Details of Microsoft and Nokia mega alliance revealed

13 Aug 2009

Software giant Microsoft and the world’s largest mobile manufacturer Nokia have entered into an alliance that both claim will deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise grade solution for mobile productivity.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional.

This collaboration will focus on bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices.

These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smart phones starting with the Nokia E-series. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals.

“With more than 200 million smart phone customers globally, Nokia is the world’s largest smart phone manufacturer and a natural partner for us,” said Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop.

“Today’s announcement will enable us to expand Microsoft Office Mobile to Nokia smart phone owners worldwide and allow them to collaborate on Office documents from anywhere, as part of our strategy to provide the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser,” Elop added.

Nokia said the alliance builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimising access to email and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync.

“If you are going to provide a seamless and integrated productivity experience on a mobile device, Microsoft is an ideal partner,” said Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Devices Kai Öistämö.

“Together with Microsoft, we will develop new and innovative user experiences for employees of small and large businesses alike, ensuring Nokia’s smart phones are an integral part of the office and home-office environment, and addressing the significant opportunity in mobile enterprise productivity,” Öistämö added.

Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smart phones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future.

These will include:

·        The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimised versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote

·        Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimised conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile

·        Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server

·        Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Centre

“The scope of the alliance between Microsoft and Nokia, and potential value for the enterprise and individual is significant,” said Stephen Drake, VP of Mobility & Telecom at IDC.

“By bringing Microsoft’s productivity solutions to Nokia’s large customer base, the two companies should be better able to serve the needs of the growing mobile worker population, which IDC estimates to reach 1 billion worldwide in 2011.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Nokia Executive Vice President Kai Öistämö announce a joint venture to bring Microsoft Office Mobile and Communication solutions to Nokia smart phones

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years