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Microsoft has to hate Nokia

Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ: MSFT)  apparently hoodwinked Nokia (NYSE: NOK)  into backing another of its crazy Windows-fueled dreams.

Sources are telling The Verge that the Finnish handset maker is going to launch a Windows RT tablet on Sept. 26. The tech blog reported this earlier this month, but yesterday it offered up some more details on Nokia’s doomed gadget.

We’re not talking about Windows Pro, the mobile operating system that at least runs PC programs. Windows RT is the scaled-back platform that Microsoft is hoping takes off despite a lack of hardware and developer support.

There’s apparently a lack of fan support, too.

Industry watcher IDC reported earlier this month that just 200,000 of the 45 million tablets shipped during the this year’s second quarter — or 0.5% — were Windows RT devices. There’s a reason why Microsoft slashed the price of its own Surface RT tablet by as much as 30% this summer.

Nokia’s a bum magnet, but that’s no excuse for following Mr. Softy down this downward spiral.

Yes, Nokia’s desperate. Revenue’s sliding, and profitability’s been spotty. Microsoft’s paying Nokia good money to support Windows Phone, but at some point this debasing has to end. The Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has been marginally successful, but there’s no way that this is going to work.

The scariest thing is that The Verge is hearing that the new tablet — fittingly slapped with the codename of Sirius, the Dog Star — will be priced comparably to Apple‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad.

Yes, the proposed specs are impressive, surpassing what Apple currently has on the market in many ways. However, wasn’t pricing the Surface RT at similar price points to the iPad what ultimately did it in? The tablet war is one that’s being won on platform — not spec sheets. Didn’t Nokia learn from its sugar daddy’s mistakes? Microsoft had to take a US$900 million charge in its latest quarter because it overestimated the appeal of Surface tablets.

More importantly, even Apple isn’t what it used to be. In the same IDC report, Apple’s share of the tablet market has contracted from 60% to 32% over the past year. The mass market is gravitating to even cheaper Android tablets that have the developer support lacking with Windows RT.

Nice job with the Sirius codename. Nokia used to be a star. Now it’s just a dog.

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A version of this article, written by Rick Munarriz, originally appeared on fool.com.

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