Microsoft And Nokias’ Noble Mobile Marriage
Could you hear the mobile market bombshell Nokia and Microsoft dropped in London earlier today?
Here’s how it was covered on the Nokia Conversations blog. Basically, Nokia’s putting Symbian out to pasture and adopting Windows Phone as its “primary smartphone strategy.”
This will bring Nokia and Microsoft into the same big mobile market bed as they “closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives, and a shared development roadmap.”
It also means that Bing will become the search engine of choice across Nokia’s devices and services. This at a time when Bing’s market share hovered a little over 12% of the U.S., and just under 10% globally.
With the explosion of mobile devices around the globe and Nokia’s vast global market penetration, the Bing deal becomes an attempt to “buy in” as a potential strategic counterweight to Google’s vast and growing mobile search domination.
But considering Nokia’s own 4Q10 press release indicated that YOY market share had dropped from 35% to 31%, they’re going to need a major bounceback.
Then again, nothing surprises me in this industry anymore. Microsoft helped “save” Apple way back when with a $150M cash infusion, so who’s to say Redmond can’t help Nokia get firmly back on the mobile information superhighway.
Though I won’t be running out to replace my own iPhone 4 anytime soon, a device I’ve become perfectly content with (save AT&T’s continued spotty service here in my Austin home office), it will be interesting to see if Redmond can save Helsinki.
A few other key aspects of the deal, FYI, and according to the official press release from Nokia:
- 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 Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience.
- 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 leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
- Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services
- Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace