Nokia and Microsoft get hitched - can they beat Apple and Google?

11 February 2011

The world of consumer mobile got turned on its head and smacked on the arse this morning: Nokia are to partner with Microsoft to produce their next generation of smartphones. That's Nokia, the company that's CEO confessed to the company being a "series of misses" that "lacked accountability and leadership", and Microsoft, who have Steve Ballmer.

Both companies are scared witless about the seemingly endless innovation and sales of Google's Android platform and Apple in the smartphone market; both are struggling to build or retain market share; both need one another to survive. It's not a deal to be dismissed, however; Nokia still have a massive share of the mobile market, and Microsoft have at least the resources to make their Windows Phone software a worthy competitor.

What does the deal mean? Windows Phone will replace the Symbian OS as its main operating system, effectively killing off Symbian and new Meego OS project (although Nokia is insisting they will live on in other guises). Nokia’s Ovi app store will also be integrated into Microsoft’s Marketplace. Nokia will begin to use Bing for search across its devices and Nokia Maps will be integrated into Microsoft services.

From a consumer point-of-view, it means there should be a solid, widespread additional choice in terms of smartphone platforms, and that sort of competition should be good for customers. The concern and source of cynicism amongst the media this morning, is that both companies seen to be failing - yes, Nokia has plenty of market share and yes, Microsoft has billions in the bank - but neither are regarded as particularly innovative in the current smartphone market.

Watch the hastily thrown together announcement of the partnership - you'll never see two CEOs more uncomfortable with the words coming out their mouths:

The deal is perhaps best summed up by the editor of Editor, ZDNet UK on Twitter: "Microsoft and Nokia. Like an accountant marrying an insurance executive: the kids will either be dull or go off the rails completely."

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile


  • Phil
    I used to love Nokia - but this is just the final nail in there coffin. Should have gone with Android and made your own market place, sms apps extra.
  • Tweedskin
    @Phil Go with Android and develop their own market place?! That's a terrible idea! Android is already fragmented enough, let alone adding another marketplace.
  • Paul C.
    Steve Ballmer is decidedly muted. Is he not excited about this as he was about other Microsoft projects?
  • The B.
    Didn't I say all this yesterday?
  • Rich
    Nokia teaming with Microsoft mobile is quite possibly the dumbest move made by any company. Both are shit, two shit companies one shit phone.
  • PokeHerPete
    I heard Nokia have just discovered the internet.
  • Pedant
    Oddly, Steve Ballmer reminds me of Ray Romano's dad on Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Word-Up
    Microsoft are so shit they have over 85% computer associated marketshare and shit loads of cash. Real shit.
  • The B.
    Wow, that's the first person I've heard admit they watch "Everybody Loves Rainman".
  • Peter W.
    Got my first 'smart phone' recently (Samsung Galaxy).Not impressed.They are massively complicated,massively expensive and the Android store has very little worth buying.These things seem to taking over everyone's lives.I'll be back to a pay as you go one as soon as the contract is up that makes phone calls and can send the odd text.
  • Mark
    I saw this coming when Stephen Elop was made CEO of Nokia after leaving Microsoft. It is a bad day for Nokia and for Meego.
  • Pete D.
    Ize got one er them there Smartzfone dee over day and I wuznt imprezzed, dey is very hard to uze an I dusnt unnerstan mooch, I likez my phones dezoined for peoplez wiv IQ's unner 50, itz taken meez throi hours to wroite dis cos compuiterz is hard too.
  • tin
    @Word-Up - yeah but they only have that due to being very good at bribery, corruption, coercion, monopoly and market distortion - not one product of theirs has stood up on it's own just because it was very good.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Nokia and Microsoft get hitched – can they beat Apple and Google? [...]

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