I’m already seeing tweet after tweet of people seriously criticising the Nokia-Microsoft news this morning. Phrases like ‘jumping off a burning platform into a sinking ship’, or, ‘Nokia is dead’, for example. Nokia was dead as far as the market was concerned. The market demanded immediate moves to address this — and, frankly speaking, the only option for Nokia was to jump aboard one of the ecosystems. Let’s be clear: The *only* option. The company had left it too late to do anything else. There was *no* time left to develop or build. This is a critical point. The sabres were slowly being banged on the table. Google was an option for Nokia. A serious option. However rumour has it (well, a good source) that the two companies could not agree on terms. This is not to close the door on a Google-Nokia option in future. Right now though, the company needed a response for the market that included the phrase ‘deal with Microsoft/Google/webOs’ (delete as appropriate — and yes, webOS would have been an unusual option). So Nokia was already dead. Ergo talk of surrendering their end-to-end independence and so on: Irrelevant. There was no way the market would let Nokia get through today without the statements they’ve already made. Deal with it. The next big issue is: Can it be done? It sounds pretty compelling on paper. How will Elop get on with the thousands of die hard Symbian/MeeGo employees resistant to any change whatsoever? Well, memo should have reset a lot of brains this week. But I think the question of execution is a really big one. As for Microsoft? Well, they’ve snared the big fish — a deal of a lifetime — with the world’s largest operator. I think they will be pretty happy. They now have a response for all those doubting their strategy. It remains to be seen just how HTC, LG and the other WP7 manufacturers will react. Samsung, already hot on Nokia’s tail will most probably be ambivalent. Nokia now has at least three quarters of leeway from the market to sort itself out. This is very useful. A good time to get razor focused on execution. In the meantime, Nokia, set your handset designers alight. (In, er, a positive manner). Set them free and get them really, really innovating. You now need to talk devices — and the story needs to be market leading, inspiring and compelling. 6-9 months from now though, if we are not seeing promising results from the union, those sabres will be rattling again.