Nokia announces Microsoft deal
Nokia, the mobile phone company, has confirmed its much-rumoured deal with the software giant Microsoft.
Responding to the threat from Google Android and Apple’s iPhone, Windows Phone 7 will now become Nokia’s primary smartphone operating system.
The company said that its strategic partnership with Microsoft would "build a new global mobile ecosystem".
Nokia’s Chief Executive Stephen Elop said that "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s Chief Executive, said: "I am excited about this partnership with Nokia. 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."
The deal will see Nokia's application store integrated with the Microsoft Marketplace.
Nokia said that its current mobile operating system, Symbian, would become "a franchise platform". The company said it expected to sell another 150 million Symbian-powered devices "in the years to come".
MeeGo, Nokia's operating system partnership with Intel, will become an open source project. Nokia said it still plans to ship "a MeeGo related product" in 2011.
Analysts’ reaction was mixed: although the deal will bring together Microsoft’s Bing and Office with Nokia’s Ovi Maps and other services, the strength of other platforms still means that they have the momentum. CCS Insight praised Mr Elop’s admission that Nokia’s own platform strategy had “faltered”.
They added, however, that Microsoft, the stronger of the two partners, is the “big winner in the deal”.
“There are no silver bullets for either company given the strength of iPhone and Android,” CCS said.
Yesterday, Google’s Vic Goduntra tweeted that “two turkeys don’t make an eagle”.