculation over the Egyptian government’s six-day shutdown of the Internet and mobile networks at the end of January during street protests demanding the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. Industry analysts estimate the shutdown may have cost the country around $110 million (not including loss of income from other sectors affected by the blackout).

Analysts also noted the politically motivated shutdown hinted at wider implications for operators and vendors seeking to invest in emerging markets, such as a review of risk assessment and management.

However, other analysts noted that the Egyptian shutdown was an example of a growing desire by governments of all shapes and sizes to take greater control of the Internet, whether in terms of content filters or so-called “kill switches” to fend off cyberattacks on critical IT infrastructure.

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