Nokia casts off Symbian development, sends 2,800 staff to Accenture

Nokia reached a milestone, and finalised a deal with Accenture for the consulting and outsourcing firm to to take full control of the development and support of Symbian, Nokia's one-time flagship smartphone platform.

Under the agreement, Accenture take responsibility for Symbian until 2016, and Nokia will transfer around 2,800 employees to Accenture in China, Finland, India, the UK and the US.

 "As we move our primary smartphone platform to Windows Phone, we will look to explore potential opportunities to tap this talent pool as they develop and expand their knowledge and capabilities beyond Symbian," Jo Harlow, the executive vice president of Nokia's smart devices unit, said in a statement. 

Accenture said will look to use the skills of the Nokia workers being transferred to provide mobility software, business and operational services around the Windows Phone 7 platform to Nokia and other Windows Phone ecosystem partners. It also confirmed that it will examine how to retrain and redeploy transferred employees.

However, the next version of Symbian, called Anna, is due next month and will not be influenced by the Accenture involvement. Nokia said earlier this week that starting in July, it will begin shipping Nokia N8s, E7s, C7s and C6-01s with the new Symbian Anna software update, and that by the end of August, existing owners of those models will be able to download Symbian Anna.

Nokia sealed the Symbian deal unveiled its first device running the MeeGo platform, the N9. The N9 is the culmination of the partnership Nokia started last year with Intel, and is the firm's most ambitious attempt to capture some of the high-end smartphone market. Nokia has promised only to release one MeeGo device, and it's unclear whether the company will support MeeGo with additional products.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Dow Jones Newswire article

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