Microsoft-Nokia deal to take two years for "transition"

Mary Jo Foley at ZDnet has gone through the form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Nokia which describes in detail the deal with Microsoft. While nothing really wow wothy was unearthed, there are few bits of interesting things:

  • The deal is still not finalized between the two giants, instead a non-binding term sheet is in place till everything is finalized
  • The transition to using Windows Phone 7 as its "primary smartphone platform" will take about 2 years
  • They want to transition the 200 million Symbian users over to WP7 over time
  • “Nokia would bring assets such as its brand, hardware, production, global reach, application store, operator billing support, maps and location­-based assets to the partnership."

Other aspects include the importance of Silverlight to the platform, which makes sense since Silverlight is making a big transition to mobile, desktop and even gaming OS's. Of course, the big question is about the "two year transition" and what that means for when we'll actually see a Nokia Windows Phone. As of right now, the "shipping in volume by 2012" part sounds pretty accurate with 2011 slipping away. Nokia and Microsoft seem really keen on not just pumping out a phone with Nokia branding but really integrating Nokia's services into the Windows Phone platform--no easy task and one that will take time.

We predict we'll see some hardware prototypes by years end, but nothing shipping till mid-2012, which seems a long way from now. The interesting question is how will WP7 fair till Nokia can really unleash its full capability into new phones for Microsoft. It also lends credence to the idea that a Nokia Windows Phone won't be based on version "7" but whatever "8" will be, hence the observation that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop never says "Windows Phone 7" when discussing the Nokia deal.

Source: ZDNet

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I am not worried about MS hanging in there. It's their way. IE 1.0 was an AWFUL browser. 2 was not so great, but 3 was finally something people could get hooked on.The original Xbox never gained the momentum or market share MS wanted because the PS2 owned the market. But MS hung in there and with the 360 has come to dominate. So Windows Phone won't be the early lead killer, but they will come in late to the game, improve upon what everyone else has done, and eventually become a major player.
  • Wow! If 2012 is the earliest, then Microsoft will simply have to wait to get my money until then, if then. There simply aren't any WP7 devices currently that interest me in the slightest and I won't invest in them simply because of the OS. I really hope they can get some type of Nokia device out sooner than 2012, even if the release is only in the US....
  • That 2 year transition isn't anything to worry about, and it makes sense. Right now Nokia makes lots and lots of Symbian phones and you can't just flip a switch and to full WP7 overnight. I expect we'll see one or two Nokia phones later THIS year as they've said. I also expect other WP7 devices from other OEMs as well, all of which should come around the time of the big Mango 7.5 update which is what the OEMs seem to be waiting for.In 2012 we should start to see a steady stream of new Nokia phones throughout the year though. As for what the other OEMs do, guess it just depends on how the WP7 market grows.
  • S elop as made it clear to his team he wants the first Nokia Windows Phone shipped by end of this year, that statement as been repeated many times by Nokia it maybe wont get all Nokia's services integrated in to platform by time the first device ships but there's always rolling updates to the OS that can add them later.
  • Nokia doesn't need a transition period in the U.S. so I suspect we'll see Nokia branded WP7 devices...this year. Elsewhere, year will be the worldwide rollout based on WP8.