Microsoft and Nokia gang up on Blackberry

NOKIA and Microsoft yesterday unveiled an alliance which will see Nokia smartphones pre-loaded with Microsoft office, in a bid to challenge the dominance of the Blackberry in the business market.<br /><br />The software and mobile telecoms giants said that they are working together to put MS Office Mobile, MS Communicator Mobile and other services on selected Nokia handsets, in a bid to &ldquo;create choice for mobile professionals&rdquo;.<br /><br />The two companies, at one time fierce rivals in the mobile telecommunications business, expect to offer Nokia phones running Office &ndash; which includes Powerpoint, Word and Excel &ndash; sometime next year, starting with the Nokia E Series.<br /><br />Nokia&rsquo;s executive vice-president of devices, Kai &Ouml;ist&auml;m&ouml;, denied that the collaboration was a move to compete with Apple&rsquo;s iPhone in the US.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is about creating a formidable challenge to Research In Motion&rsquo;s Blackberry,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And we have only just scratched the surface with what we have announced today. This is far more than just putting Microsoft software on Nokia phones.&rdquo;<br /><br />But both &Ouml;ist&auml;m&ouml; and Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft Business division, reiterated their commitment to their competing mobile telephone operating systems, Windows Mobile and Symbian.<br /><br />&ldquo;Nokia and Microsoft do compete in some areas and will continue to do so,&rdquo; Elop said.<br /><br />&ldquo;With more than 200m smartphone customers globally, Nokia is the world&rsquo;s largest smartphone manufacturer and a natural partner for us,&rdquo; he added.