Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem. Neither ex-Nokia users considering their options for new phones, nor the Nokia developer community, are likely to be too happy, but the partnership should allow Nokia to reclaim some of its lost market share.
Former Nokia users now flirting with Android-based devices and other brands are not going to be convinced by the Nokia announcement of its alliance with Microsoft to put the Windows Mobile 7 operating system, now known as Windows Phone, on their handsets. Nor will the Nokia developer community be too happy with having to switch to a different development platform.
Nevertheless, Windows Mobile 7 is regarded by many to be superior to Symbian and equal to Android in functionality. This partnership should allow Nokia to resolve many of its short-term strategic and technical gaps, and Microsoft will prove to be a powerful ally in the company’s endeavour to reclaim some of its lost market share. But it will not necessarily help them regain their lost credibility. Under the proposed partnership: ‚Ä¢ Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader. ‚Ä¢ Nokia will help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies. ‚Ä¢ Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products. ‚Ä¢ Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities: Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services. ‚Ä¢ Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps will be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a local search and advertising experience ‚Ä¢ Nokia’s operator billing agreements will be used to enable consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low. ‚Ä¢ Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to leverage the ecosystem’s global reach. ‚Ä¢ Nokia’s content and application store – formerly the Ovi Store, will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience. “Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,”” said Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, speaking at a joint news conference in London. “”Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”” “”I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,”” said Steven Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “”Ecosystems thrive when fuelled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.””