Nokia partners with Microsoft

Nokia has teamed with Microsoft, as the two companies have announced plans to form a strategic partnership that will see the creation of a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia is set to step away from Symbian as part of the deal, and is taking up the mantel of Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy.

Windows Phone is also to be a key part of Nokia’s feature phone strategy, with the handset manufacturer contributing its expertise on hardware design and language support to bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

Nick Dillon, analyst at research firm, Ovum, stated: “For Microsoft this is nothing less than a coup and the shot in the arm its new Windows Phone 7 platform needed, which despite winning acclaim for its innovative design and user experience, has so far failed to set the market alight in terms of sales.”

Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, and Nokia Maps is set to 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.

Microsoft development tools are to be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily use the ecosystem’s global reach. Also, Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated into Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

With Nokia’s move to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, Symbian now becomes a franchise platform. Nokia will use its investment in Symbian to milk further financial value from the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in years to come, and that it hopes to hang on to and then migrate that base over to Windows Phones set to be produced by the new partnership