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Cracks show in Nokia-Microsoft partnership

Finnish firm's app VP expresses frustration at slow progress on WP8

Nokia is frustrated at Microsoft’s progress on Windows Phone 8.
Nokia is frustrated at Microsoft’s progress on Windows Phone 8.

Nokia's app development VP, Bryan Biniak, has come close to publicly condemning Microsoft for its sluggish movement on Windows Phone 8.

"As a company we don't want to rely on somebody else and sit and wait for them to get it right," Biniak told International Business Times.

WP8 has drawn criticism as a platform for an ecosystem that is weaker than those of Apple and Samsung. Biniak said Nokia executives were pressing Microsoft for a change in its corporate mindset, away from focus on its financial calendar and towards supporting the mobile OS.

"We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device, if there is an app that somebody cares about that's not there that's a missed opportunity of a sale," said Biniak, adding that "waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

Microsoft's focus has been on the next iteration of Windows Phone, due to be released in early 2014, which is intended to support more powerful handset architectures. But, like many analysts, Biniak argues that smartphone purchase decisions hinge upon software rather than hardware, and that means apps.

"To give you a reason to switch, I need to make sure the apps that you care about on your device are not only on our phones, but are better," he said. "I also need to provide you unique experiences that you can't get on your other devices.

"It's not just about the hardware, it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps, you just can't."