Mobile phone maker Nokia and software behemoth Microsoft have decided to form a strategic partnership that aims to create a new global mobile ecosystem.
The two companies want to jointly create mobile products and services targeting consumers, operators and developers. It was announced Friday, Feb. 11.
Major tech players have been moving aggressively to tap into the dwindling mobiles market, which is still dominated by low-priced voice calls and mobile devices that have become mere commodities.[ Also Read: Why Marketers are Chasing the Mobile Mirage ]
For example, leading tech company IBM has introduced new software that combines the business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce. For the first time, the company says, its new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013. (Read: How IBM Plans to Help Mobile Workforce)[ Also Read: SAP Business One App Available for iPhone ]
And close on the heels of naming Stephen Elop as its future CEO, Nokia unveiled a strategy to connect the “next billion” people to the Internet. For this, the company wants to offer its low-cost mobile phones supported by Ovi services in the emerging markets. (Read: Nokia Plans to Connect Next Billion to Internet)
And Microsoft, with its eyes on the mass mobile markets, is emerging as a new force in the cutthroat mobiles arena. With a host of fun features, including music and games, integrated into the new devices, Microsoft – with its partners – has introduced Windows Phone 7 handsets. (Read: New Windows Phone 7: Phone for Fun)[ Also Read: How to Measure the Impact of Mobile Ads ]
Further, IBM is leaving no stone unturned to woo all types of potential mobile consumers. It has announced an Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project with the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay).
The research collaboration will focus on the development of new designs for mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology. (Read: Research to Help Uneducated Use Mobile Web)[ Also Read: Nokia E7 Smartphone for Business Buyers ]
According to a recent IBM survey, information technology professionals predict that mobile (and cloud computing) will emerge as the most in-demand platforms for software application development and IT delivery over the next five years. (Read: Tech Predictions for 2015 with IBM Survey)
“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO.
“Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”[ Also Read: Here Comes ‘World’s First’ 4G LTE Phone ]
Moreover, they plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending their products and services to new markets.
“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”
Under the proposed partnership:
- Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging.
- Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would 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 and Microsoft would collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
- Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
- Nokia Maps would 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 local search and advertising experience
- Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
- Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
- Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a better consumer experience.
Photo courtesy: Nokia