Mobile phone giant Nokia has struck a partnership with Microsoft in an attempt to enter the expanding, lucrative and competitive smartphone arena, something which up until now it has failed to do with any degree of success.
Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop has signed up to a “broad strategic partnership” with Microsoft. He indicated that his company will utilise Windows 7 as its first choice smartphone OS. Elop has also sent out overtures that the company and its staffing structure will be seeing change “Nokia is at a critical juncture, where significant change is necessary and inevitable in our journey forward.Today, we are accelerating that change through a new path, aimed at regaining our smartphone leadership.”
The plan will see Nokia use its expertise in imaging and hardware design to improve the Windows Mobile platform. The synergy of the two is hoped to improve handset design and the use of Microsoft’s search software Bing, is being integrated into Nokia handsets. This latest agreement for Nokia is in an effort to retake ground lost to Apple and the iPhone and Google and it’s Android operating system in the smartphone arena.
Nokia will still produce phones running on its own Symbian OS due to the previous investment outlay and work on the MeeGo OS in conjunction with Intel will be for “longer-term market exploration” with Nokia’s lead developer on the MeeGo project leaving Nokia.
The announcement by Nokia and Microsoft had been anticipated by almost all industry analysts and with Elop announcing what was seen as slightly disappointing financial projections, even the weight of Microsoft couldn’t stop Nokia shares sliding over 10% in early trading in Europe. John Strand, CEO of Strand Consulting said that due to the tie up with Microsoft, there will be “massive layoffs” at Nokia, particularly in the R&D division.