About 10 weeks after Nokia and Microsoft announced their partnership, which had fans whooping with joy, the Redmond and Finland based giants have inked their deal in paper today. After the joint announcement, people from both companies have been collaborating intensively and have finalized the deal well ahead of schedule.
Hundreds of employees of both companies are already making joint engineering efforts and working together on the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 phones which are expected to be released as soon as Q1 2012 or possibly late 2011 and porting core Nokia apps to the Wp7 platform. They are also focusing on the ecosystem, with combined efforts for the developer community already begun.
“Our agreement is good for the industry,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, Nokia and Microsoft will innovate with greater speed, and provide enhanced opportunities for consumers and our partners to share in the success of our ecosystem.”
The partnership is based around 4 main areas. First is the combination of the various strengths of both companies, Nokia will deliver mapping, navigation and other location based services, while helping in hardware design and development of the WP7 ecosystem. Microsoft will supplement with its expertise in productivity, gaming , social media and help monetize Nokia’s location services. Nokia will also get a Nokia-branded application store for Windows Phone 7, while WP7 registration becomes free for Nokia developers. Microsoft’s operator billing benefits from Nokia’s relationship with carriers in over 36 markets.
Nokia will pay running royalties to Microsoft for its use of the WP7 operating system, while it benefits from the huge payments it receives from Microsoft for its contributions and exchange of rights for use of intellectual property. Thanks to adoption of WP7, Nokia saves over $1 billion by investing a lot less in Symbian.
“At the highest level, we have entered into a win-win partnership,” said Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia Corporation. “It is the complementary nature of our assets, and the overall competitiveness of that combined offering, that is the foundation of our relationship.”
With everything all nice and shiny in legal documents, the partners will now engage devs , carriers and consumers to join their ecosystem. Both companies have made substantial commitments and now we will start to see what comes of it.