At least on the surface, it seems Microsoft got the better deal. They add Nokia as another, yet significant, partner to Windows Phone. Nokia essentially bets the company on the Windows Phone ecosystem. They’ve risked handing over crucial software development to Microsoft, leading to potential commoditization of Nokia devices. But it’s also likely that this was Nokia’s best option. Nokia could continue to develop Meego for use on tablets, as they were early movers in this space, though they never developed it to the level to compete with the current tablets. It was a similar story in their smartphone development. They had the early ideas, but they never evolved to the level of smartphones introduced by competitors. By continuing software development for tablets, they’d keep their options open in the software segment. Nokia also introduced its first netbook in the last couple of years, but this does not appear to be a longterm focus. Maybe the Nokia tablet faces the same fate?
Following the purchases of Loudeye and Twango, Nokia never developed a Puget Sound presence as many had expected. With the Microsoft link, perhaps that finally changes. With T-Mobile USA also in the neighborhood, perhaps we’ll see some intriguing collaboration between them, Microsoft and Nokia. There’s a lot to leverage from all sides, with great potential benefits ranging from software, to devices to operator engagement. Arguably, all three are no where near where they want to be with respect to their rivals in the mobile space. Now’s the chance to make up some ground.