Nokia boss: Why we chose Windows Phone 7

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop took to the Qualcomm Uplinq stage in San Diego on Thursday to deliver a keynote address where, as is becoming common for the under pressure boss, he pulled no punches.

The straight talking former Microsoft man described exactly why Nokia chose to tread the Windows Phone 7 path rather than the green-brick road of Android, and also described how Nokia is no longer in straight competition with other manufacturers in a device environment, but rather fighting on the side of Microsoft in a mobile OS arena. 

"We believe that what has happened over the last couple of years is that there has been a shift from the battle of devices to a war of ecosystems," he said.

"Our strategic premise at Nokia is that there is an opportunity for a third and competitive ecosystem to emerge and that is the basis on which we are going forward." 

Elop described how he felt that Apple changed the game when it launched the iPhone although he described the Cupertino company's approach as "closed" - where developers could only "participate within certain boundaries within a box".

He went on to say that it was Apple, therefore, that eventually created Android - as Google filled the vacuum for developers wanting to work in a more open environment. Elop's slideshow displayed the Apple logo on a closed box and the Android one on an open one - but one with flaps at the top.

"The flaps are still there," he said. "And it remains to be seen how open, and for how long."

When describing the specific reasons that Nokia decided against a Google partnership Elop said: "With Google we did believe that we would be joining an ecosystem which is on a winning trajectory.

"But our big concern would be that we would not be able to differentiate enough. There are already so many companies already piling into that space, all doing innovative and interesting things, that it would be hard to stand out amongst them."

It's clear that Elop sees Windows Phone 7 (or 7.5 rather) as Nokia's baby now - even describing how it is just a secondary device for manufacturers like Samsung and HTC and stating how what Nokia is bringing to the table in terms of mapping, navigation and the like could "define the third ecosystem".

Nokia has been criticised heavily form some quarters for not choosing to team up with Google and make Android devices but it's obvious that the company, or more specifically Elop himself, genuinely believes that it can make Windows Phone its own, and re-establish its position as a smartphone powerhouse.

Whether it succeeds or not remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure - it won't be due to a lack of effort from the CEO. 

Is Nokia on the way out, or has Elop pulled the strings to save it just in time? And was Windows Phone the right option? Let us know what you think using the comments below.