Microsoft gets best of Nokia in smartphone love-in

Summary:Are two 'Steves' better than Steve Jobs?

...negatively differentiated - their smartphone software has actually undermined the product proposition, not enhanced it, so with this they gain parity with the best of the opposition."

"It's probably the best thing that Nokia could have done," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "Going with Android would have been even more complicated and even more of a less-balanced relationship between the companies."

Milanesi suggested the Mokia tie-up could see other Windows Phone 7 device makers jettison the platform, rather than play second fiddle to Microsoft's principal WP7 partner. "I really think this is the end of other ODMs wanting to do Windows. I really very much doubt that HTC, Samsung and LG will continue to be as committed to the platform now that Nokia will be preferential partner because nobody else will get that integration on the services side. Why would they?" she said. "With the scale that Nokia can do, they also know that Nokia can take the platform to prices that they can't go to, making the same money."

Should Apple and Google be worried about the newest marriage in mobile? "I think they've got reason to be concerned," said Ovum's Dillon. "It's obviously a more fearsome competitor now than they were in their individual parts. In the short term, especially, it's going to get Nokia back in the game.

"[Windows Phone 7] has been disappointing for the effort Microsoft put into it - it hasn't really resulted in the sales they were hoping for, it hasn't performed as well as it probably should have. So this for them will give them that real shot in the arm to give that platform a kick and raise it up to the same level so it can compete with the others."

"These are two very powerful companies that have got strong reach in developers but also market reach as well and distribution, so I certainly wouldn't write them off," he added.

"The long-term success of this partnership will rest on the companies' ability to bring a portfolio of smartphone products to the market quickly, without which Windows Phone 7 may be rendered irrelevant by its competing platforms," added Forrester's Fogg.

"Also, the companies must convince developers to raise the priority of Windows Phone as they bring innovative products to market."

Topics: Mobility

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