Microsoft & Nokia officially partner on smartphone

Nokia and Microsoft have officially - and publicly - announced their partnership in a bid to crack the business market which is currently dominated by RIM's Blackberry solution and a new kid on the block called the iPhone.

The executive vice-president for Nokia, Robert Andersson, laid down the ground rules "This is giving some of our competitors - let's spell it out, RIM - a run for their money. I don't think BlackBerry has seen the kind of competition we can provide them now."

The smartphone segment is growing tremendously quick even during this recession as consumers want more PC-like features on their phones. This has created an opportunity that saw three newcomers - iPhone, Google and the Pre - start competing with the established players.

The Windows Mobile platform have had a limited success in the smartphone market. Nokia owned around 45 percent of the world smartphone market in Q2 2009 with 18.4 million units sold, a slump of 3.1 million.

In comparison, Apple sales of the iPhone increased six-fold to 5.4 million while HTC's almost doubled. RIM on the other hand had a moderate increase of around 20 percent. And Microsoft's only partner in the top four smartphone maker - HTC - has recently started selling Android based smartphones as well.

The agreement covers only Microsoft Office on Nokia for now but could be extended to much more. A new "Microsoft Office Mobile" version has been launched today for Nokia E-series and this franchise could land on other platforms as well.

The unveiling of this new partnership comes a few weeks after Intel and Nokia penned a strategic alliance with the smartphone segment the centre of all attentions.

It is only the second time that a third party brings together, on the same platform Intel and Microsoft. The previous time was in 1981 when IBM introduced its PC compatible design with an 8088 processor and MS-DOS.

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