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When two of the world’s greatest forces combine, the results can only be spectacular. Or at least that’s what I’m expecting from the tech world’s latest partnership.
Nokia unveiled designs for its Windows Phone 7 handsets on Feb. 11. The first phones from the partnership could arrive as early as this year. Photo courtesy of Nokia Conversations.
Nokia, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, announced its partnership with the world’s largest software company, Microsoft, on Feb. 11. This agreement will see Nokia mobile phones running Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system.
This partnership couldn’t have come at a better time for the two companies.
Despite Microsoft creating a solid, workable mobile operating system, it has faced stiff competition from already-established market favourites such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s extremely popular Android.
On the other hand, Nokia has also been struggling to remain relevant in today’s smartphone-saturated, touchscreen-obsessed tech industry. One could argue the company’s last "real" success was with the popular N95 in 2007. Nokia’s most recent attempt at relevance seemed only half-hearted with 2010’s release of the Nokia N8, a touchscreen phone running the company’s signature Symbian operating system.
What can we expect from Nokia and Microsoft? I hope something amazing. Some people may argue we already have too many choices when it comes to smartphones, but I believe this partnership is going to create some good competition for market leaders.
Windows Phone 7’s struggles should be eased with Nokia’s broad customer base. Despite having fallen out of favour with consumers in recent years, Nokia is still a company that commands respect – indeed, it was instrumental in creating the global cellular communications standard, GSM.
It’s obvious both companies need each other. Nokia needs to get back in the smartphone game, and Microsoft needs momentum for Windows Phone 7.
Although it had been rumoured that Nokia would get in bed with Android for its smartphones, it obviously hasn’t. That is a great choice, in my opinion, because it seems Android has become the default go-to operating system for any company wanting to cash in. Android is slowly monopolising the smartphone market, and other systems such as Windows Phone 7 are providing consumers with a much-needed alternative.
Of course, the new partnership doesn’t come without casualties. Nokia has laid off hundreds of workers, most of whom had been working in development of Symbian software. But, as always, change is necessary for progress.
In the meantime, I am looking forward to some Nokia Windows Phone 7 phones, coming (possibly) as early as the end of this year.