Well, it looks like all that speculation was not for nothing, ‘burning platform’ memo et al. In a joint open letter posted on Nokia’s website, the two companies confirmed what everyone had been speculating about for the last few days. Though the letter said that the specifics of the deal were still being worked out, they still put down what they hoped to achieve with the partnership.
• Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader. Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will 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 will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products. Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
• Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
• Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
• Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.
• Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplacefor a more compelling consumer experience.
Nokia also announced a whole bunch of organizational changes (press release). Effective April 1st, the company will have two major divisions, Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. Contrary to earlier reports, Nokia also reiterated its commitment to ship Meego devices this year.
Here’s what they said about Symbian and Meego:
With Nokia’s planned move to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, Symbian becomes a franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value. This strategy recognizes the opportunity to retain and transition the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come.
Under the new strategy, MeeGo becomes an open-source, mobile operating system project. MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year.And a video announcing the partnership :
This news is huge. HUGE! Of course, everyone has their own opinion on whether it is a good move for Nokia or not. Either way, it just made the smartphone market a lot more interesting -- given the number of units Nokia shipped last year. Do Apple and Android need to stand up and take notice of this?