This morning we posted Nokia’s brief demonstration of Music+ for Windows Phone, HTML5 and Windows 8. We expect to hear a lot more on this and other Nokia news in the coming weeks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (we’ll be there in force to cover it), so we forgive their brevity on the new music service. Consider it a tease.
What’s not said though is how significant it is that Nokia is making their first Windows 8 and RT app.
Granted, writing an RT app once you have a Windows Phone compile is supposed to be easier. But writing a native Windows desktop client? That's a little trickier. That raises some interesting questions including just how large is Nokia’s Windows desktop team? Is it a 3 man crew or a whole group including engineers?
Nokia's first Windows 8 app Music+ is due in "a few weeks"
It’s a loaded question because we all should know the rumor by now: Nokia has been working on a Windows 8 tablet for some time and it will be revealed at Mobile World Congress.
According to the Verge, that device is expected to be "book styled" with wrapping around the tablet that provides both a keyboard and kickstand. The cover is also rumored to have a battery built into it that can be used as a reserve power source when the main battery gets low. In fact, such hybrids were confirmed last year by Nokia's outgoing Chairman and later by Nokia's design chief, Marco Ahtisaari.
Well, we may be getting our first indirect proof of that today with that video. If Nokia were to release some Windows 8 hardware, it would make total sense that they would do the same for it as their Lumia line: load it up with Nokia exclusive software.
That includes services like Nokia Maps and Nokia Music, which are two items we could easily see being ported to the new tablet(s). Exclusive EA Xbox games are another. Why not? They’ve done it for Windows Phone numerous times already.
Jorma Ollila, ex-Chairman of Nokia, mentioned a Nokia tablet in 2012
A conservative reading would be that this is a one-off endevour for Nokia. Music+ for Windows and Windows 8 RT is nothing but a logical but isolated expansion into a non-smartphone OS. Don't expect anything more, there's nothing to see here.
But coupled with the rumor of Nokia heading into Windows 8 hardware and it’s not tough to imagine that Espoo has a few tricks up their sleeves for 2013.
In fact, we’d find it difficult to believe that they would release a Tablet with just a unique hardware design but essentially untouched OS, including no exclusive Nokia apps and services. That’s just not them.
Perhaps we’re reading too much into this and this is nothing but a one-off project. But knowing Nokia’s track history, we have a sneaky suspicion this is just the beginning of something bigger to come.
Your thoughts? Sound off in comments.