Mobile

Nokia jumps to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is next week! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced a long-rumored partnership with Microsoft this morning that would make Windows Phone 7 Nokia’s primary mobile platform.

The announcement means the end is near for Nokia’s aging Symbian platform, which many (myself included) have criticized as being too archaic to compete with modern platforms like the iPhone OS or Android. And Nokia’s homegrown next-generation OS, MeeGo, will no longer be the mythical savior for the Finnish company, as it’s now being positioned more as an experiment.

We’ve argued for some time that a move to Windows Phone 7 would make the most sense for Nokia, and after Elop’s dramatic “burning platform” memo last weekend, it was all but certain that the company would link up with Microsoft.

Nokia won’t just be another Windows Phone 7 adopter like Samsung or HTC. It will “drive and define the future of Windows Phone,” according to an open letter penned by Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Nokia’s hardware expertise will be put to good use for Windows Phone 7, especially when it comes to its experience with powerful cellphone cameras, and it will also help Microsoft deliver the platform to a wider range of price points and international markets.

Nokia says that it will continue shipping millions of Symbian devices this year, but it’s clear that there’s not much growth left in the platform. By 2012, Symbian will likely be wiped out by Windows Phone entirely, at least when it comes to new devices.

Ballmer joined Elop on stage in London at Nokia’s Capital Markets event to introduce the partnership. You can view the entire announcement video at the bottom of this post.

The partnership extends beyond Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter display ads will be implemented across Nokia devices (we’re assuming even those not running Windows Phone), while Nokia’s Ovi Maps mobile app will be integrated into Microsoft’s mapping services. Nokia’s Ovi app store will also be “integrated” into Microsoft’s app Marketplace — which, frankly, won’t be missed. And since Windows Phone 7 includes Xbox Live and Microsoft Office support, Nokia’s new devices will feature those too.

Contrary to previous rumors, Elop isn’t sacking much of Nokia’s executive staff. MeeGo head Alberto Torres, not surprisingly, has quit the company, while other executives’ roles are being reshuffled. Still, Elop said there will be “substantial reductions in employment” inside Nokia, which was to be expected.

Elop also mentioned that he discussed adopting Android with Google but that it would be difficult for Nokia to differentiate itself from the slew of other Android devices. “Commoditization risk was very high — prices, profits, everything being pushed down, value being moved out to Google which was concerning to us,” he said. European cellular carriers were reportedly worried about a potential Nokia/Google partnership because it would have created an iPhone/Android duopoly.

As for MeeGo, Elop clarified that he’s not giving up on the platform, but it’s no longer a significant part of Nokia’s future. The company will ship a single MeeGo device later this year “as an opportunity to learn.” After that, the MeeGo team will focus on different platforms, devices and user experiences. Basically, since the company was too slow in delivering MeeGo, Elop wants Nokia to look for the next major mobile OS innovation.

Qt, the developer platform that Nokia has been pushing for some time, which would have allowed applications to work across Symbian and MeeGo devices, is effectively dead as well. It won’t be supported in Windows Phone 7. Microsoft will instead provide its free developer tools and offer assistance to developers who need help porting their apps to Windows Phone.

When it comes to tablets, Elop said Nokia may adopt something from Microsoft or pursue something it’s been developing internally. With the company currently trying to get its grips on the smartphone market again, I don’t expect to see it announcing a tablet this year.

It’s also unclear when we’ll actually see a Nokia Windows Phone. Ballmer said the engineering teams from both companies have spent a lot of time together, but for this partnership to mean anything, Nokia will have to deliver a Windows Phone device by the end of the year. And honestly, the sooner the better.

Overall, the news is a big shift for Nokia, which has thus far struggled to innovate in a post-iPhone era. While some Nokia fans may see this as a weakening of the brand, I would argue that partnering with Microsoft was really the company’s last hope. It will help Nokia get back on its feet and deliver devices that consumers actually want. And for once, Nokia may finally be able to sell phones to Americans.

Via Engadget

Trackbacks

  1. [...] predictions by IDC and Gartner stem from the new partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, with the idea in mind that Nokia will help spread the WP7 platform in markets outside the U.S. IDC [...]

  2. [...] as if its fortunes will turn around anytime soon when it comes to ad impressions. The company is hard at working developing flagship Windows Phone 7 devices for release later this year, but meanwhile its longstanding dominance in Europe will continue to [...]

  3. [...] if a fortunes will spin around anytime shortly when it comes to ad impressions. The association is hard during operative building flagship Windows Phone 7 devices for recover after this year, though duration a longstanding prevalence in Europe will continue to [...]

  4. [...] as if its fortunes will turn around anytime soon when it comes to ad impressions. The company is hard at working developing flagship Windows Phone 7 devices for release later this year, but meanwhile its longstanding dominance in Europe will continue to [...]

  5. [...] as if its fortunes will turn around anytime soon when it comes to ad impressions. The company is hard at working developing flagship Windows Phone 7 devices for release later this year. Meanwhile, its longstanding dominance in Europe will continue to take [...]

  6. [...] like its fortunes will turn around anytime soon in relation to ad impressions. The corporate is hard at working developing flagship Windows Phone 7 devices for release later this year, but meanwhile its longstanding dominance in Europe will continue to [...]

  7. [...] 3 months after its release at 3.2 million. That’s what Android shifts every 9 days. With Symbian now dead, Microsofts share actually falling, Nokia/Microsoft unlikely to deliver anything new for the [...]

  8. [...] known this was coming for a while since Nokia jumped ship to Windows Phone 7, but today the company confirmed that it will be out of the Symbian phone business in North America [...]

  9. [...] known this was coming for a while since Nokia jumped ship to Windows Phone 7, but today the company confirmed that it will be out of the Symbian phone business in North America [...]

  10. [...] transformation led by CEO Stephen Elop in which the company is significantly cutting operations and switching its phones to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS. The company has lost a lot of ground in the past few years, transitioning from a powerhouse [...]

  11. [...] transformation led by CEO Stephen Elop in which the company is significantly cutting operations and switching its phones to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS. The company has lost a lot of ground in the past few years, transitioning from a powerhouse [...]

  12. [...] I’ve argued in the past that Microsoft will doggedly fight to reclaim its mobile relevance, and it could very well achieve that with Nokia being the premiere Windows Phone 7 device maker. [...]

  13. [...] world and Nokia’s followers to see what the company has come up with after CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 operating system early this year. Nokia will be entering a crowded landscape that has already seen fierce competition between [...]

  14. [...] world and Nokia’s followers to see what the company has come up with after CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 operating system early this year. Nokia will be entering a crowded landscape that has already seen fierce competition between [...]

  15. [...] the mobile world and Nokia followers about what the company has come up with after CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 operating system early this year. Nokia will be entering a crowded landscape that has already seen fierce competition between [...]

  16. [...] Nokia actually deliver new devices after rocking the mobile world in February with the news that it would be moving to Windows Phone, thereby abandoning the company’s creaky Symbian software and more ambitious MeeGo plans. [...]

  17. [...] Nokia actually deliver new devices after rocking the mobile world in February with the news that it would be moving to Windows Phone, thereby abandoning the company’s creaky Symbian software and more ambitious MeeGo plans. (Nokia [...]

  18. [...] des adeptes de Nokia pour voir ce que l’entreprise a mis au point après la PDG Stephen Elop l’entreprise parie sur le système d’exploitation Windows 7 Téléphone début de cette…. Nokia sera saisie d’un paysage encombré qui a déjà vu la concurrence féroce entre [...]

  19. [...] interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking [...]

  20. [...] interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking [...]

  21. [...] interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking [...]

  22. [...] Histoire précédente: L’avenir de la télévision: Dead Man Walking ou plus grand que jamais [...]

  23. [...] more interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking it as a [...]

  24. [...] more interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking it as a [...]

  25. [...] more interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of devs surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, ranking it as a [...]

  26. [...] Even Microsoft doesn’t really expect the OS to take off until 2012. And as for the Nokia partnership, this might be a case where two seeming “wrongs” make a [...]

  27. [...] Even Microsoft doesn’t really expect the OS to take off until 2012. And as for the Nokia partnership, this might be a case where two seeming “wrongs” make a [...]

  28. [...] the two companies announced earlier this year that Nokia was partnering with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 its primary mobile operating system, the initial response was mostly [...]

  29. [...] the two companies announced earlier this year that Nokia was partnering with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 its primary mobile operating system, the initial response was mostly [...]

  30. [...] the two companies announced earlier this year that Nokia was partnering with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 its primary mobile operating system, the initial response was mostly [...]

  31. [...] the two companies announced earlier this year that Nokia was partnering with Microsoft to make Windows Phone 7 its primary mobile operating system, the initial response was mostly [...]

  32. [...] Windows Phone, this next year is all about Microsoft’s contentious partnership with Nokia. Much of Windows Phone’s future depends on the success of Nokia’s Lumia 800, and to a [...]

  33. [...] Windows Phone, this next year is all about Microsoft’s contentious partnership with Nokia. Much of Windows Phone’s future depends on the success of Nokia’s Lumia 800, and to a [...]

  34. [...] Windows Phone, this next year is all about Microsoft’s contentious partnership with Nokia. Much of Windows Phone’s future depends on the success of Nokia’s Lumia 800, and to a [...]

  35. [...] Windows Phone, this next year is all about Microsoft’s contentious partnership with Nokia. Much of Windows Phone’s future depends on the success of Nokia’s Lumia 800, and to a [...]

  36. [...] Windows Phone, this next year is all about Microsoft’s contentious partnership with Nokia. Much of Windows Phone’s future depends on the success of Nokia’s Lumia 800, and to a [...]

  37. [...] Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia also makes it well positioned to expand Windows Phone into international markets as well — though those will admittedly be less lucrative than dominating the US, Europe, and Asia. [...]

  38. [...] interested about Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The big reason, not surprisingly, is Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia to create flagship Windows Phones. 38 percent of developers surveyed said they were “very interested” in the platform, [...]

  39. [...] Phone is also worth watching: With Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, this is a big chance for both companies to regain relevance in the mobile world. The upcoming [...]

  40. [...] Phone is also worth watching: With Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, this is a big chance for both companies to regain relevance in the mobile world. The upcoming [...]

  41. [...] Phone is also worth watching: With Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, this is a big chance for both companies to regain relevance in the mobile world. The upcoming [...]

  42. [...] CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 OS back in February 2011, but it took until near the end of the year to see what the company could [...]

  43. [...] CEO Stephen Elop bet the company on the Windows Phone 7 OS back in February 2011, but it took until near the end of the year to see what the company could [...]

  44. [...] Personally, I’m intrigued by the idea that Microsoft could form an agreement with RIM similar to the one it has with Nokia. [...]

  45. [...] Personally, I’m intrigued by the idea that Microsoft could form an agreement with RIM similar to the one it has with Nokia. [...]

  46. [...] Nokia’s defection to Windows 7 and Intel’s difficulties finding new partners, the beauty of open source is that [...]

  47. [...] Nokia’s defection to Windows 7 and Intel’s difficulties anticipating new partners for a open-source project, a [...]

  48. [...] Nokia’s defection to Windows 7 and Intel’s difficulties finding new partners? for the open-source project, the [...]

  49. [...] YORK CITY — It’s been almost a year and a half since Microsoft and Nokia announced their controversial partnership, and while the union hasn’t been completely successful, it has inarguably led to the most [...]

  50. […] ended up snatching its throne a year ago. After failing to come up with its own iPhone competitor, Nokia joined up with Microsoft to become its key Windows Phone hardware partner. That led to Nokia’s Lumia phones, which […]

  51. […] ended up snatching its throne a year ago. After failing to come up with its own iPhone competitor, Nokia joined up with Microsoft to become its key Windows Phone hardware partner. That led to Nokia’s Lumia phones, which […]

  52. […] adult snatching a throne a year ago. After unwell to come adult with a possess iPhone competitor, Nokia assimilated adult with Microsoft to turn a pivotal Windows Phone hardware partner. That led to Nokia’s Lumia phones, that have […]

  53. […] ended up snatching its throne a year ago. After failing to come up with its own iPhone competitor, Nokia joined up with Microsoft to become its key Windows Phone hardware partner. That led to Nokia’s Lumia phones, which […]

  54. […] ended up snatching its throne a year ago. After failing to come up with its own iPhone competitor, Nokia joined up with Microsoft to become its key Windows Phone hardware partner. That led to Nokia’s Lumia phones, which have […]

  55. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  56. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  57. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  58. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  59. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  60. […] long shielded Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia famous early on that a Android ecosystem doesn’t have many room for foe (Samsung is […]

  61. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  62. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  63. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  64. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  65. […] long defended Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia recognized early on that the Android ecosystem doesn’t have much room for competition […]

  66. […] long shielded Nokia’s choice to adopt Windows Phone. Nokia famous early on that a Android ecosystem doesn’t have many room for foe (Samsung is […]

  67. […] killer devices with even greater support from Microsoft (though the two have been cozy since Nokia agreed to dump Symbian for Windows Phone), and it gives Microsoft a killer smartphone hardware maker of its very own. (I also can’t […]

  68. […] killer devices with even greater support from Microsoft (though the two have been cozy since Nokia agreed to dump Symbian for Windows Phone), and it gives Microsoft a killer smartphone hardware maker of its very own. (I also can’t help […]

  69. […] killer devices with even greater support from Microsoft (though the two have been cozy since Nokia agreed to dump Symbian for Windows Phone), and it gives Microsoft a killer smartphone hardware maker of its very own. (I also can’t help […]

  70. […] killer devices with even greater support from Microsoft (though the two have been cozy since Nokia agreed to dump Symbian for Windows Phone), and it gives Microsoft a killer smartphone hardware maker of its very own. (I also can’t help […]

  71. […] killer devices with even greater support from Microsoft (though the two have been cozy since Nokia agreed to dump Symbian for Windows Phone), and it gives Microsoft a killer smartphone hardware maker of its very own. (I also can’t […]

  72. […] YORK CITY — It’s been almost a year and a half since Microsoft and Nokia announced their controversial partnership, and while the union hasn’t been completely successful, it has inarguably led to the most […]

  73. […] venturebeat.com – Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced a long-rumored partnership with Microsoft this morning that would make Windows Phone 7 Nokia’s primary mobile platform. The announcement means the end is near for Nokia’s aging Symbian platform, which many (myself included) have criticized as being too archaic to compete with modern platforms like the iPhone OS or Android. And Nokia’s homegrown next-generation OS, MeeGo, will no longer be the mythical savior for the Finnish company, as it’s now being positioned more as an experiment. […]