Article crafted by Kelly Clay

In an Open Letter from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Nokia has just announced groundbreaking plans for a “broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of our companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem.” The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is designed to benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="320" height="240" wmode="transparent" /]

The specific details of the deal are still being worked out. Together, Elop and Ballmer did provide a quick summary of the goals of the partnership, which include Nokia adopting Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy. Nokia in turn has promised to “drive and define the future of Windows Phone” by contributing expertise on hardware design, language support, and by bringing Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

Nokia and Microsoft are also planning to using this partnership to more “closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.” Other collaborations in this partnership include:

  • Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services
  • Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
  • Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones.
  • Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services.
  • Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

It is interesting to note that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 debuted in Q4 of 2010 with only 2% of the smartphone marketshare. Will the partnership of Nokia’s history of innovation, combined with Microsoft’s leadership in software and services be enough to challenge the current domineering forces of mobile, especially in the U.S – namely, those that power the Android and the iPhone?

Huge win for Microsoft, here…