I guess Nokia and Microsoft didn't feel like a partnership was "stark raving loony," because today the two companies announced that they're entering a "strategic alliance." Nokia will be adopting Windows Phone 7 onto its handsets, which includes Bing, Office, and Xbox Live integration. Additionally, Nokia's app store will be integrated into the Windows Marketplace. Nokia isn't giving up everything, though, as Ovi Maps will become a "core part" of Microsoft's maps services. So just what's going to happen to Nokia's current OSes, Symbian and MeeGo? Symbian, which was recently replaced by Android as the world's top mobile OS, will eventually be given the axe as WP7 will be featured on all of the company's smartphones. MeeGo won't suffer the same fate, at least not immediately, as it will be given an "experimental" status. The full press release on the deal is below.
We've certainly be hearing rumors of a Nokia-WP7 marriage for some time now, but not many people believed that a deal would actually ever see the light of day. After all, Nokia has long been a stalwart supporter of Symbian, and WP7 is still a fairly new OS. Many expected that, if any deal were to be made, it would be Nokia and Google getting together, but that just wasn't in the cards, it seems. Still, Nokia and WP7 coming together could end up being great for both companies: Nokia gets to use an attractive, more modern OS on its handsets and Microsoft gets a huge hardware partner that can help push WP7 into areas where it normally may not have gone. There's been no indication as to when we can expect the first WP7 Nokia phone to arrive, but the current rumor is that one will hit by the end of the year. So what do you all make of this deal? Would it have been a better idea for Nokia to adopt Android rather than WP7?
Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem
Companies plan to combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale.
LONDON – Feb. 11, 2011 – 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.
Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.
Nokia would 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.
Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience
Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
Nokia’s content and application store would 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,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said 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 A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled 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.”
Please visit www.nokia.com/press for press materials.