Nokia and Microsoft team up: Suffering together, merging to survive?
Nokia's Strategy and Financial Briefing today outlined a radical shakeup of the phone giant's plans, including a marrying of Nokia phones and Microsoft's newest mobile operating system. But this could show a mutual weakness rather than a friendly partnership.
Nokia has struggled in the last few years, suggesting that the mobile phone manufacturer is in trouble. With Google's Android operating system, combined with 'viral phones' like the BlackBerry range and the iPhone, Nokia has struggled to play catch up.
But the teaming up of Nokia with Microsoft to roll out the Windows Phone 7, which was confirmed this morning, could be pouring more petrol on already burning bonfire.
And beyond the merging of simply Nokia and Microsoft phone services, Bing will power the device search facilities while Nokia Maps will become a core part of Bing Maps.
It is not clear when the new Windows Phone 7 powered Nokia devices will emerge, but Nokia have made it clear that existing Symbian run phones will be side-lined in favour of the new operating system.
Nokia will have a tough time working with Microsoft to convince at very least the Generation Y that Windows Phone 7 is a viable mobile operating system for long-term use, let alone tempt them away from their iPhone and BlackBerry habits.
Microsoft's power in the advertising segment is perceptively equal to that of Nokia's. Both appear regularly on television, and combined could take the unified devices into a new age.
But the one question that remains is whether Windows Phone 7 any better than the iPhone? Unless compelling arguments can be made, short of brainwashing the European population of anything Apple or BlackBerry related, the new strategy outlined today may still struggle.
As Android can be ported for free to such a wide variety of phones across the spectrum of manufacturers, the marrying of Nokia's hardware and Microsoft's mobile operating system signals a shift in the portability of Windows Phone 7 to other devices.
It would make sense for Nokia to join the Android clan and ditch Windows Phone 7 altogether. If it's Android consumers are after, both Nokia and Microsoft are gambling that the two can come together to make Windows Phone 7 successful.
Then again, at least there is a new strategy. Anything is better than before today when there seemingly wasn't one. But the problems Nokia had and still has will not be cured overnight, and will probably seep into next year regardless of the new strategy announced today.