Announced on Nokia’s Blog, ahead of today’s Strategy and Financial Briefing, the Finnish manufacturer laid rest to the rumours, confirming its newly-founded alliance with Microsoft. Nokia CEO and writer of the world’s harshest memo, Stephen Elop, spoke of mutual benefits, claiming that Nokia’s recognised brand will “help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.”
The move will see Nokia’s Ovi Maps become the core of Microsoft mapping, and Bing will now be the default search engine on Nokia handsets across devices, suggesting it’s a partnership that stretches beyond Nokia manufacturing Windows Phone handsets. Microsoft Office and XBox Live gaming are other Microsoft goodies are promised to arrive on Nokia phones.
In their joint statement, Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: “Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary. Ecosystems thrive when they reach scale, when they are fueled by energy and innovation and when they provide benefits and value to each person or company who participates. This is what we are creating; this is our vision; this is the work we are driving from this day forward.”
“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. ”
While Nokia are hoping WP7 will help them to compete against Android and iOS, it isn’t given up completely on its home-grown Symbian and MeeGo platforms. Symbian will become a franchise platform, and the company said it still expects 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, with the Finns revealing it still plans to ship “a MeeGo related product” in 2011.
This is obviously huge news for, but is this enough to get Nokia off that “burning platform” that Elop said it was stood upon? With the company’s first Windows Phone 7 devices expected to make an appearance over the coming “weeks and months”, only time will tell.
Do you think Nokia have made the right choice? Let us know!