Well, it looks like we now know what the big news from Microsoft and Nokia today was. Both companies have just put out press releases announcing their 'Global Alliance' to 'design, develop and market mobile productivity solutions'. In essence, Microsoft is going to provide Nokia with MS Office Mobile, which Nokia will load onto every one of the millions of smartphones they sell.
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Nokia is the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, and Microsoft is the world's largest software manufacturer. Together, both corporations have the combined clout to affect some substantial changes on the landscape of the mobile market. Their primary target, however, is business communications.
“Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia's Symbian devices.”
Microsoft wants to be able to provide its users with a seamless experience, using the same document management system for all of their business needs. By putting Office Mobile on all of Nokia's business smartphones, they allow users to share and develop on their platform, on the go. In 2010 Nokia will begin to ship Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on every smartphone it sells. Shortly thereafter, they'll do the same with other Office applications, software, and services.
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Mobile versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote are all in the pipeline for the near future, as is mobile access to company intranet held on a Microsoft SharePoint Server. While this alliance may not mean very much to the Average Joe Smartphone, it is going to be a big deal in the business smartphone market. UPDATE: According to BGR, another announcement from Microsoft's Mac Business team is due out this Thursday. Does this mean a similar deal is coming to the iPhone?