Microsoft and Nokia have become quick friends thanks to Windows Phone, and the partnership is only growing stronger with the move to Windows Phone 8.
In addition to debuting Windows Phone 8 on a prototype Nokia handset, the new mobile OS is dropping Microsoft’s own Bing for maps and adopting Nokia’s Navteq-based service to provide 3D maps across all Windows Phones.
The partnership makes sense, given that Nokia’s Lumia 900 handsets have given the Windows Phone platform new life in the marketplace.
However, the relationship is mutually beneficial, as Nokia needs Windows Phone just as much as the OS needs it.
After Nokia’s Symbian OS fell through the company needed a change, and the crowded Android market has proven a tough nut to crack.
The manufacturer has put its focus in Windows Phone development as a result, leading to its close relationship with Microsoft today.
A new day for Nokia, but not its customers
While Nokia itself is riding high with the official unveiling of Windows Phone 8, early adopters of and supporters of Windows Phone are getting left in the cold.
One of the key features for Windows Phone 8 will be support for dual-core chips, with the rest of the OS feature set built around that extra processing power.
Despite the surge of popularity Nokia’s Lumia line brought to Windows Phone, those users are now left unable to take advantage of the new OS, including Nokia’s integrated 3D maps.
Windows Phone 8 essentially sets the install base back to zero, which gives Microsoft the opportunity to raise up other manufacturers alongside Nokia.
A Microsoft spokesperson told TechRadar:
“The momentum of Windows Phone is picking up in a wide variety of ways. Nokia is a critical partner for us, but we are also deeply committed to a number of other OEMS.”
“We know that HTC is more committed than ever, and Huawei is coming on board this year too which opens up a lot of opportunity for us. We’re in this for the long run, and we’re happy that Windows Phone has become a credible third ecosystem in the eyes of many of our mobile operator and OEM partners.”
While Microsoft is quick to name drop HTC and Huawei as new Windows Phone 8 manufacturers, history suggests that their handsets will be conversions of their existing Android hardware.
Nokia, with its close ties to Microsoft and built-in Windows Phone 8 integration could still come out on top when it brings out new hardware later this year.
Assuming that Lumia 900 adopters aren’t still sore from being left behind.
Huawei, Samsung and HTC also signed up for Windows 8
A few manufacturers are on board with Windows Phone 8, although there are some notable absences.
Nokia is the obvious choice for Windows Phone given its investment in the platform, and while HTC and Samsung make sense (and we’re glad to see Huawei in there) questions will be raised over the omissions.
LG’s lack of support makes sense given recent statements, but the likes of Acer, ZTE and Fujistsu have made loud noises around Windows Phone of late, with strong interest in the budget segment for some.
We’ve contacted the main manufacturers for statements on the Windows Phone 8 plans, but have yet to receive any information on possible release dates. As soon as we do though, you’ll be the first to know!
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