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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 1, 2011 at 5:22 PM

D9: Nokia’s Elop defends Microsoft deal, no hardware yet

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. — No matter how many ways Walt Mossberg asked, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop insisted that he’s not a plant sent to Finland to get the world’s biggest phone maker to use Windows.

Elop led Microsoft’s business software business before moving to Nokia in November. In February Nokia announced that it will use Windows Phone for its next smartphone platform, instead of Nokia’s own software or Google’s Android platform.

“No, the Trojan horse theory has been well overplayed. I’d refer you to the grassy knoll for more details,” he said to Mossberg during the All Things D conference.

Elop said Nokia will launch of family of Windows-based phones by the end of the year, around the holidays. He’s now using one but declined to reveal the device to Mossberg.

“We expect the first devices to be shown and launched at the end of this year, so in the fourth quarter,” he said.

By the holidays, Mossberg asked?

“That is certainly an important part of the selling pattern.”

Elop said his decision to go with Windows was cemented by a discussion with Nokia’s lead engineer, who said that approach would take a third of the time it would take to refresh its Symbian software.

Nokia considered Android but there were concerns about how much control manufacturers would have over the platform and its release schedules.

Elop also swatted down a single-source rumor that surfaced on Twitter yesterday and received some attention from the tech press, suggesting that Microsoft and Nokia are in discussions to have the Redmond company buy Nokia’s hardware business.

“There’s absolutely no discussion,” he said. “The rumors are baseless. It’s as clear as that.”

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