JohnnyCanuck, I think I could have been more diplomatic - I was honestly asking your opinion without prejudice.
I am of the opinion that anything Nokia would have done on it's own would have easily and abundantly been healthier for the company than the financial nuke that is Microsoft / Elop / Windows Phone. Nobody
(check all the analysts you like from the pre-Elop days) predicted the plummeting drop to junk status that has occurred with Lumia had Nokia stayed with it's own products. Nobody
, because it was unthinkable
I'm also of the opinion that an enormous opportunity for Nokia to make it's own way has been given away like the baby thrown out with the bath water.
Will WP8 be successful? I hope so for the sake of Nokia. Is it any less than a gamble than if Nokia had kept on going on it's own way? Of course not. Given the cost to Nokia, it is a much worse gamble since not much of pre-Elop Nokia has been allowed to exist.
Hugh earlier posted the names of a few companies from the past who fell on bad endings, but he missed SGI (Silicon Graphics), which was a UNIX-based OS and app vendor that had Hollywood and much of the early commercial Internet sown up with it's IRIX software and wonderful hardware. Rick Belluzzo
was a Microsoft insider through his job at HP where he did everything he could to undermine the bulletproof HP-UX and PA-RISC platform in favour of NT 4.0 on x86 (he thankfully failed) then left to take over SGI with the purpose of porting all their world-leading graphical software over to Windows NT 4.0 and DirectX from IRIX and GL. It also was an abject failure, SGI tanked to a mere shadow of itself, and Belluzzo returned "home" to Microsoft afterwards with a plumb executive position for his good work destroying what was a great company. Thankfully OpenGL and the magnificent XFS file system have survived from SGI for the benefit of free and open source software.
I see the SGI scenario playing out again in this case with Elop and Nokia. That's how Microsoft rolls, and they'll possibly end up with the massive Nokia patent portfolio for their efforts.