Nokia is to adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform, it has been confirmed, as the Finnish company looks to compete more effectively at the top of the handset market.
Announced this morning, the “strategic partnership” marks a seismic shift in Nokia’s business model. Prior to the deal, the phone maker only manufactured handsets based on its proprietary Symbian operating platform.
However, that strategy has become increasingly untenable as the company continues to lose to share to Apple and Google’s Android in the competitive smartphone market.
Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said: "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."
A release confirming the partnership stated that Nokia will contribute significantly to shaping the future of Windows Phone 7, bringing its expertise on “hardware design, language support". It will also "help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies".
Speculation that Nokia would jump on board with a third party operating system has been rife for months, with some tech watchers forecasting that a move over to Android would be the most beneficial option. The rumour mill stepped up a gear yesterday when an astonishingly candid memo leaked online in which Elop compared Nokia’s plight as akin to standing on a “burning platform”.