Will Nokia’s Elop Trade a Burning Platform for a Smoldering One?

Nearly a year ago Stephen Elop was President of Microsoft’s Business Division and delivered a keynote about the 2010 Business Productivity Product Line at a conference I attended. The presentation was forward looking, well executed, and promised good things coming from that division. Flash forward to 2011 and Mr. Elop is CEO and President of cell phone giant Nokia. He took Nokia’s helm on September 21, 2010.

Engadget reported on a leaked internal memo where Elop compared Nokia’s current situation as akin to standing on the platform of a burning oil rig.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop rallies troops in brutally honest ‘burning platform’ memo? (update: it’s real!)

There has been a lot of speculation that Elop will people in top management positions, replace the S60 and MeeGo mobile platforms with either Android or Windows Phone, or both. If Nokia chooses Android as a replacement platform, it may become a faceless me-too manufacturer. Choosing Windows Phone from his former firm has downside too. After a initial positive reception by reviewers, Windows Phone has fallen off the tech buzz charts. There isn’t a lot of discussion about the platform, its services, or apps except for Windows Phone enthusiasts (which I must admit to being among). More importantly, there hasn’t been a single new phone announced since the initial phone models were revealed just before the platform’s launch. And, Microsoft has yet to provides a single update to address system issues and missing features. If Nokia’s platform is burning, Microsoft’s might be said to be smoldering.