(NYTIMES) – BARCELONA — One year ago, Jo Harlow, the head of smartphones at Nokia, stood before a packed Barcelona convention hall to explain the Finnish company’s new software alliance with Microsoft, a few days after the agreement had been announced in London.
The need for the deal had been so urgent that Nokia and Microsoft, grasping for a foothold in a mobile computing industry being quickly dominated by Apple and Google, had gone public without a definitive legal agreement, just a handshake and promise to work together, somehow.
Ms. Harlow, the captain of Duke University’s women’s basketball team from 1983 to 1984, had faced pressure in many formations, shapes and sizes. She explained to the crowd of analysts and journalists gathered at the annual industry convention here last year that Nokia and Microsoft would produce their first phone using the Windows operating system by the end of the year — a pace two to three times quicker than Nokia’s previous rhythm.
But deep down, even Ms. Harlow was a bit awed by the task before her, which would require an accelerated, effective collaboration with a completely different corporate culture in a creative endeavor so intimate that both would have to discard mutual mistrust to make it work.
“I remember standing on that stage and saying that I would deliver one device by the end of the year,” Ms. Harlow said during an interview last week. And she said she thought to herself: “Now I really have to do it.”
But one year later, Nokia and Microsoft have exceeded their own predictions, and by most estimations, the expectations of many in an industry now dominated by Apple, the smartphone market leader, and Samsung, the No.2, whose lineup relies on smartphones running Google’s Android operating system, the world’s most ubiquitous.
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- Samsung Report Eyes 15% Rise In Handset Sales Next Year (snspost.com)
- Nokia expanding Lumia Windows Phones to China, other countries; new Lumia 610 announced (seattletimes.nwsource.com)