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Handset maker Nokia and technology giant Microsoft announced plans to form a
broad strategic partnership that will use their complementary strengths and
expertise to create a global mobile ecosystem, saying they intend to jointly
create mobile products and services. Each company will focus on its core
competencies and said they plan to work together to integrate key assets and
create completely new service offerings, while extending established products
and services to new markets.

"I am excited about this partnership with Nokia," said Steve Ballmer,
Microsoft’s CEO. "Ecosystems thrive
when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today
provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation,
and a proven ability to execute."

Under the proposed partnership, Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its principal
smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as
imaging. Nokia will also help drive the future of Windows Phone by contributing
its expertise on hardware design, language support and helping bring Windows
Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

The two companies will closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a
shared development road map to align on the future evolution of mobile
products: Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and
services, giving customers access to the platform’s search capabilities. Microsoft
adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices
and services.

Under the partnership, Nokia Maps will be a “core part” of Microsoft’s mapping
services. For example, Maps will be integrated with the Bing search engine and
adCenter advertising platform to form a new local search and advertising
platform. In addition, the companies said Nokia’s operator billing agreements will
make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in
countries where credit card use is low.

Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia
Windows Phones, allowing developers to leverage the ecosystem’s reach, while
Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft
Marketplace for an enhanced consumer experience.

"Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile
products, which include not only the device, but the software, services,
applications and customer support that make a great  experience,"
Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO, said
at a joint news conference in London. "Nokia and Microsoft will combine
our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivaled global reach and scale.
It’s now a three-horse race."