This Microsoft Nokia thing finally makes sense to me. Nokia needs to compete on three levels – low end, medium and high end phones. Windows Phone 7 is the high end solution. Nokia has some inroads to foreign countries and had their market (Ovi) set up their. Presumably they would assist MS in getting Zune launched in more countries. I’d presume in exchange they get a 6 month exclusivity for these countries before the other manufacturers. So both MS and Nokia gain from this.
Next is mid-range phones. Symbian remains in effect here but there’s a boost that Microsoft brings. Microsoft released Silverlight for Symbian a while back. That’s going to be brought to the forefront and preinstalled on all Symbian phones. Expect a market that includes apps and music through Zune to permit for Symbian and Symbian/Silverlight apps (which are not WP7 apps) to work for these Symbian+Silverlight phones. This brings an ecosystem to Symbian in the midrange and MS gets to push Silverlight. They all win again.
Low end phones remain unchanged. These are disposable phones and they don’t need much more to change.
Back to Windows Phone 7, Nokia will be vested in the platform now. More than any other manufacturer they have an interest in advancing it and that should light a fire under Microsoft’s ass to expand to greater hardware quickly. Nokia has great hardware – great chipsets, great cameras, etc. They’ll likely do quality assurance and work on drivers hand-in-hand with MS to get this pushed. The Nokia market (within Zune marketplace) will also be a place that Nokia spends a lot of time cultivating. In other words, Nokia is to WP7 what HTC was to Windows Mobile. Expect them to spend the next 6 months working together and a flagship US product from Nokia for the holidays that will have specs competitive with Android at that time (unlike current WP7 offerings that are behind the curve).
So what do you think?