Ahead of Nokia’s Strategic and Financial Briefing scheduled to take place later this morning, the mobile phone manufacturer has announced a partnership with Microsoft to create Windows Phone 7 devices. This represents a huge change in direction for the Finnish company, who have previously only produced hardware running their own Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo platforms.
Nokia published an open letter on their Conversations blog, and the key changes are as follows. Windows Phone 7 will become Nokia’s primary smartphone platform and future devices will be the product of close collaboration between the two companies, up to and including the marketing. Bing will become the standard search engine on all Nokia phones, and Microsoft’s adCenter will serve them with advertisements, plus Nokia Maps will become a part of Bing Search too. Finally, Nokia’s content and app store will be integrated with Windows Marketplace.
If anyone is unsure as to how the two giants see this all working out, take a look at the open letter’s closing statement:
“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.”
We think that sends a clear message!
Nokia will also be changing the company’s structure by creating two separate units, Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. Smart Devices will concentrate on the Windows Phone 7 initiative along with Symbian and MeeGo devices, while Mobile Phones will deal with the lower range phones and S40.
These changes confirm that neither Symbian nor MeeGo are going anywhere despite the adoption of Windows Phone 7, and Nokia say they still have plans to release a product running MeeGo later on this year.
As Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have pointed out, this moment sees a lot of very big brand names come together, Nokia, Microsoft, Bing, Xbox Live, Zune, Nokia Maps and so on. Inevitably, there will be individuals who will refuse to see the potential in this alliance, but here, we can’t wait to see the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset!