So that Microsoft and Nokia partnership announcement happened last night. Not quite the Windows Mobile on Nokia announcement some pundits expected it to be - instead the two companies are working together to bring Mobile Office to Nokia's Symbian platform.
They're starting work immediately, although there isn't any word on how long it will actually take to roll out to consumers. It will first appear on Nokia's E Series handsets though, but will expand out to their other smartphones in time.
While this is the kind of announcement that should be good for both companies, I can't help but be sceptical that this will ultimately slow down Symbian even more, which can't be a good thing. But then again, more features equals more better. Right?
Microsoft and Nokia form global alliance to design, develop and market mobile productivity solutions Companies will collaborate to bring Microsoft Office Mobile and related communications and collaboration software and services to Nokia smartphones
New York, NY, USA - The worldwide leader in software and the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer have entered into an alliance that is set to deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise-grade solution for mobile productivity. Today, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Devices Kai Oistamo announced the agreement, outlining a shared vision for the future of mobile productivity. This is the first time that either company has embarked on an alliance of this scope and nature.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices. These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company’s business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals.
Both Microsoft Corp. and Nokia possess a rare combination of enterprise experience and consumer understanding and, in addition to the collaboration on existing software and services, will use these assets to jointly design a range of new user experiences for future Nokia devices. These experiences will be identified together, and will be created by dedicated teams inside both companies to better meet the growing needs of the mobile professional.
“With more than 200 million smartphone customers globally, Nokia is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer and a natural partner for us,”said Elop. “Today’s announcement will enable us to expand Microsoft Office Mobile to Nokia smartphone owners worldwide and allow them to collaborate on Office documents from anywhere, as part of our strategy to provide the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser.”
“If you are going to provide a seamless and integrated productivity experience on a mobile device, Microsoft is an ideal partner,” said Oistamo. “Together with Microsoft, we will develop new and innovative user experiences for employees of small and large businesses alike, ensuring Nokia’s smartphones are an integral part of the office and home-office environment, and addressing the significant opportunity in mobile enterprise productivity.”
This announcement builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimizing access to e-mail and other personal information withExchange ActiveSync. Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future. These will include:
- The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote - Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimized conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile - Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server - Enterprise device management withMicrosoft System Center
"Having these two major players cooperating at this level will help us continue to meet our customer's needs and reinforces our future business mobility strategy,"said Diane Sanchez, head of Telefonica USA.
“The scope of the alliance between Microsoft and Nokia, and potential value for the enterprise and individual is significant,” said Stephen Drake, VP of Mobility & Telecom at IDC. “By bringing Microsoft’s productivity solutions to Nokia’s large customer base, the two companies should be better able to serve the needs of the growing mobile worker population, which IDC estimates to reach 1 billion worldwide in 2011.”