The Nokia farewell party

by Volker Weber

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Rumor has it that Microsoft will stop selling Lumias by the end of the year. Time to remember the big party in Abu Dhabi.

It was 2013, I was using the brilliant Lumia 1020 phone with the 41 megapixel camera. I had an iPhone 5, but I preferred the Lumia by a long shot. After having the Nokia World in London for a couple of stints, there were rumors about an event in New York, but eventually Nokia sent out invitations to Abu Dhabi. This is were we all realized this would be the big farewell party, before the smartphone business would be taken over by Microsoft.

If you have never been to the Emirates, this is a very strange place. Everything is brand new and shiny, it's incredibly cheap to get there, and you can stay in 5 star hotels for very reasonable rates. And it feels even more fake than Las Vegas.

So we gathered in Abu Dhabi and Nokia went out with a bang. A 6 inch Lumia 1520, when Apple was still thinking 4 inch were big. And the magnificent 2520 tablet with its gorgeous display. As we know today, both were running the wrong software. Microsoft fumbled Windows RT, and they set out for a third restart of their Windows Phone offering. Everything they made after the 1520/2520 was lackluster.

Yesterday I looked through my Abu Dhabi photos and I noticed that I was carrying a Lenovo Yoga 11 from 2012. Windows RT as well. I dragged it out of storage, dusted it off, reset the system to factory conditions and let Microsoft patch it. 100+ updates and multiple reboots later, it works just like it did in 2013. A very clean Windows RT 8.1 experience that still had the charms when swiping from the right.

At the time we did not know why Nokia was releasing a competing tablet to Microsoft's Surface line, but they did it anyway. And it was beautiful. Two years later Microsoft would release the last of their Lumia flagships, and they were not.

Comments

Could you install Windows 10 on that machine or is it bound to Windows RT?

Patrick Bohr, 2016-09-12

No, you can't. And I would not want to. Windows RT was that beautiful Windows without legacy software. As everything "mobile", it was never finished though.

Volker Weber, 2016-09-12

My wife still uses the 2520 Tablet, I moved few montsh ago from the 1020 to 1520 - the 1520 still on Windows Phone 8.1 - still love it!

Altough work Phones are iPhone6 and Nexus 5x, I still prefer the 1520 camera (and its software)

Harald Reisinger, 2016-09-12

Oh well, such a waste. Times were great, almost time to move on. Question is, where to. Unsure. Neither Android nor iOS make my heart warm. I like the completeness of Apple and the mightyness of Android. Still I love Windows, stupid me. We will know more in a year.

Hubert Stettner, 2016-09-12

It was a nice event. I remember talking to you and Ben Lampe. Comparing the fins to ms we see that it takes more than one good phone to make good phones. All the great phones ms brought to market were already finished or on their way at that time: Lumia 1520 (!), 930, 830, even 630 with great colorful designs. You need services, accessories, a design philosophy. Nowadays you cannot even configure MMS on a Lumia automatically.

Christian Just, 2016-09-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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