Nokia has already begun work on Windows Phone handsets, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop told Reuters. Simultaneously, Elop dismisses claims that Microsoft is interested in buying Nokia outright.
Elop's message is clear:
"We're right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn't be possible."
Notice though, how once again the number '7' is not mentioned, which leads me to believe that the first Nokia Windows Phone handsets will be running the updated 'Mango' WP7.5 OS, expected to be on handsets by the end of the year.
Note: It is important to note that when talking about Nokia WP handsets, both Nokia and Microsoft have always said 'Windows Phone' and never 'Windows Phone 7.' This little detail is significant.
The rumors of a Microsoft takeover of Nokia never really made sense to me.
I think that Nokia will be key to Microsoft's plans to get WP7.5 handsets onto the market. Word I'm hearing from connections now is that sales of WP7 handsets have been sluggish and that a number of handset OEMs are already considering a reduction on their WP lineup for the future. If this turns out to be the case, Microsoft having Nokia on hand to pad out the handset lineup will be key.