By: Hillel Fuld
By now, most of us have heard the news that Microsoft and Nokia are joining forces to combat industry giants such as Apple and Google. Of course, this partnerships leaves many questions unanswered. What will be with Symbian? Is it finished? Is Ovi also something of the past? Will Microsoft abandon manufacturers like HTC?
The latest news from the two mobile superpowers is that they will be offering their own unique app store in addition to Nokia devices running Windows Phone 7. You can see a comprehensive list of app stores across all platforms here.
Some of the other confirmed details of this partnership include:
- Nokia will supply mapping and location-based services for the Windows Phone ecosystem, building on the success it’s experienced with Ovi Maps.
- To drive the attractiveness of developing for Windows Phone, the Windows Phone developer registration fee – normally $99 – will be waived for the first year for all published Nokia developers.
- Concluding on the Windows Phone deal, Nokia said that, in recognition of the value that Nokia was bringing to the deal, Nokia would receive payments “totalling billions of dollars” over the next five years.
In terms of the app store itself, Nokia and Microsoft will deliver a new, Nokia-branded application store, that combines the Windows Marketplace back-end with the convenience of operator-billing from Nokia – this billing method already extends to 112 operators in 36 markets.
Nokia announced recently that they had reached a 5 million downloads a day milestone on Ovi, which illustrates once again that the mobile giant is far from dead. According to Nokia’s latest statements, it seems that the Ovi Store is not going anywhere and will remain active for legacy Nokia devices. However, as far as the new Windows Phone 7 devices, the new Nokia branded app store will be the main source of apps.
The biggest question surrounding this new joined venture is, will it succeed? If you ask me, the benefits of Nokia’s superior manufacturing ability with the new fresh Windows Phone 7 experience is a recipe for success. However, as I have said many times before, hardware does not matter. In fact, I might go as far as to say, OS is not even the determining factor here. The name of the game is apps, apps, apps. If Nokia and Microsoft want to make this happen, they need to take good care of their respective developer communities. From what I can tell, both companies know this well, and are taking steps to ensure the satisfaction of their developers, so I am optimistic.
How about you? Do you think Nokia phones running Windows Phone 7 can pose a real threat to iPhone and Android? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, I am @hilzfuld there.