Nokia Switches to Microsoft Bandwagon

In what could change the turn of history for future to admire (or admonish), the biggest mobile phone giant has partnered with perhaps the most hated mobile phone operating system. Nokia and (say what!) Windows. But, the OS that will sit on Nokia hardware is the under performing Windows Phone 7 OS. Is this a strategy to grow or to disappear into oblivion for the Finnish mobile giant?

Read Windows phone 7 OS review here

This is definitely a shocker of a news if you are a cellphone freak, especially if you own a high end Nokia phone. The new partnership will signal the end of Symbian operating system for starters, and all the development of applications that go around it. So, if you are in the market for a cellphone, don’t buy Nokia! At least for now.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, an ex-Microsoft executive had hinted at a strategic move that the company would take in his employee communication last week, but the turn of events that unfolded today would have sent shock waves (literally) across the Nokia cubicles. On the other hand, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would be pleased to get WP7 off the runway, but at the end of the day, for Microsoft, it is business – nothing more.

So, what are the changes a Nokia fanatic (if left to endure) can expect?

- WP7 will sit on Nokia smartphones.

- Nokia will be involved in the future development of this operating system, and they would contribute its expertise on hardware design and language support.

- Microsoft’s search engine Bing will be exclusively used on Nokia devices and Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

- In exchange for Bing, Microsoft will do away with their MS Maps and take Nokia Maps onboard.

- Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace.

- Nokia will provide Microsoft revenue opportunity. Cell phone users can purchase from MS Marketplace through their Nokia phone, and the cell phone provider would append the charges to the monthly bill.

In retrospect, I am beginning to wonder if this strategy is just what Nokia was looking for in the smartphone business. Their smartphones are outclassed and outnumbered by the iPhones and HTCs. Their market depth is shallow, and adding a powerful OS to their smartphone shoal will definitely count to a resurrection of sorts.

The coming months will clearly indicate how the market would react to this unholy marriage. Unholy may not always mean non-profitable!

press release

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