San Francisco (CA) – Microsoft and Nokia have formed an alliance against RIM by agreeing to jointly develop applications for Symbian-based mobile devices. According to Microsoft, Nokia will begin shipping Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones in 2010, followed by additional programs, related software and services.
“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 Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices,” stated Microsoft. “These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company’s business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries.”
Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop told reporters that Nokia is currently the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer with 200 million global customers.
“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,” said Elop.
However, it should be noted that a number of analysts have expressed skepticism over the much-touted alliance between the two industry heavyweights. For example, Nielsen’s Roger Entner told the Wall Street Journal that deals betweeen large companies often fail due to conflicting agendas.
“Here you have two very large organization working together and you have to make decisions that are best for both of them,” opined Entner. “But companies aren’t always good at being altruistic.”
Entner added that Microsoft and Nokia would have to “get really serious” if they were to successfully “take on RIM.”