LONDON Microsoft and Nokia have formed a global alliance to design, develop and market mobile productivity solutions by bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and related communications and collaboration software and services to Nokia smartphones.
The move is seen as an effort to combat the increasing competition from Google, Apple and, more specifically, RIM's BlackBerry. “This is giving some of our competitors — let’s spell it out, RIM — a run for their money. I don’t think BlackBerry has seen the kind of competition we can provide them now,” said Robert Andersson, Nokia executive vice-president.
The deal sees the two companies collaborating on solutions for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company's business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries.
The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals. In addition to the collaboration on existing software and services, teams inside both companies will jointly create software for future Nokia devices.
These experiences will be identified together, and will be created by dedicated teams inside both companies to better meet the growing needs of the mobile professional. This announcement builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimizing access to e-mail and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync.
Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services.
The software will provide the ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote.
It will also provide mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server and enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center.
“The scope of the alliance between Microsoft and Nokia, and potential value for the enterprise and individual is significant,” said Stephen Drake, VP of Mobility & Telecom at IDC. “By bringing Microsoft's productivity solutions to Nokia's large customer base, the two companies should be better able to serve the needs of the growing mobile worker population, which IDC estimates to reach 1 billion worldwide in 2011.”
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