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Published on Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Nokia - a burning platform or a red-hot hoax?

Mark Bridge writes:

On Friday morning, Nokia is hosting a Strategy and Financial Briefing in London. And on Sunday evening, it’s holding a press briefing in Barcelona. CEO Stephen Elop is expected to make some significant changes to the company - but what will he say?

The rumours started when the company announced its quarterly and annual results a couple of weeks ago. Mr Elop talked of competing on an “ecosystem to ecosystem basis”, saying Nokia “must build, catalyse or join a competitive ecosystem”.

Does this mean Nokia is about to announce a partnership that would see it move away from its in-house Symbian and MeeGo operating systems?  That’s certainly what a lot of people expect. It’s something that James Rosewell mentions in today’s podcast: “I suspect we’re going to see a two-tier strategy from Nokia, where they’re going to give MeeGo a good chance but also bring out some similar handsets running Windows Phone.”

Yesterday, adding to the speculation, copies of what was said to be a memo from Stephen Elop started to appear online. Engadget.com is one of the sites with the full version, which it says has been confirmed as an official Nokia document. In it, Mr Elop describes Nokia as “standing on a burning platform” from where it needs to jump into the unknown.

However, author and consultant Tomi Ahonen isn’t convinced. He points to errors and omissions that suggest the document isn’t true.

It’s quite possible the truth is somewhere in the middle; like many internet memes, the original story may have been augmented and edited by participants to make a point. Mark Guim of thenokiablog.com says he’s been told it’s a blog post, not a memo, and “some of the info is false some true.”

Whichever is the case, we’ve only got 48 hours to wait. Why are we all so impatient?

 Key words from Burning Platform memo

[Word cloud by wordle.net based on text of alleged memo]

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