This one is just too good too pass up. Many of you likely spotted the announcement by Nokia and Microsoft last week that they have formalized their alliance.
In a vaguely worded press release issued Thursday the two companies felt the need to tell the world that a full ten weeks after first announcing the deal days before the Mobile World Congress that they have finally "signed a definitive agreement ahead of schedule" and they have "made significant progress on the development" of the first handset with WP7.
Most of us thought the deal was in place months ago and were waiting not for a release about the strategic alliance but for visibility into the release of the first Nokia handsets running WP7. One IT professional I spoke to thought it was a very late April 1 joke.
We learned little that wasn’t covered in the original partnership announcement – Nokia supplies the maps and pays a royalty to Microsoft for each WP7 device shipped, and they pair plans to push into new territories. The first Nokia WP7 phone will ship this year, but mass market volumes won’t be hit until 2012.
However, we did learn that the Windows Marketplace-based store will carry Nokia’s brand, and that the vendor will receive royalty payments in the billions of dollars for access to operator-ready billing systems.
The content-light announcement speaks volumes about what the two giants consider to be timely, reminding us all of the huge gap between telco time and Web 2.0 time.
Yahoo's director of global technology initiatives, Michael Smith, said recently at a telecom conference that the biggest difficulty in working with telcos is that working out deals takes too long. "Things happen over a quarter -- and they think that is fast."
After Microsoft announced plans for WP7 in Barcelona last year, it took HTC just 10 months to release five smartphones running the OS -- even though the WP platform was finalized only a short time before. LG pledged back in 2009 to release 50 Windows Phone products in two years.
According to Wired handset makers won't have the next major release of WP7 until near the end of this year, which explains why Nokia devices won't be running WP7 until 2012.
For those who missed it, here the first graf of the release:
Nokia and Microsoft today announced the signing of a definitive agreement on a partnership that will result in a new global mobile ecosystem, utilizing the very complementary assets of both companies. Completed ahead of schedule, the definitive agreement is consistent with the joint announcement made on February 11.