By Gautham Nagesh - 02/11/11 06:55 PM EST
Microsoft and Nokia announced Friday that they are teaming up in an attempt to catch up with rivals Google and Apple in the mobile platform market.
“Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race,” Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop said at a joint press conference in London.
Nokia said it will use the Windows Phone operating system for its
smartphones going forward, shelving the Finnish firm's efforts at
developing its own mobile platform.
Nokia shares were down more than 15
percent on Friday afternoon in response to the news, which analysts took as a sign of weakness from the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer.
"The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Elop said Nokia would remain based in Finland but said job losses globally would be inevitable. For Microsoft the deal provides a valuable distribution channel for its mobile platform as well as its Bing search engine, which will power Nokia's searches.