We mentioned yesterday that Microsoft was spearheading a hardware engineering team for Windows Phone--to expedite development in new mobile hardware, almost like their own R&D department for phones. That addition gives Microsoft an interesting ability to better control the future and direction of hardware for their OEMs by basically getting their foot in the door on developing mobiles.
Flash forward a whole day and we have Nokia and Microsoft merging their smartphone strategies. As has been pointed out, this is not "Nokia is now an OEM for Windows Phone" but much deeper, more substantial. Nokia's services will run into Microsoft's, Microsoft's will mix with Nokia's and more importantly, Nokia will have a say in the direction of Windows Phone. From the joint open-letter: "Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone." Yowza.
In a New York Times article, is was pointed out that both Google and Microsoft were throwing money at Nokia to commit:
What caught our eye was the whole engineering assistance, which sounds a lot like what the new Hardware Group of Microsoft's Mobile Communication Business (MCB) department is all about. Reader Henripple pretty much caught this yesterday in comments, suggesting that this may be the groundwork to speed up that Nokia agreement and get devices to market, faster.
On a related note, Ina Fried at All things D is live-blogging the event and when asked, Nokia CEO Elop said this about device availability: "We’ll be shipping in volume in 2012" so we have some time yet before we see a device, though we imagine by "holiday 2011" we'll definitely see some devics about to launch.
And on the much controversial issue of tablets:
Certainly intriguing and we hope both companies come up with a solid strategy here.
Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.
Paying? Well, any deep partnership like this is give and take, but paying isn't quite it. Nokia is giving it's nav/maps and localisation + marketplace billing and hardware know-how to MS in exchange for a mobile OS and full support behind it with some deeper access compared to other OEMs.
I agree. This doesn't sound like "paying" so much as "supporting". This is a partnership, and not an OEM vendor like Samsung and HTC are.
Microsoft has always had this hardware department. At least as far back as 2004 when I was there for the MVP summit.
??? Nokia Hardware is some of the best out there. It's just been largely ignored due to their OS.
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