Samstag, 13. März 2010
What Ovi.com needs
Nokia does not get tired to state, that they are in the transition from a device company to a device and services company. But as time goes by, any results won't show up. Look at Ovi.com and the success they made the last two years. What success? Yeah, that is the point. Nokia is blogging about what optimizations they made to their internal structures and blahblah.
But Ovi.com does not move forwards. With all the 1000nds of people working for Nokia, they seemed to forgot to hire some developers. The output is minimal. Beeing a software devlopement project leader and team leader for many years, I am sure I could generate more output with a few handfull of developers.
Nokia started late in the internet services arena. But if you are late, you should hurry. Nokia instead started late and moves slower than the rest of the field, loosing ground every day.
Apple has been late too, but Mobile me became a somewhat service for iPhone users, though also Apple has much room for improvement.
Ovi.com instead is very limited. Using a Mac and an iPhone with Mobile me, I could edit my contacts and appointsments whereever I want. They are completely synced over the air. OK, on Windows, it only syncs to Outlook, ignoring Windows Live Calendar and Contacts which is probably the default for all non-Outlook users on Windows. There is definitely room for improvement here. Mobile me's iDisk can be mounted via WebDAV, giving me access from all my Macs and PC's, at home and at work, as well as from my iPhone.
So what should Nokia do? Make Ovi.com from a 'me too' offering to a first class service. And not only for your own devices. Make it the best service for anyone, even those who don't use a smartphone. Give it great calendar and contact sync services for Windows, Mac and Linux users. Support the most important smartphone platforms, at least Blackberry, Symbian, iPhone Android and now MeeGo. The forums around the world are full of users looking for an appropriate sync service.
If the service will be great, you could even make money on it. Give away basic quantity, say a number of contacts, appointments etc, for free. And give a much higher quota, or a flatrate, to Nokia device owners.
Sun donated their CalDAV code to you. Use it! Make the calendar accessible via CalDAV asap. There are many users out there, looking for an alternative to Google Calendar for whatever reason. A CalDAV server can be used from the Mac Calendar, Mozilla Sunbird and Lightning on any platform. The iPhone supports it natively and Symbian^3 will hopefully too. But this won't be enough. Talk to Microsoft and license ActiveSync protocol, even Google did. Get all the Outlook users out there, and of course all the iPhone, Symbian and Windows mobile clients. And support Windows Live Calendar, this is now the default on Windows 7, as I wrote above.
And for the contacts: if you will support ActiveSync, you will already get a good amount of devices to support. And for the rest, the Ovi sync application will be appropriate. But don't forget Windows Live Contacts. And also support the Mac Contacts application directly, I don't want to sync my contacts on my device first, to get them onto my Mac. Make an Ovi sync client for integrating Mac and Ovi contacts directly.
Regarding email, just give us IMAP and for the push-mail junkies ActiveSync as an option. This could be an option for Nokia for a paid premium service. No problem. But POP mail is lame, when used from more than one device.
In summary, this would be a service, I would pay for. I now give my money to Apple and their Mobile me, but it is a closed shop. No CalDAV, no ActiveSync, the Outlook sync is lousy and it won't work on any other mobile device than the iPhone. We Gadget lovers DO switch our devices from time to time and I don't wan't to change my complete infrastructure behind it every time. So there is an opportunity to leapfrog Apple with their Mobile me and offer the better service even for iPhone users! And many of them pay 69,95 €/$ a year for the Mobile me service.
Nokia was late with Ovi.com and is still behind. But there is an opportunity to make it a first class service. Just hire some additional developers and do it.