Nokia & Microsoft Announce Partnership To Build A New Ecosystem

Nokia and Microsoft have today announced plans to combine assets and build a new ecosystem to challenge the existing Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. This new strategic partnership will see Microsoft brings its’ Windows Phone software and brands like Bing, Office and Xbox Live, with Nokia contributing expertise on hardware optimisation, language support, customisation of the software, helping bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies. Hit the jump to find out more.

Under the proposed partnership:

  • Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
  • Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
  • Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
  • Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience
  • Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.
  • Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
  • Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Will this ecosystem challenge for honors against it’s competitors, or is Nokia now completely out of the game? Share your thoughts below and let us know what you think.

Nokia E7 HD Video Review

Rafe Blanford of All About Symbian takes an in-depth look at Nokia’s most recently shipped device, the Nokia E7 Communicator, in this lengthy hands-on video review. The review focuses on the hardware, especially the QWERTY keyboard, but also cover some elements of the Symbian^3 software and Ovi services that powers the device. Hit the jump and take a look.

Nokia VP’s Discuss #NokMsft Mobile Services

During Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Nokia EVP of Services Tero Ojanpera sat down with Marco Argenti, VP of Content and Consumer Engagement, to discuss the potential for content, apps, navigation and scale of the partnership with Microsoft can have for consumers, operators and partners. Hit the jump for the full video.

New Firmware v31.0.004 | Nokia X6

The Nokia X6 received a new minor firmware update taking it up from v30.0.003 to v31.0.004. The new update brings a few improvements with updated maps, and more general improvements in terms of performance and usability. Check out the changelog after the break.

Changelog

  • Updated Maps
  • Performance Improvements
  • Usability Improvements

How To Update The Firmware

There are many ways of updating the firmware on your Nokia handset. To install the software on your device using FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air), type in *#0000# on the home screen or go to Device Manager. Then select Options, Check for updates and follow the on screen prompts. If the firmware update is not immediately available via FOTA, or the device you are using does not have support for this service, you can also update your firmware using NSU (Nokia Software Updater) and or Nokia Ovi Suite on your PC. Once you plug your device in, select the PC Suite option, ensuring that the phone has a Sim Card inserted and the profile is set to General. Some devices support UDP (User Data Preservation), which will preserve all your data and content on your device during these updates. However we still recommend you do a full backup in order to guarantee the safety of your data. Please share your thoughts and experiences with the new firmware in the comments below.