Nokia switches to Windows Phone as primary smartphone platform

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As rumored, Microsoft and Nokia have announced a broad strategic partnership to create a new global mobile ecosystem that includes market-leading mobile products and services designed to benefit consumers, operators, and developers alike. The two are promising rapid time to market execution as well as completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets, collaborating on joint marketing initiatives, and sharing their development roadmap for mobile products.

To be more specific, Nokia is adopting Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, contributing its expertise on hardware design and language support to help bring the platform to a larger range of price points, market segments, and geographies. For example, Nokia's extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit card use is low.

If Windows Phone is number one for Nokia, you might be wondering what happens to its other mobile OSes. Symbian will become a franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value; after all, there is an installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come. MeeGo, on the other hand, will become an open-source mobile operating system project with increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms, and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year (we think it's their tablet).

Additionally, Nokia's devices and services will have their search powered by Bing and their advertising services powered by Microsoft adCenter, although Nokia Maps is not going away – it will simply be integrated with the two. On the developer side of things, Microsoft's development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, while Nokia's content and application store will be integrated with the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The link in the video above suggests that you go and read the Open Letter from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. We've reposted it below for your convenience:

Today in London, our two companies announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of our companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem. The partnership increases our scale, which will result in significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world. We both are incredibly excited about the journey we are on together.

While the specific details of the deal are being worked out, here’s a quick summary of what we are working towards:

  • Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
  • Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will 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 will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
  • Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps will 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 will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
  • Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
  • Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.
  • Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

We each bring incredible assets to the table. Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices.

Together, we have some of the world’s most admired brands, including Windows, Office, Bing, Xbox Live, NAVTEQ and Nokia. We also have a shared understanding of what it takes to build and sustain a mobile ecosystem, which includes the entire experience from the device to the software to the applications, services and the marketplace.

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.


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