Via NokiaConversations on YouTube
The question that has been bugging the whole of techdom has been answered. Just a couple of days after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop wrote his 1,300-word "burning platform" memo, Nokia has announced that it's partnering with Microsoft as part of a "strategic alliance" that will lead to the creation of Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices, among others, soon. Let's get down to the nitty-dritty.
- Slapping WP7 on Nokia's Eseries and Nseries phones is Nokia's "primary smartphone strategy."
- The Big M's search engine, Bing, will carry the load for mobile Web browsing and its adCenter will take care of ad services.
- The Ovi Store will be integrated into the Windows Marketplace, which should boost the number of apps already present there.
- Ovi Maps will be used as the primary mapping service for Bing.
- Xbox Live and Office will be included in Nokia's upcoming smartphones.
Now how about Nokia's affair with Symbian and MeeGo? Apparently, both of them will not be ditched, with the former still going to be used on Nokia's feature and entry- to mid-level phones and the latter for its next-gen mobile devices (tablets). In fact, at least one MeeGo device will be shipping out of Espoo, Finland, before the year ends. (UPDATED, 7 p.m., February 11, 2011: See Nokia: Symbian to die a slow death, MeeGo to push through as experimental OS.)
Unsurprisingly, the Nokia-Microsoft partnership will raise many eyebrows. The main question we're seeing now is why did Nokia not go for Android, which has had an impressive showing? Could be "Elop's stint at Microsoft." Or the company does see a glowing Windows Phone 7 future. Other questions: How will Nokia juggle 3 mobile platforms? Does it have the ability to do so? Will WP7 ultimately save the "burning platform"?
As for the last question, Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are quite confident, as shown in their statement below:
"There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them. There will be challenges. We will overcome them. Success requires speed. We will be swift. Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed."
Pretty big words indeed. Here's to hoping they won't be eating them in the end.
Here's Nokia's official press release:
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.
Under the proposed partnership:
- 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."