In a move only few predicted, Nokia and Microsoft just announced that they are teaming up to bring the Windows Phone 7 operating system to Nokia devices. The two companies feel that each brings incredible assets to the proverbial table, hopefully allowing them to deliver “significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world.”
While specific details have not all been fleshed out, many of them are highlighted in this morning’s press release. Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as their primary smartphone operating system and bring their own flair in areas such as imaging into the mix. They will help define the future of Windows Phone by contributing expertise on everything from language support to hardware design. This will allow the two companies to bring you devices with a larger range of pricing points, along with more of the features you want to see. Both teams will work together on future development and joint marketing.
In the statement – released by Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer – they two powerhouses make some very broad predictions:
Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary.
There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.
There will be challenges. We will overcome them.
Success requires speed. We will be swift.
We can all speculate that the two men are referring directly to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. What remains to be seen is whether or not this marriage of mobile entities will be strong enough to pull off the lofty goals they have set before them. I know that many naysayers will be busy writing stories throughout the day today, discussing how this move will never work… how it will fall far short of expectations.
I think it’s entirely possible that Microsoft and Nokia may surprise us all. They definitely have a very long road ahead of them, but I feel it would be a shame to count them out before they even hit the floor running.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this strategic partnership between the two companies could turn into something far better than we could imagine at this point in time?