A handsome monetary incentive may have been behind Nokia's decision to ditch the Symbian operating system and move forward wtih Microsoft's Windows Phone platform for its smartphones.
On Friday, the two companies announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.
Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity.
As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution.
Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.
Under the proposed partnership:
* Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging;
* Nokia will help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would 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 joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
* Bing willd 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 Maps will be a core part of Microsoft's mapping 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.
* Nokia's content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace.
"Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience," says Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO. "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."
"I am excited about this partnership with Nokia," says Steven Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute."
Elop also disclosed that Microsoft is paying Nokia "billions of dollars" to make the move to Windows Phone.