Can Microsoft save Nokia?

Nokia is hoping that a mobile partnership with industry heavyweight Microsoft will help the company regain its once prominent ranking in the hyper-competitive market.

Nevertheless, it is far from clear if Windows Phone 7 – which has yet to seriously challenge either Android or iOS – will be capable of placing Nokia in the front lines of a fast-paced mobile war. 

Indeed, as ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan notes, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s decision to go with his old employer certainly “makes sense” up front.

“However, the decision to tie an incomplete operating system with an ailing handset design company is a very risky proposition,” Morgan explained.

“[Yes], Microsoft and Nokia need a strong partner to push their mobile efforts forward. While this alliance may not be optimal for either party, when fighting for survival it is always nice to have a partner.”

Meanwhile, ABI Research VP Kevin Burden predicted that the sweeping changes made at Nokia will begin immediately – taking two years to be “completely digested” as the two tech giants attempt to merge their mobile service ecosystems and product development roadmaps.

“With Nokia taking over the Windows Phone 7 universe, the other OEMs who have initially supported Window Phone 7 may rethink their commitment,” opined Burden.

“[They may] eventually end support of Windows Phone 7 the way they did with Symbian, due to Nokia’s dominance and influence over the platform.”