Nokia has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to joint create “market-leading” mobile products and services. This isn’t surprising at all, most folks had already figured that Nokia was going to have to either align itself with either Android or Windows Phone 7 because their Symbian OS has been a drastic decline in recent years. To me it is interesting that they choose Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 because Google’s Android OS has been on the market much longer and is a proven success vice Windows Phone 7 which looks good but really hasn’t received mass adoption. There is also the history of Microsoft and mobile phone OS’s, I mean Windows Mobile was flat out terrible, so bad in fact that Microsoft accelerated its development of Windows Phone 7 in order to not become irrelevant in the space all together. Let’s take a look at the key parts of this deal and what they really mean.
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. (What It Means: This means that Nokia’s own OS platform, Symbian, is pretty much dead)
- 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. (What It Means: This makes a lot of sense, Nokia’s real core competency is hardware and Microsoft’s is software, this is really a smart move)
- 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. (What It Means: This is actually a necessity that they combines these two in order to try and be competitive with the ever growing selection in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market)