Nokia have announced today that they have selected Windows Phone 7 as their primary smartphone platform. They are going to phase out Symbian, Nokia's existing primary smartphone platform.
In addition to delivering handsets - Nokia plans to offer it's own App Store, Ovi Maps and other features to the Windows Phone platform. They believe this will make them more competitive in the U.S. and global markets in the growing smartphone race.
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer highlighted this partnership will help accelerate the advancement of the Windows Phone platform. It's been announced that Nokia will be targeting a range of price points. This suggests Nokia will likely be one of the first to handset vendors to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets other form factors - like candy bar handsets (with smaller screens and Q9 keyboards).
No timing for new Nokia Windows Phone handsets has been announced yet, however Nokia highlight the expect to deliver quick results. I would expect that means the first Nokia handsets will ship this year - likely around the time of the major Windows Phone update (codename Mango) in August-October timeframe.
Nokia has been confirmed they will be shipping their first MeeGo smartphone this year - but will be focussing on Windows Phone as their primary smartphone platform.
Going forward Bing will power search on Nokia handsets, and Microsoft expects Nokia Maps to become a core part of Microsoft's mapping services.
In a joint open letter from Nokia's Stephen Elop and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer the two closed with the following:
"There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.
There will be challenges. We will overcome them.
Success requires speed. We will be swift."
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