Today Nokia and Microsoft have announced a partnership that will collectively leverage Microsoft and Nokia's strengths and resources. Although the fruit of this long-term partnership will primarily affect Windows Phone 7 and Nokia's smartphone line-up, other areas of either companies business' will also be getting some of the good stuff.

The partnership primarily aims to leverage Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform and eco-system along with Nokia's hardware expertise and market/carrier reach around the world to build a new line-up of Nokia branded smartphones running Microsoft's mobile OS. But things aren't as cut and dry. Although the software driving these devices will be WP7, Nokia will be integrating some of its own software components into the platform. Primarily, this will be the excellent 'Maps' application, which moving forward, Microsoft will also be using in its own Bing eco-system.

Although Nokia insists that Symbian and Meego will not die, it is quite clear that Symbian will eventually be put to rest and whatever core Symbian IP Nokia has, could be absorbed into the Windows Phone codebase. Meego on the other hand will continue to live the existence as Nokia's 'expirmental platform' of choice, with a Meego device expected sometime this year. Nokia has also mentioned that it's 'Qt' framework will not be coming to WP7.

Clearly, the mobile devices market in 2011 is going to be much more interesting (and potentially beneficial) for the consumer. Apple and Google will seriously have to re-think their stratergies now that they have three very strong and able competitors in HP's excellent webOS, RIM's promising QNX and now Nokia-Microsoft's extensive partnership.

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  • Kepe - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    There's a lot more info on this in Finnish media. I'll try and translate some of the main points:

    Nokia's Windows Phone products will have (some) unique software and hardware solutions. They say Nokia's WP products will be based on "the next generation WP operating system", but it is not known if this means WP7 or something that is yet to come. They will, however, be clearly different products than the products of other WP manufacturers.

    MeeGo will not be dropped completely, but it will be made in to an open source experimental OS that concentrates on new kinds of devices and user experiences. A MeeGo product should be released later this year, but it will not be the rumoured N9 with a QWERTY keyboard. MeeGo 1.2 should be released in April and 1.3 in October.

    Symbian will be used on cheaper consumer models, and it will slowly be killed off completely. There are a couple of slides showing the future development of the OSes and a slide showing the new R&D structure (the site is Finnish but the slides are in English):
    http://plaza.fi/muropaketti/taskumuro/nokia-ajaa-s...
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    The whole webcast is available to everyone here:
    http://www.thomson-webcast.net/uk/dispatching/?eve...
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    And there are three new press releases available here:
    http://www.nokia.com/press/press-releases
    Reply
  • bplewis24 - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    It seems to me that a Nokia W7P in 2011 may not even be likely, let alone a certainty.

    Brandon
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    That is possible if the first product will be based on WP8 or whatever the next Windows Phone OS is named. Although if it's based on WP7, something might be released this year.

    Anyways, Nokia Maps and the Ovi Store are going to be integrated in to the new devices, with Microsoft's Bing search features.
    Reply
  • Ananke - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Microsoft SDK ecosystem has always been superior, same with WP7 SDK. Don't underestimate how easy is to write applications with it. Nokia and MS probably will flood the market with applications. Also, MS most likely will push into tablets through Nokia, trying seemless integration with the existing Windows PC and XBox installation base. This can be huge for both companies and it is an example for a great strategic decision. Reply
  • Taft12 - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Nokia and MS don't need to flood the market with applications, they need to create an environment where 3rd party developers do that. The quality of the SDK is far less important than the number of potential customers a developer can sell their app to.

    I don't see how they can create this market given the mindshare that Android and iOS have.
    Reply
  • PsychoPif - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    When about a third of the phone sold are Nokia's, the market is already there.

    And that's not even counting the other phones with WP7.

    It's just an announcement, but unless they try very hard, I don't see how that cannot take a dominant position with this partnership.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Only a very small part of those phones will be capable of running Windows Phone though. Nokia's major market isn't high-end superphones. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter how many phones Nokia has sold in the past, it matters how many WP7 phones they can sell in the future. This agreement is no different than Microsoft partnering up with HTC and LG to sell their phones. It doesn't help them that HTC has already sold a crap-ton of Android phones at all. It only helps in the sense that HTC is a recognizable vendor.

    Windows Phone 7 doesn't gain instant market share through this deal, as some (including myself) may have originally speculated. Instead, they have to bank on the Nokia-loyal customer base (which was already trending downwards) continuing to patronize Nokia at the same rate they were before, but being interest in WP7 at the high end (since Symbian & Meego may still occupy the low-end).

    I still think they'd have to try very hard to take a dominant position, and not vice-versa.
    Reply

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