Microsoft + Nokia coming together leading to The Perfect Storm

So today, Nokia announced what few have been predicting last few days, that is, Nokia and Microsoft will work to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem

Under the proposed partnership:

• Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

• Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

• Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

• Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

• Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

• Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

• Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

• Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

This is huge win for both companies. What sets this partnership apart is that the strengths of Microsoft and Nokia are totally complimentary. Here’s how:





Lack of Strong OS, MeeGo taking longer than desired to take shape

Windows Phone 7 OS comes to the rescue.

Hardware Design

When it comes to hardware and hardware deisgn, Nokia is hard to beat.

Microsoft wants more OEMs to increase WP7 footprint, who better than Nokia.

Market Share

Nokia has 33% Market share.

Microsoft marketshare is 3% and it gets 33% to play in now. Increased visibility and credibility now.

Market Reach

Nobody does it better than Nokia when it comes to Market Reach, go to any under developed or emerging countries and you will find Nokia shops in every nook and corner. Nokia also has a great relationship with Telco’s and they will offer ease of buying for WP7 devices where credi card usage is low. Scoble got this, he writes, “Nokia has distribution. Distribution Google doesn’t yet have. Nokia has dealers and stores in the weirdest places on earth. Places Apple won’t have stores in for decades, if ever.”

This is a huge win for Microsoft, Microsoft can bring its Marketing musclepower and exploit these markets.

Search & Ads

Nokia cares less about what the search engine is which goes in the device but would love to have some TAC Money, which I am sure is a part of this deal. Nokia also can look to monetize using AdCenter, another incentive for Publishers and Developers to focus on Nokia Devices/WP7 Platform.

Big Win for Microsoft. More than 35% of Mobile devices in the world can now have Bing Search. Another avenue for AdCenter to provide ad services on Nokia devices. I believe this will be outside of WP7 devices as well so this is really huge win.

Microsoft .NET and Developer Tools

Nokia will now be able to attract 100’s and 1000’s of .NET developers who will build for WP7 Nokia devices. This was a challenge with Symbian.

Microsoft gets a boost with more people using the Developer tools increasing .NET footprint. Silverlight gets a boost. More developers means more Apps, more apps means more marketshare which means more revenues from Marketplace.

Nokia Maps

Navteq is more than just software for navigation and Map services. It has a great GIS database (3D geospatial imagery, traffic info etc) which powers a lot of services uncludinng Yahoo and Bing Maps.

Location is big on mobile devices and WP7 gets navigation using Nokia's Navteq. We will still see Bing Maps in some manner but direction will be provided by Navteq.

A Brand New Ecosystem

By coming together Microsoft and Nokia have formed a brand new Ecosystem, one which gets powered by an upcoming OS, hardware superiority and scale at which these companies are known to execute, all this backed by the great R&D organizations these companies run.

Microsoft, Nokia Combination provides a great alternative to iOS/Android. Competition is good for consumers.