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An Open Letter from the CEOs of MSFT and Nokia

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 29 comments

Nokia and Microsoft this morning announced a ‘strategic alliance’ that would see the two companies “combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale.” The idea is that Nokia will benefit from an already fully-formed smartphone operating system complete with a promising development community, while Microsoft will benefit from Nokia’s vast experience in the hardware business and gain access to all kinds of new markets.

Likely penned a few days ago, Nokia today published a letter from the two Steves (Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop) detailing just what the partnership will entail. The highlights of the letter are as follows:

- Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy and contribute to hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
- The two companies plan to collaborate closely on development, marketing initiatives, development roadmaps, and the future evolution of mobile devices.
- Nokia will adopt Bing as the search provider across all Nokia devices and services and Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising.
- Nokia Maps is set to become a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services, and will be integrated with Bing and adCenter.
- Nokia’s current relationships with carriers will make it easier for Windows Phone 7 users to bill purchases of services to their carrier.
- Nokia’s content and app store will be integrated (read: absorbed) into the Microsoft Marketplace.
- Microsoft’s other brands, such as Office and Xbox, were also mentioned but not elaborated on.

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can check out the complete letter below. Aside from the points laid out above, there isn’t much else of interest bar these determined parting words:

"There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.

There will be challenges. We will overcome them.

Success requires speed. We will be swift."

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Partnership

"Today in London, our two companies announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of our companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem. The partnership increases our scale, which will result in significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world. We both are incredibly excited about the journey we are on together.

While the specific details of the deal are being worked out, here’s a quick summary of what we are working towards:

•    Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

•    Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will 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 will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

•    Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

•    Nokia Maps will 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 unique local search and advertising experience.

•    Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

•    Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

•    Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.

•    Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

We each bring incredible assets to the table. Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices.

Together, we have some of the world’s most admired brands, including Windows, Office, Bing, Xbox Live, NAVTEQ and Nokia. We also have a shared understanding of what it takes to build and sustain a mobile ecosystem, which includes the entire experience from the device to the software to the applications, services and the marketplace.

Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary. Ecosystems thrive when they reach scale, when they are fueled by energy and innovation and when they provide benefits and value to each person or company who participates. This is what we are creating; this is our vision; this is the work we are driving from this day forward.

There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.

There will be challenges. We will overcome them.

Success requires speed. We will be swift.

Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed."
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  • 3 Hide
    killbits , February 13, 2011 1:42 AM
    Saw this coming a loooong time ago. Neither Nokia nor Microsoft by themselves could compete against iPhone/Blackberry/Android, but together they have a chance. Not a very good chance, but better than either company had as of yesterday.

  • 8 Hide
    fakie , February 13, 2011 2:36 AM
    Storm the front!
  • 2 Hide
    milktea , February 13, 2011 2:50 AM
    Let the battle begin!
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Parsian , February 13, 2011 3:16 AM
    Meego is a No go!!!

    Great move from the two. Nokia is losing the ground and WP7 has the potential: It is easy, easy to sync, beautiful and fast!!!

  • -9 Hide
    elcentral , February 13, 2011 3:26 AM
    so the truely failed w7 operating system are going to plague nokia damn you microsoft. i love symbian its epic only thing is where the fuck is all the updates
  • 1 Hide
    Khimera2000 , February 13, 2011 4:37 AM
    ParsianMeego is a No go!!!Great move from the two. Nokia is losing the ground and WP7 has the potential: It is easy, easy to sync, beautiful and fast!!!

    So... because you dont want microsoft your not going to buy the meego??? more for me, ill play with nokia's experimental platform of choice if you wont :D 
  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , February 13, 2011 6:25 AM
    I used to be a loyal Windows Mobile user, but WP 7 is an abomination. Granted, Nokia has absolutely failed from an OS point too, but I don't know if they know what they got themselves into.
  • -3 Hide
    TheKurrgan , February 13, 2011 6:42 AM
    So basically the two loosers in the market are combining forces to hopefully become better than the pile of shit they are on their own.. Will this make it a double turd or faucet ass? Only time will tell.. But I dont expect much with Google and Apple having a stable platform and waring at the moment. The only thing Nokia brings to the table is a hardware platform that is mediocre but affordable, and decent EU following..
    I guess with all the money Microsoft threw at WP7, they cant give up without a fight..
    But I would say this is a hail mary move on both companies, and hail marys done on 4th and 30 at your own 20 yard line with 15 seconds in the fourth rarely amount to much..
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2011 7:50 AM
    Elop is a spy and a damn good one. So now Microsoft OWN Nokia. nuff said. And Nokia is DEAD, no more long lasting phone, and a buggy os.

    Might as well Nokia go open source, Let user to install whatever OS they like and whenever they want. So let the PC vs Mac move to mobile platform. Only in this way that Microsoft will success and Nokia will be another IBM.

    How come they never think of it. Stupid idiota. Why want go close system when in Open system u earn more then just crappy ads?

  • 0 Hide
    Murissokah , February 13, 2011 10:59 AM
    Bing? Goodbye Nokia...
  • 1 Hide
    xtremeways , February 13, 2011 1:50 PM
    smart move on both companies at this them a fighting chance. But to those that are making fun of both companies and their feeble effort, remember competition is what drives the market to release more innovative and better products. So even if this partnership is a big fail, we should benefit greatly from android and IOS have more fire lit under their butts.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 13, 2011 2:16 PM
    Once my iPhone contract is up, I plan to jump on whatever platform has the best gaming option.
  • 0 Hide
    Wish I Was Wealthy , February 13, 2011 2:20 PM
    I believe that it will be to some advantage to both within this new partnership,but judging by the marketshare fall that Nokia had after announcing their partnership I think that there is a lot more to worry about then what maybe Nokia had thought would happen...Also please keep your advertising off these posts that you put up,I have seen another post in the mobile graphic area that is trying to sell their wares also...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2011 3:17 PM
    Wouldn't mind a N8 with Windows 7 for my wife!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2011 4:02 PM
    Ballmer actually called his new partner company "knock-ee-uh". Does not strike me as evidence that they are comprehensively "on the same page".
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , February 13, 2011 5:45 PM
    " other news cellular phones using windows contracted a virus which downloaded the customer user database and bank account information and deactivated the phone using a security vulnerability known in most microsoft products since the early 1990's in windows 3.0 blah blah blah blah blah...."

    another 'win' for hackers is the only thing i'm hearing in the not too far off distant future.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2011 7:29 PM
    Two dinosaurs cling to life and take their last gasps of air. The world has moved. Your time is gone.
  • 0 Hide
    squallypie , February 13, 2011 8:19 PM
    seriously, there are new chinese and indian mobile companies coming up. thing is, they depend much on Google Android so its a plus for Google. But India having a well developed software infrastructure, could step it up a notch and bring in a totally new software and hardware combination.

    That is, if only they would get up and grab the opportunity before its too late.
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , February 13, 2011 10:10 PM
    elcentralso the truely failed w7 operating system are going to plague nokia damn you microsoft. i love symbian its epic only thing is where the fuck is all the updates

    Failed? Come on. Just admit that you have never used Windows Phone 7. It's okay.

    I'm sitting here with a Droid X and typing this up on a MacBook Pro so don't take what I am about to say as coming from a rabid MS fanboy.

    Windows Phone 7 has the best user interface of any mobile phone operating system currently available. Microsoft out-Appled Apple and I mean that in the BEST way possible. The animations are silky smooth and the interface is easy to understand and simple to navigate. It truly is shocking to see such an OS from Microsoft. On my Droid X animations can sometimes be sluggish, pinch to zoom still isn't smooth, and the menu system needs some serious work. WP7 isn't quite up to snuff with Android 2.2 or iOS 4.1 but it's a much better than what was available with Android and iOS when their platforms started.

    I'm not saying it's all roses because there are definitely some shortcomings (IE, cough, IE) but it definitely is not a "failed" product. I think some of you are underestimating the gravity of this partnership. Microsoft probably has the largest developer base of any of the mobile OS platforms and Nokia is HUGE overseas.

    There is a reason Google reacted to this news the way they did. They are nervous. Apple reacted the same way to Google a couple of years ago.
  • 0 Hide
    bebangs , February 13, 2011 10:53 PM
    Dear Elop,

    A nokia with an Android tag is sounds a lot better than any other android brands.

    You've just abandoned your own burning platform.
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