The rumors have been swirling for days but this morning it was official announced by both companies that Nokia will be adopting Windows Phone 7. In a joint open letter, both companies spelled out what the partnership means--let it be clear it's as big as it is deep--this is not just Nokia using Bing but a whole agreement in a virtual merger on smartphone strategy:
The core of the decision is for Nokia to use Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS, with MeeGo going to the back-burner (but living on). The OVI store will merge with Microsoft's Marketplace, Bing will be on all Nokia services and Nokia wil provide mapping data for Bing.
The combination of Nokia, who's the largest cell phone maker (by volume) and Microsoft should create quite the juggernaut and gives Windows Phone the gravitas it needs to be taken more seriously (by consumers, carriers and the market). Indeed, this changes everything today. Will it pay off? Who knows, but we're happier with this decision than without it.
Why not Android? According to Nokia CEO Elop:
We explored the opportunity with the Google ecosystem. We would have had difficulty differentiating within that ecosystem, and so Microsoft represented the best opportunity to build and lead and fight through with a new ecosystem.
Have they started collaborating on a device yet? From Ballmer:
We’re already working together to create the first Nokia Windows phones and you’ll hear more from us in all of those areas in the next weeks and months.
When? “We’ll be shipping in volume in 2012”, varying price points -Elop (via AllThingsD)
(Quote via via ElectricPig; part 2)
After the break, see the full official strategy between the two companies as outlined in their "open letter" and video...