As previously rumoured, Nokia and Microsoft announced yesterday that they’re forming a partnership to develop and promote Windows 7 phones.
Nokia has been suffering from loss of market share due to the rapid take up of both iOS and Android devices. The recent change to Stephen Elop (@selop) as CEO of Nokia signalled that Nokia realised they needed to make wide reaching changes the their core company focus.
The fact that Stephen came from an influential role within Microsoft gave rise to the speculation that Nokia might be about to join forces with Microsoft.
The alliance brings Nokia’s popular hardware designs and also their influence in the GSM market to the Windows Phone 7 push. Lately the Nokia Symbian OS platform has been criticized for not keeping up with market trends, so using Windows Phone 7 should help fast forward them to 2011,
The partnership announced that Bing would become the default Search engine for Nokia devices (not really surprising given its deep integration within WP7). More surprising was that Nokia Maps would be the default mapping service. I’ve not personally used Nokia Maps, however it must be good for MS to agree to replace Bing Maps?
It’ll be interesting to see how soon Nokia can use the partnership to announce new phones, and also what the market feedback will be. Nokia users tend to be faithful to the Nokia platform so the move to WP7 is a brave however also necessary to remain competitive.