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Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop (left) and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  (Source: gulfnews.com)
Will begin volume device shipments in 2012

Another hurdle in the blockbuster Nokia/Microsoft deal announced in February has been crossed. Today, both companies announced the signing of a definitive agreement on their partnership -- ahead of schedule, too.

"At the highest level, we have entered into a win-win partnership," Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive himself, said in a press release. "It is the complementary nature of our assets, and the overall competitiveness of that combined offering, that is the foundation of our relationship."

With some of the paperwork out of the way, the companies also used the announcement to boast about "significant progress on the development of the first Nokia products incorporating Windows Phone," adding that personnel have already begun work in earnest on joint engineering efforts.

A few more details of the partnership were also released:
  1. In addition to providing the hardware, Nokia will also be responsible for mapping, navigation, and other location-based services for the new ecosystem.
  2. Microsoft will provide Bing search services, as well as muscle in terms of advertising, social media, gaming, etc.
  3. All Nokia developers get free Windows Phone developer registration.
  4. A new Nokia-branded app store "that leverages the Windows Marketplace infrastructure" will open.
  5. Nokia will offer operator billing expertise, so that Microsoft can take advantage of Nokia’s billing agreements with 112 operators in 36 markets.
According to the release, "volume device shipments" of Nokia devices running Windows Phone will begin in 2012.






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