News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday January 16, 2014.
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The agreement that Microsoft signed with Nokia prevents Nokia from selling smartphones once the deal is finalized; however, the Nokia Normandy could be the last act as an independent company or the first headache for Microsoft.
Nokia will cease making smartphones once the Microsoft acquisition is officially official. Despite gaining government and shareholder approval, the transfer of power has not yet occured, meaning Nokia has to continue on its own timeline as if nothing has changed. As a result, that means it goes ahead with plans to unveil the Normandy, an entry-level phone running a forked version of Android. The Normandy takes Android and dramatically alters its user interface and performance, similar to what Amazon did with the Kindle Fire. If the Microsoft deal doesn't close prior to its expected announcement at Mobile World Congress, Nokia could release the device and put Microsoft in the awkward position of having to support an Android phone.
One consolation for that undesirable position is that Nokia's take on Android at least resembles Windows Phone. The UI follows the concept of colored tiles being on a black background as the main way to navigate. Screenshots posted by evleaks show that the conventions wouldn't be too hard to translate should someone switch from a Normandy to a Windows Phone handset. Maybe Microsoft can encourage those users to have a familiar design when they finally make the jump to a more powerful smartphone.
The tough part for Microsoft is that it probably wants to prevent the Normandy from being an issue to worry about at all. The future owners of Nokia's handset division have a hard enough time figuring out how to get Nokia's current customers of low-end Asha devices onto Windows Phone.source: evleaks, via: The Verge
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.