Since Microsoft and Nokia announced their new partnership earlier this month, there has been plenty of speculation in both the business and technology industries over what exactly what the partnership means.
Is it open innovation? The partnership has been utilized to promote the practice of open collaboration but while both companies have embraced open practices, this partnership involves much more than just sharing technologies or even sharing development plans and building products together, which typical of a reseller deal. The firms also plan to combine assets and collaborate on joint marketing initiatives. A joint statement from the two CEOs describes their plans as a “broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of the companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem.”
Some might say that the companies are still in need of more innovation. There is skepticism that two organizations that have tried and failed to crack the smart phone market on their own won’t be any more successful as a team. Rather, their common problem has been an inability to execute in a rapidly evolving market.
Is it precursor to a merger? An article from Computer World raises the question of Microsoft’s sustainability in a future that belongs to mobile, an industry currently dominated by Google and Apple. The author speculates that without the Nokia deal, it was unlikely that Windows Phone 7 would ever gain traction and without a mobile operating system it was unlikely that Microsoft could maintain high growth. Similar sentiments have been expressed about Nokia’s limited growth potential.
A CNET writer points out that rumors of a potential merger have been around for a year and poses the question of whether the two companies are simply testing the waters before a formal merger.
What do you think of this strategy? Is it enough, is it the right move? What impact will it have on the mobile market?