The smartphone wars heated up today with an announcement from Nokia that it's teaming with Microsoft for a new series of phones that combine Nokia hardware with the Windows 7 phone operating system.
The new devices will use Bing to power search, and the ads will be served by Microsoft adCenter. Nokia Maps will be connected with Bing to provide local search. They will also integrate new phones with Xbox Live.
The statement ends with some bold posturing — basically a declaration of war against Google Android and the Apple iPhone. "There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them," Nokia says. "There will be challenges. We will overcome them. Success requires speed. We will be swift."
There is also a video to this effect, which, ironically, was posted on Google-owned YouTube.
Nokia has long been a leader in cell phone hardware sales but has fallen behind dramatically in the smartphone battle. It needed to pick a partner for an operating system and get moving on a new line of phones. It could have aligned with Android but instead chose Microsoft. Analysts are now speculating whether this bet will pay off, and consumers are waiting to see how the phones work and what they'll cost — Engadget says we won't find out until the end of 2011. Most of the predictions don't look good for Nokia. "It's hard to see how in the long term Nokia can do much to differentiate itself," says ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley Hughes, in picking Nokia as the loser in this deal. "It's definitely a bad day for Nokia employees. There were strong suggestions that this move would mean job losses at Nokia."
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