Microsoft and Nokia partner for business apps

Microsoft and Nokia have announced that they will collaborate on the development of business productivity apps.

The companies will kick off the partnership by porting Microsoft Office Mobile to the Symbian OS, Microsoft said.

More products, including an instant messaging and presence solution and a device management suite, are also planned for next year.

“With more than 200 million smartphone customers globally, Nokia is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer and a natural partner for us,” Microsoft business division president Stephen Elop said.

Nokia and Microsoft compete in the smartphone OS market, with Nokia owning the Symbian OS while Microsoft has Windows Mobile.

But both parties saw their OS market share decline in Q2 - with Symbian's share slumping from 57% to 51% - as they lose ground to Apple and RIM, Gartner said yesterday.

“The scope of the alliance between Microsoft and Nokia, and potential value for the enterprise and individual is significant,” said Stephen Drake, VP of Mobility & Telecom at IDC. He added that the worldwide mobile worker population is on pace to reach 1 billion in 2011.