Nokia and Microsoft have just announced a strategic partnership, where Nokia plans to ditch its Symbian platform and instead adopt Windows Phone as its “primary smartphone strategy”.
Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer revealed the news in an open letter.
Here’s a quick summary of Nokia-Microsoft partnership from the open letter:
• 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.
Before Apple launched iPhone, Nokia was the world’s market leader in the smartphone market. But Apple with iPhone and Google with Android have dramatically changed the dynamics of the smartphone market. Earlier in the week, Elop had sent an internal memo entitled “Standing on a burning platform” indicating that something on these lines will be announced shortly.
It will be interesting to see how the Nokia-Microsoft partnership will compete with Apple’s iPhone. We believe competition is always good from a customer point of view and its important that Apple is challenged by stronger rivals like Google. It remains to be see if the Nokia-Microsoft partnership will emerge as one of the stronger rivals.
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