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Nokia and Microsoft join for smartphone catch up

February 11, 2011

Nokia and Microsoft have revealed plans to form a broad strategic partnership to try and ‘create a new global mobile ecosystem.’

The companies will “jointly create mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity.” The partners say that as each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

The initial implications are Nokia adopting Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging.

This may mean the end of Symbian, Nokia’s platform, though it could survive for business users. For both companies this is a last chance to catch up with iPhone and Android smartphones whose rapid growth at the expense of Nokia lead its new CEO, former Microsoft manager Stephen Elop, to tell managers the company was like someone stranded on a burning oil platform.

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fuelled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

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