Nokia says it can customize the heck out of Windows Phone, won't do anything that would delay updates

In an interview with Nokia VP Niklas Savander at Mobile World Congress, Phone Scoop probed a bit more on the company's plans to rework the Windows Phone user experience -- a user experience that's been essentially closed to OEMs thus far apart from the occasional tile here or added menu item there. As we already heard from Stephen Elop, Nokia's essentially being granted carte blanche for deep customization of the platform, though Savander says that it's likely only to do that by pushing changes back to Microsoft for inclusion in future releases that would be available to every manufacturer, not just Nokia. What's the logic in that? Well, he says that they don't want to do anything to the software that would put the company at risk of getting delayed updates -- not unlike what's been happening with skinned UIs in the Android world for the past year and a half. Good call, Niklas. Meanwhile, more rapidly-deployed customizations would be relatively superficial, probably along the lines of HTC Hub if we had to guess. All told, it seems like the strategy is going to put even more pressure on Nokia to deliver differentiation and innovation on the hardware side -- and to be fair, they've risen to that challenge plenty of times in the last decade, so let's keep our fingers crossed.