The Finnish smartphone maker, that most see as on its last leg, announced it will hold a joint media event with Microsoft on September 5, presumably to herald a new Windows 8 smartphone. Once at the top of cell phone heap, Nokia has been struggling to keep up with the Joneses – that’s Apple Jones, Samsung Jones, Motorola Jones, and probably even Mother Jones. Even though the event is scheduled a week before Apple’s rumored-announcement of a new iPhone, expect it to make less of a splash than a tiny pebble dropped into a puddle on the sidewalk.
For both Nokia and Microsoft, the upcoming version 8 of Windows Phone will be a key weapon in trying to regain leverage in the smartphone business. The next version of Windows Phone will use the same code kernel as Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 – which has just been “released for manufacture” to computer makers – meaning that for programmers it should be simpler to write apps that will run across both platforms, while the appearance of the Windows Phone interface, using large tiles rather than the small icons of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, will become more familiar to millions of users around the world who buy Windows 8 PCs.