Microsoft-Nokia deal to take two years for "transition"
Mary Jo Foley at ZDnet has gone through the form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Nokia which describes in detail the deal with Microsoft. While nothing really wow wothy was unearthed, there are few bits of interesting things:
- The deal is still not finalized between the two giants, instead a non-binding term sheet is in place till everything is finalized
- The transition to using Windows Phone 7 as its "primary smartphone platform" will take about 2 years
- They want to transition the 200 million Symbian users over to WP7 over time
- “Nokia would bring assets such as its brand, hardware, production, global reach, application store, operator billing support, maps and location-based assets to the partnership."
Other aspects include the importance of Silverlight to the platform, which makes sense since Silverlight is making a big transition to mobile, desktop and even gaming OS's. Of course, the big question is about the "two year transition" and what that means for when we'll actually see a Nokia Windows Phone. As of right now, the "shipping in volume by 2012" part sounds pretty accurate with 2011 slipping away. Nokia and Microsoft seem really keen on not just pumping out a phone with Nokia branding but really integrating Nokia's services into the Windows Phone platform--no easy task and one that will take time.
We predict we'll see some hardware prototypes by years end, but nothing shipping till mid-2012, which seems a long way from now. The interesting question is how will WP7 fair till Nokia can really unleash its full capability into new phones for Microsoft. It also lends credence to the idea that a Nokia Windows Phone won't be based on version "7" but whatever "8" will be, hence the observation that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop never says "Windows Phone 7" when discussing the Nokia deal.