Nokia Microsoft: Unholy Alliance?

Monday 14th, February 2011 / 10:50 Written by
Nokia Microsoft: Unholy Alliance?

A short while after Stephen Elop’s “Burning Platform” Memo, Nokia & Microsoft announced that they would be partnering together to put Windows Phone 7 on Nokia Devices, and would be tying in Nokia’s Ovi Services with Bing, Windows Marketplace and Maps. Some points to note from this announcement were:

  • Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
  • Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

  • Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

  • Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

  • Nokia Maps would 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

  • Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

  • Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

  • Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

You can read the full press release over here. You can also see the video of the announcement below.

Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

Nokia Maps would 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

Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

A little while after that Engadget uncovered a render of the Nokia Windows Phone 7 concept, which could potentially come out later this year. The thing is, Nokia has brilliant hardware. Check out the concept below. Industrial looking, but still awesome!

Which got me thinking, is this really a bad thing? Lets go over this again:

  • Nokia makes awesome hardware
  • Their imaging solutions for mobile are top notch
  • They potentially have a large reach in the market, being known for making sturdy, durable devices
  • Windows Phone 7 is a completely new looking OS
  • The UI is quite nice, simple, with live tiles
  • Tied in with Xbox, which could mean a proper mobile gaming experience, which NGage couldn’t really do
  • Last but not the least, by the time the Nokia device comes out, Windows Phone 7 should be “Properly” Usable. I mean cut/copy/paste, multitasking, Silverlight/Flash, etc…

So it “May Not” be a bad thing. That’s my opinion. I might even buy such a phone, assuming Windows Phone 7 is upto scratch then. And also considering that Nokia has been given freedom to Modify the interface, it could actually turn out to be alright. So now it’s upto both these HUGE corporations to work together (which is usually an impossible task), and come up with something awesome. If they don’t, then it’s “tata Nokia”…

There’s also news that MeeGo won’t be dropped altogether, but will stay on as a developmental long term evolution platform. Erm.. Ok.. What does that mean? After all the hype Nokia created about Meego, which was supposed to come out on devices sometime this year, why suddenly drop it? I understand the Symbian deal, I mean, they couldn’t even get text entry right! It’s the simple stuff that screwed up Symbian in my opinion. Burning Platform indeed.

Then there’s the fact that Nokia has almost completely lost their share of the low end market, thanks to cheap Chinese and Indian phones that do much more for the same cost. They may not be as durable and dependable as a Nokia Device, but it’s proper value for money there.  A dual sim phone, with a camera, social network connectivity and more for the same price as a Nokia C2-00 (or 01, 02 etc etc), does make more sense to the average user who basically uses it for calling and messaging, but would now look into using the other features of the device. S40 hasn’t evolved as much as it could have, considering the massive market that it held. I wonder what’s Nokia’s plans to handle this situation now, because it’s a VERY high volume market, that they cannot afford to lose.

I was a Huge Nokia Fan. I still might be one. If there’s something worth it. As of now, there isn’t. I still do advice people to buy Nokia E series devices and the new Symbian^3 phones when asked. But that’s for a very specific group, who value the build and battery life that only Nokia can offer. They don’t care about the lack of applications and the UI/UX. Some of them want good mobile camera phones. Well, nothing beats the N8 there.

So, if Nokia does come out with something awesome, and Microsoft gets Windows Phone 7 “right” by then, I’ll buy it. If not…..

Does anyone out there agree with me? Comment below, or catch the @myportableworld team on twitter. And please do visit our Facebook Page. And come back!

PS: Do visit http://www.yourcatalyst.in/ … It’s worth your time, I guarantee that!

About the author

Drummer, Car enthusiast and wanna be rally driver, between jobs and loving it! @raghukannan

View all articles by Raghu Kannan

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