Nokia & Microsoft Alliance Case

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NOKIA AND MICROSOFT JOIN FORCES IN SMARTPHONE WAR

On the 11th of February 2011, Nokia Corporation announced the alliance with Microsoft Corporation, unveiling their aggressive strategy to challenge Google and Apple for domination of the hot smartphone market. In this strategic alliance, Nokia will use Microsoft’s mobile operating system (OP) Windows Phone on its smartphones. As per the deal, Windows Phone would replace Symbian as the primary OS on Nokia’s phones and Nokia would pay royalties to Microsoft for using its OS. Microsoft would in turn provide support to Nokia in selling its new Windows Phone powered smartphones. Nokia’s Canadian CEO, Stephen Elop, and Steve Ballmer, his Microsoft counterpart, announced that Nokia would make Windows Phone its main phone platform, a move that effectively confirms that Nokia’s own platforms, Symbian and MeeGo, were uncompetitive and they would be tossed onto the technology scrap heap. There were mixed reactions from analysts to the alliance between Nokia and Microsoft. The challenge before the senior management at Nokia and Microsoft was how to make the alliance work. Nokia once dominated the market for standard “feature phones” and smartphones, the Internetenabled, multi-media devices that are becoming must-have tools for the business and high-end consumer markets. But Nokia’s Symbian OS has not proved popular with consumers, who have been migrating en masse to Android and Apple phones. As a result, Nokia began to face severe competition from companies like Google, Inc. and Apple, Inc. who entered the market for high-end smartphones after 2007. Analysts said Nokia’s poor focus on software and the lack of the latest OS on its smartphones were the main reasons for its declining market share in the last years. In the autumn of 2010, Nokia faced three choice: the first was to keep developing its own OS, Symbian and MeeGo; the second was to adopt Google’s Android system; and the third was to go with Microsoft. The first...
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