After many weeks of speculations, Nokia and Microsoft finally announced minutes ago that the 2 companies are entering a strategic partnership "to build a new global mobile ecosystem."

Nokia has been struggling to keep up with the exploding smartphone market in the past years, and it was clear that something needed to be done.

MeeGo, Nokia's latest bet at replacing its aging Symbian system with a new, open sourced, Linux-based OS, has been in development since 2010, but no phones running this OS have been released by the company yet.

In an effort to regain market share, Nokia had to pick - either join forces with Android, a giant growing at incredible speeds, or side with the newcomer - Windows Phone 7 from Microsoft, a company Nokia can trust (their current CEO, Stephen Elop, spent almost 3 years as a Microsoft VP of BizDev).

Judging by Google's Vic Gundotra's epic tweet, negotiations between Nokia and Google did not go so well. It's no surprise, considering Nokia's opinion of Android is far from positive (or civil for that matter).

Nokia + Microsoft

So, in the past days, we've already accepted the inevitable - Nokia phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Series Phone OS For Phones are coming, but now we've gotten the details to back it up:

  • Windows Phone 7 is going to become Nokia's principal smartphone strategy
  • Nokia is not going to give up on MeeGo and will be releasing MeeGo-based devices later this year
  • Search on Nokia devices will be powered by Bing, which, as Steve Balmer eloquently put in his speech, is a brand that mobile consumers want. Who are those mobile consumers, Steve? I don't know very many, but we understand - you have to defend your own products, even if they just copy Google.

Well, those are the interesting bits - you can read the rest in the press release below.

So, folks, get ready for some Windows-based Nokia phones. I am actually kind of glad that Nokia partnered with MS instead of Google for a variety of reasons, the most important one being competition. Had they joined forces with Google, Windows Phone 7 would have had much smaller chances of survival, and a little competition most of the time only benefits the consumer.

What say you, reader? Did Nokia make a fatal mistake? Or is the world better of with Microkia instead of Noogle?

Press Release

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem

Companies plan to combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale.

LONDON – Feb. 11, 2011 – Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

"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," Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."

"I am excited about this partnership with Nokia," said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

"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."

Please visit www.nokia.com/press for press materials.

Source: Nokia via Engadget [1] [2]

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Astria

    it's a good thing they go with WP7... MS needs more partners while Nokia needs a better OS...

    they'll probably pee in their pants if they go with Android...

  • Amandeep Singh

    Yes I agree that if there will be google + nokia then android will left with almost no competition and also it will ultimately kill the wp7. As iphone verizon is disappointing at sales year 2011 belongs to ANDROID.

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      How do you conclude that Verizon iPhone sales have been disappointing? Verizon had to stop it's pre-order because they ran out of phones.

      • James

        He's just a concerned Android fanboy. You are correct - must people already pre-ordered or are having it shipped to their door. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to stand outside in cold weather. Besides, the iP4 is fairly old - why not just wait until the iP5 is released?

  • Orangutan Klaus

    Exactly what I though: Nokia + WP7 may create some momentum and stimulate competition on the consumer market. While WP7 targets more the enterprise customer, Nokia has huge experience with the end consumer segment. So, it's an interesting marriage.
    The winner in any case is: Android

  • Matt W

    They should've put more effort into MeeGo earlier. Or more effort back when it was Maemo - they launched Maemo back in 2003 on their 'internet tablets' and never produced a smartphone running it until the N900, while simultaneously failing to keep Symbian competitive.

    I must admit I'm surprised, I expected that the sensible option was go to all-in on MeeGo. I never thought they'd go for someone else's OS, especially one that's not open sourced.

    • abee

      I believe the CEO of Nokia has a MS bias

      "their current CEO, Stephen Elop, spent almost 3 years as a Microsoft VP of BizDev"

  • Mr. x

    I have only one thing to say about this "union" and it's coming from the heart:


  • deon

    Microsoft has very strict hardware requirements for phones that they will allow to run winmo7. Thus the htc, dell, lg, etc. Winmo7 offerings have very little variety between them. No customizations allowed to the os either, straight stock, save for a few apps that they'll allow to be preinstalled. It'll be interesting to see how nokia will 'innovate' with their hands tied. But I agree, competition is ultimately the best for us consumers. Forces everyone to be on their toes, step up their game, be alert, and most importantly, try to out innovate the competition.

    • Rob

      I'd like to think that if Nokia was to do an android device they'd be the one to mess w/ the interface the least.

  • Jarl

    oh my god, i'm laughing my ass off here

    2 turkeys dont make an eagle :)

  • Jacques Thesing

    Microsoft and Nokia: Sof-ware on a No-bile.
    I have to see if it works but I have my serious doubts. Market for basic phones will be taken by Android (free and open so cheap production). Upmarket will be taken by Apple, Android and Blackberry, innovative companies. Microsoft has become a market follower/copier and Nokia's mobile designs are way behind the competition

  • Kindroid

    All of this might have had some hope if WP7 didn't have some very serious short comings that are going to take months to over come. And Nokia actually had a cutting edge phone to hang it on. With the way Apple and Android are going, pretty good just doesn't cut it in US and Europe. And Asia and South America are going to be on fire with pretty good, cheap phones that Nokia will go bankrupt competing with. But Microsoft will get some traction out of Bing for awhile.

  • abee

    I thought what made Nokia great is that they make cheap phones that even African farmers can afford.

    What I find weird is that a MS OS requires decent (more expensive) hardware... will African farmers be left in the dark ?