So, it’s official. Microsoft has dumped the Nokia brand and will be marketing its Windows Phones under the Microsoft Lumia brand name. This has been widely reported and is hardly news at this point–it was part of the Nokia hardware purchase agreement that Nokia would hold onto its name will handing over the Lumia brand.
Personally, I’m fine the switch. I think Nokia’s relevance is waning, and Microsoft needs to build up the Lumia brand to stand on its own. Put another way, maintaining the Nokia brand wouldn’t be sufficient to propel Windows Phone to relevancy, and so losing it will force Microsoft to build out its own Windows Phone identity. Ultimately, that will likely be good for the platform.
I’d rather see Microsoft utilize the Surface brand across all of their hardware, but I can see the argument against doing so. Simply put, however, I see value in consolidating branding in hardware as Microsoft is doing in software with the generalized Windows brand. And, I would love to see a Windows Phone that takes design cues from the Surface Pro 3–thin, light, with that same chiseled look (albeit, with some roundness added in so the edges aren’t quite so sharp).
Alas, I doubt that we’ll ever see a Surface branded smartphone. Lumia’s a great brand as it is, and I can accept it moving forward. Given the emphasis on the camera, which I do hope Microsoft maintains, Lumia is a very good name the imparts the right message. Nevertheless, this marks the end of an era as the Nokia brand officially exits the phone market, and a moment of silence is likely appropriate.