Windows Phone 7 to ship on all future Nokia handsets as part of long-term agreement.
Finnish mobile giant Nokia has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft that will see future Nokia handsets running Windows Phone 7.
The two firms plan to jointly create “market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity.”
The move is mutually beneficial, with Nokia’s reach and market share helping expand the prevalence of Windows Phone 7, and Microsoft providing an established smartphone platform to Nokia, whose reliance on its ageing Symbian operating system and loss of market share to iOS and Android devices prompted chief executive Stephen Elop to tell staff earlier this week that the firm was “standing on a burning platform.”
Announcing the partnership, Elop said: “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. Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer added: “Ecosystems thrive when fuelled 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.”
Other areas of collaboration outlined in the announcement include Microsoft’s Bing search engine being used on all Nokia devices, and Nokia’s operator billing agreements enabling expansion of Windows Phone 7’s potential audience to countries where credit card use is a rarity.