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Summary:

The news everyone has been waiting for has finally come out: Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has done a deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), where Windows Ph…

Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer (use this one)

The news everyone has been waiting for has finally come out: Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has done a deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), where Windows Phone will become the primary operating system for Nokia’s smartphones. The deal will bring brands like Bing and Xbox to Nokia devices.

The news was first announced on Nokia’s blog, in a post co-bylined by Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer, and lays out the details of a “broad strategic partnership”.

Lots of questions that are not answered yet: Microsoft’s Marketplace will be the new app store on the devices, but does that mean Ovi will disappear altogether? What happens to Symbian and MeeGo, Nokia’s existing platforms? And what happens to Microsoft’s other partnerships for devices, such as those with Samsung, HTC and Dell?

The details direct from the blog:

»  Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

»  Nokia will help drive and define 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.

»  Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

»  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.

»  Nokia Maps will 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 will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

»  Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

»  Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.

»  Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

Ballmer and Elop note that the finer details of the partnership have yet to be worked out. There is a full strategy day planned today, which should give more detail. MocoNews will be covering it.

In a separate announcement Nokia has outlined the details of its new executive leadership and company structure. We’ve covered it here.

The news comes after weeks of speculation, based on alleged insider leaks, about what Nokia was planning to unveil during its strategy presentation to analysts and investors later today. The rumours regularly alternated between complete management reshuffles; ousting most of Nokia’s old guard in favour of fresh talent and fresh ideas; opting for a new operating system or either all or part of Nokia’s line of smartphones and feature phones using Android or Windows Phone 7; abandoning or keeping existing OS platforms MeeGo and Symbian.

Om Malik, quite rightly, observes that at its heart Nokia is a hardware company. The emergence of software, and the ecosystems that develop around it, as a cornerstone — not the only one, but a significant one — to the future of mobile devices has been a major challenge for the company up to now.
But will today’s announcement really change much? It has to be reiterated that Nokia still has a very large share of the market and that might take a couple of years or more to truly get dire.

Nokia today might have put events into place that will change that. Now all eyes are on the company like never before — if Nokia gets it right, they can nudge that market share needle in the right direction. Getting it wrong could send it into freefall.

  1. MeeGo is where in this ?

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  2. Its about time. Nokia has been stalling its growth by not innovating on its phone OSes and softwares. The challenge is whether these 2 large giants will be able to work together and pull this off.

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  3. Arijit Sarbagna Friday, February 11, 2011

    Great move! Its time to watch how the products start rolling out, how fast & the quality. Will be eagerly waiting to start trying those. Market wise, its a great opportunity for MS Mobile App Developers – who will get a much wider market.

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  4. So what does this mean for RIM? There has been the triangle of speculation (RIM, Nokia, Microsoft) for a long time, now finally two of the three have got into bed together, so is RIM left hanging in the breeze? And will Nokia / MSFT be a threat to RIM’s core business?

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  5. Replacing one burning platform with another burning platform: So stupid you’d think one Microsoft guy got together with another Microsoft guy to think it up.

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  6. I really don’t understand this move…Nokia is betting on a dead horse, Android should have been the right move to grow up again

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  7. Well with no one buying the phones its not going to be a great opportunity.

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  8. OSes come and go. If Nokia were to jump into the same bandwagon, then they’re killing themselves by being a late follower, right at the back of the crowd. For example, I wouldn’t even consider holding back a purchase decision now on any Android-smartphone and wait for Nokia, if I knew that Nokia was simply … following the Android crowd.

    Strategy-wise, if its not possible to join in the growing crowd, then perhaps the next best move is to join in a credible second option?

    Again, OSes come and go, so with Nokia we might really see Windows7 fly. It might be too harsh and perhaps even wrong to say that following the crowd is the road to success. You cant be following the crowd if you want to be the leader. Look at Android i.e. Google itself, its not following the crowd, its pulling in the crowd. And where were Android, iOS and Facebook a couple of years back?

    Windows 7 is already getting great reviews, hopefully not too many people get it mixed up with the predecessors i.e. Windows Mobile 6x.

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  9. James Quintana Pearce Thursday, February 24, 2011

    I have to admit this surprised me — with the effort Nokia has been putting in to getting its software and content and services divisions being successful over the past decade or more I would have expected them to go with Android and get their developers working on that.

    This is almost like a capitulation, just admiting that they can’t do it.

    And mabye that’s the best move for them, maybe the lack of success after all this time indicates something.

    In this case I think Microsoft probably put forward the better business case (rather than OS case), at least in Nokia’s eyes, and are perceived as a more committed partner.

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  10. Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

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