Microsoft and Nokia in sync

Microsoft and Nokia are to collaborate on the development of a mobile platform for  Microsoft's Office suite of software. Details of the deal will be outlined in a press conference later today.

According to analysts, the move is a sign that the once staunch rivals are unifying against a common threat of emerging competitors.

Nokia is also covering all its bases in linking with IT players; in June it secured a collaboration agreement with Intel.

The Microsoft move is another significant message that Nokia is losing its infatuation with the Symbian platform, although Nokia completed its €264 million takeover of Symbian just four months ago.  

The announcement follows an unconfirmed report from Germany’s Financial Times yesterday that it has lost faith in the Symbian platform and is looking to move to an open source alternative with Maemo.  While Nokia has largely denied the claims, it is scheduled to announce its first Maemo powered device, the Nokia N900 Rover, in October at the Maemo Summit.

For Microsoft the defensive and natural tie-up is a clear play to extend its dominance from  the desktop and into the handset. The increasing threat of the ubiquity of Google Docs and Android has also forced the hand of the two into collaboration.

Microsoft has  already announced that the next version of Office will include browser-based versions  of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.