In a not so surprising move, Nokia and Microsoft announced a partnership for making Windows Noika’s primary smartphone strategy. Nokia will phase out Symbian and move all of its platforms to Microsoft.
From the Nokia Developer forum announcement:
“Nokia and Microsoft together
The Nokia-Microsoft ecosystem would aim to deliver differentiated and innovative products and have unrivalled scale, product breadth, geographical reach, and brand identity. With Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform, we would help drive the future of the platform by leveraging our expertise in hardware optimization, software customization, language support and scale.
Microsoft would make available the existing free Windows Phone Developer Tools; Visual Studio 2010, Expression, Silverlight and the XNA Framework to developers. Together, we will provide guidance for developers wishing to port their applications to Windows Phone.
Nokia and Microsoft would also combine services assets to drive innovation. Nokia’s Ovi Maps, for example, would be at the heart of key Microsoft assets like Bing and AdCenter, and Nokia’s application and content store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for Nokia Windows Phones, to deliver a great single commerce experience for developers and consumers alike.”
A choice quote form the Nokia development community by michaelnt | 11/02/2011, 12:13:
“Nokia have just given up control over their future to Microsoft a company that has struggled to adapt to an online World and failed on a number of occasions to deliver a mobile operating system or strategy.
How can Nokia migrate their Symbian users to an OS they don’t control?
How can you expect Meego and Qt developers to switch to Windows?
Clearly Nokia has begun it’s slide into a commodity hardware manufacturer”
From the press release:
“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.”
From Gigaom: “Depending on where you start, and where you think the market is headed, it’s possible to see this match in two very different lights. Is it the world’s most powerful software company and the world’s biggest handset manufacturer joining forces? Or is it two lumbering giants with serious weaknesses linking arms to try and weather the storm together?”
You can see from the global smartphone sales that this puts Nokia/MSFT in line with Apple and Google’s Android to take the top the spots in sales. If the combination of good hardware from Nokia and a good developer platform and developer community from Microsft can produce fruit it will ultimately have a positive benefit for the consumers as competition drives innovation and lowers prices.