Nokia and Microsoft plotting Windows Phone 7 pact?

20 Dec 2010

If the rumour mill is to be believed, Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop wants to put Windows Phone 7 on its devices. The deal in a strange way makes sense: both companies are struggling to be relevant in the mobile device world.

Microsoft is hoping that with Windows Phone 7 it will become a major player in the mobile phone world, where it currently trails behind players like RIM with the BlackBerry, Apple with the iPhone and Google with its Android operating system.

According to Gartner, the release of Windows Phone 7 could increase Microsoft’s share of the operating system market from 4.7pc in 2010 to 5.2pc in 2011.

Nokia, which is still the largest vendor by market share worldwide, is losing out in more developed countries and in particular in the smartphone space where Android and iPhone lead the pack.

Nokia in talks with Microsoft

According to Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin, an authority on all things Nokia, the Finnish mobile company actively pursued talks with Microsoft.

The new CEO of Nokia is ex-Microsoft and as soon as it emerged that Elop was taking the reins of Nokia, it had been suggested that such an alliance may occur.

My take on it is Nokia wants to re-emerge as a disruptive force in the mobile market but needs time to gather its resources.

In the meantime, it may be taking inspiration from the fast-moving Samsung, which has managed to bring out not only a succession of ground-breaking devices based on its own software but also operating systems, like Windows Phone 7 and most notably Android. As well as this, the company was chosen by Google to manufacture its Nexus S new smartphone.

It seems Nokia has had to realise it can no longer keep relying on Symbian, and talking up Meebo is just talk until devices are in the marketplace.

Nokia is a business and it needs to consolidate its hold on the global mobile market and if that means changing tack so be it.

Microsoft wants to get its new mobile operating system onto as many phones as possible, a deal with Nokia must seem a welcome development.

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