Nokia Likely to Announce Partnership with Microsoft
Multiple sources confirm speculation that Nokia will turn to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system to run its increasingly underperforming smartphones. An official announcement to this effect is expected from Nokia as early as Friday.
A widely circulated internal memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop made it clear Wednesday that Nokia is a "burning platform" in need of drastic change to save itself. Industry experts have been saying so for quite some time as Android and iPhone chip steadily away at the dominant market share Nokia used to have worldwide.
It's generally acknowledged that the aging Symbian operating system Nokia has relied on for years won't be able to compete with Android and other smartphone platforms that have become successful in the past two years. Elop also admitted that Memo, the new platform Nokia was developing, won't be the fix the company needs.
Now Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal both cite industry sources who say Nokia is in talks with Microsoft and "close to announcing a software partnership." Elop is a former president of Microsoft's business division. Microsoft Nokia would use the acclaimed — but not necessarily popular — Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system to give its smartphones instant appeal in a market that is quickly leaving it behind. Microsoft would also benefit by having its platform appear in millions more handsets worldwide.
The WSJ reports that the deal will be announced as early as Friday if an agreement can be reached in time. The company had already scheduled its annual company event called Capital Market Day for Friday, so it would be an excellent time to announce such a major partnership.
Previously, industry experts said Nokia might also use Google's Android smartphone operating system, but former statements from Nokia and Google executives along with reports from Bloomberg and WSJ sources indicate such a partnership is highly unlikely.
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