The rumors are true, Nokia today announced a deal with Microsoft that joins the companies in a “strategic alliance.” The deal will bring Windows Phone 7 to Nokia devices, but also bring together other services offered by the companies. Fans of Nokia’s current strategy have little to worry about, though everyone has reason to be excited.
As part of the deal, Windows Phone 7 will be adopted as Nokia’s “primary smartphone strategy,” with Nokia bringing it’s strengths such as great imaging to the OS. This of course will help Microsoft by getting to OS in front of more users outside the current mid-to-high range smartphone users current phones seem focused on.
For Microsoft’s part, it will start integrating Nokia Maps into it’s services like Bing and adCenter (though it seems unlikely it would completely replace Bing Maps). Like most other deals that remotely involve Bing, Nokia will make Bing the default on all of it’s phones going forward. Nokia’s current content and applications will be assimilated into the Microsoft Marketplace, so we can look forward to all those Ovi apps showing up.
While some of the Bing aspects of the deal might be frustrating for those who want to use the forthcoming MeeGo device from Nokia, the alliance is generally exciting. There should be no doubt that Nokia makes some of the best phone hardware out there. Until now the biggest issue for the platform has been the janky Symbian OS. Windows Phone 7 is a solid OS that offers an interesting experience. In my opinion, it deserves more exposure/market share than it gets and Nokia would be able to give it that, though maybe not in the US. Hopefully this deal doesn’t end up with both company’s efforts falling flat, though that is a strong possibility.
Read [Nokia Conversations]