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Nokia joins forces with Microsoft in smartphone war

nokia-wp7-renderMOBILE alliance

Nokia and Microsoft are joining forces to create a new global mobile ecosystem in a bid to revive their flagging fortunes in the lucrative smartphone market.

The two companies plan to work together and integrate their complementary strengths to take on Apple, Google’s Android and BlackBerry and attract customers to their platform.

The partnership was announced in London by Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Here are the details of the partnership:

  • Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform and build upon areas such as imaging – a strength area for Nokia.
  • Nokia would brings its expertise in hardware design and manufacturing to the table and help drive the Windows Phone platform to  a larger range of price points and market segments.
  • Microsoft and Nokia to collaborate with joint marketing initiatives.
  • Bing would become Nokia’s default search service across all devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps would be the core part of Microsoft’s mapping services and included in Bing searches.
  • Nokia’s content and app store will be absorbed in to the Microsoft Marketplace.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (left) and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer

“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,” said Nokia CEO and president Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said: “I am excited about this partnership with Nokia. 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.”

The move towards Windows Phone as their smartphone operating system shows Nokia has recognised its Symbian operating system is not cutting it when it is up against Android and Apple’s iPhone iOS.

Nokia will even restructure the company to reflect the changes and will feature two business units: Smart Device and Mobile Phones.

Symbian will not be lost to Nokia – the software will be used in many of its other lower tier mobile devices. The company expects to sell more than 150 million Symbian powered devices in the years ahead.

Nokia’s plan also includes migrating the more than 200 million existing Symbian users to the new Windows Phone platform.

Is the Nokia-Microsoft deal a triumph or a turkey?