Official: Nokia partners with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7

By Tom Warren, on 11th Feb 11 7:34 am with 13 Comments

Nokia and Microsoft historic partnership

Nokia said on Friday that it plans to partner with Microsoft to offer Windows Phone 7 devices.

Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, is due to speak further about the company’s Windows Phone 7 plans at a Strategy and Financial Briefing later today. The company announced its plans on Friday morning ahead of the briefing. In a joint statement by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the pair outlined their future:

“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.”

Ballmer said he was excited by the partnership. “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,” he said.

The announcement comes days after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop issued a 1,300 word internal memo to the company’s employees recently spelling. Elop admitted throughout the memo that competitors are doing better and that Nokia’s current ecosystem is a “burning platform”.

Rumors of a Nokia Windows Phone 7 partnership were rife since Elop’s departure from Microsoft to Nokia in September, 2010. Speculation began when it was reported that Nokia was in talks with Microsoft to look at offering Windows Phone 7 devices. The talks were kick started by Nokia’s new management. Stephen Elop, ex-Microsoft employee, joined Nokia last year as the company’s CEO.

Investment analyst, Adnaan Ahmad of Berenberg Bank, wrote to Microsoft and Nokia recently, urging them to partner for Windows Phone 7 handsets. Ahmad issued a note with his recommendations for Microsoft, asking for an exclusive deal with Nokia to improve its U.S. market share. Ahmad also recommended that Nokia pushes its Symbian solutions into the low-to-mid-range smartphone market “as quickly as possible”.

All eyes are now on Mobile World Congress. Nokia is planning to hold a press event on Sunday and it’s likely that the firm will unveil its Windows Phone 7 device. Nokia summarized it’s announcements in a blog posting on Friday:

  • 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.

  • Anonymous


  • Ss

    Fantastic. Now my quench for N* with WP7 will be satisifed.

  • Rom

    awesome! good move Nokia!



  • JIM

    sounds good to me, I wonder when the other hardware spec models will come out.

  • oolong2

    It’s about time… Been waiting for them to make this announcement for a year now. It’s obvious that Microsoft has been wining and dining Nokia for years now. I suspected that even launching WP7 in Europe first was directed at Nokia.

    However in this case it’s a no brainer.. Microsoft needs a good hardware vendor and Nokia badly needs next generation software for their devices.

    The one thing that Microsoft has ALWAYS been good about is their partnering. It’s the one thing that Apple has not learned yet. It’s also the one reason why iPhone will start to lose it’s market share. This has always been a battle between Android and WP7 (and perhaps WebOS one day) because these are the only OSes that provide diversity by being available on many different types of devices. Which gives consumers more choices..

  • BGL

    Nokia has, for years, produced the best mobile phone hardware. They now have a software platform that will go with it

  • GP007

    The added Nokia maps and language/localisation support back into WP7 should be a huge boost to people who want a WP7 device and also want local bing search like the US has but can’t get it right now. It’s win win for both, Nokia gets a new, innovative OS and services and MS gets a big hardware OEM and their localisation data/services to boost Bing. It sounds like Ballmer just scored a sweet deal.

  • Steve Jobs

    Let’s watch Microsoft and Nokia kick some Apple’s!

  • Dylan Lewis

    My next phone after my Optimus 7 will be a Nokia WP7 device! Happy to see this is official.

  • Scott2010

    I have owned a couple iPhones, but would never even consider an Android phone. I could however see the day when I’d buy a Windows phone, because like 90% of the rest of the world – I have used a Windows PC for 30 years. Microsoft’s ability to provide a seamless experience for personal and work activities across a range of devices will be compelling. For the moment I’m sticking with iPhones, but if anyone would get me to change it would be to a Microsoft phone. Glad to see Nokia bringing some more oomph to the platform and I look forward to see my next generation client being a Nokia Windows Phone 8 that can dock and drive a big screen and a keyboard (ie.act as a PC as well).

  • Scott2010

    I’m not sure people understand the big picture of Microsoft porting Windows to ARM. If they have a single kernel for Windows and versions that range from a phone, tablet, pc, server, cloud, then this will make it pretty hard for any competitor to match the breadth and depth of capability and compatibility across both work and personal uses. I’d suspect that many people will buy at home something that will seamlessly covers their needs for both work and home. In addition, it would simplify the lives of IT managers. A pretty compelling story that will be unfolding over the next 2 years.

  • Craig

    Get ready to experience the best still and videos ever took with a Mobile device 12mp with 1080p recording with Carl zeiss lenses and true zoom is coming your way lads , Xbox on my Nokia is coming to me woot.
    Get read ready for the revolution.
    Nokia sold 120 million Symbian devices last year there reach is huge.