Posted on Friday, 11th February 2011 by bruce

On the face of it, today’s announcement of Nokia’s adoption of the Windows Phone operating system looks like an alliance of losers. Microsoft has so far made little impression with the mobile version of its popular desktop operating system. And Nokia is on a slide in the smartphone market, having failed to make a good impression with its new Symbian 3 operating system, which has mostly been seen as too little, too late.

In truth Nokia probably didn’t have much choice but to go for Windows. It has been under severe pressure to drop Symbian, and the market is already awash with devices running Android, the only other operating system available. And Microsoft will be happy to have such a strong partner for Windows. Nokia is still the leading manufacturer of mobile phones worldwide, with a good reputation for the quality of its hardware, and strong brand loyalty.

Apple’s iPhone is still riding the crest of a wave, and Android is rapidly stitching up the middle and lower ends of the consumer smartphone market. Consequently, the new alliance is likely to target first the business mobile market, where both partners have undoubted strengths and experience. This is also the traditional stronghold of the Blackberry. Today’s announcement leaves its owner, RIM, looking in a decidedly shaky position.

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