The appearance of Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, at the Nokia Windows Phone 8 event earlier today was a surprise to many.
He was not present when the first Nokia Lumia handsets hit the market so one might argue about the pertinence of seeing him sharing the stage with Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO.
However there’s more than meets the eye. Given how vital Windows Phone 8 is for the future of Nokia, one might argue that the Finnish company is a quasi-sub-division of Microsoft and the body language of Elop while Ballmer was talking earlier today lends support to our view.
Both Lumia handsets are fantastic phones and Microsoft will work hard to make sure that they integrate into an ecosystem that can surpass iOS and Android.
But for Windows Phone 8 to succeed, Microsoft knows well that it needs all of its partners, not only Nokia, to succeed.
So how can you work with the likes of Samsung, HTC or LG without being seen as being biased towards one party (as Google is learning with its Motorola acquisition)?
The answer to that question will help determine the fate of Windows Phone 8 and by ricochet that of Nokia’s.
As for the answer to the original question. No, single smartphone can save a platform (unless that smartphone is the iPhone and the OS, iOS).