Nokia Considers Windows Phone 7 OS For New Phones

Nokia is rumoured to be considering deploying Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 on its new smartphones

In a move that would certainly raise a few eyebrows in the mobile industry, Nokia is rumoured to be planning to use Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system on its future handsets.

Unwired View is reporting that Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin, in a weekly op-ed in Mobile Review, wrote that Nokia has initiated talks with Microsoft over the last month about working together.

“They are talking about not the technology exchange, or more Microsoft apps on Nokia phones,” wrote Unwired. “They are talking about the creation of new line of Windows Phone devices, which could be sold under Nokia brand, via Nokia distribution channels and have some typical Nokia features.”

Ex Microsoft Man

Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, is the former head of Microsoft’s business division, a fact that suggests such talks might come about with relative ease. However, when similar news was reported in September, the Finnish phone maker was quick to respond that its focus is on Series 40, Symbian and MeeGo, and that it has no plans to add an additional platform.

“This stance was strongly reinforced by our management during Nokia World,” spokesperson Leo McKay said in a text message, according to Bloomberg, in response to reports by VentureBeat and other blogs that wrote that Nokia was considering Windows Phone 7.

Several websites emphasise Murtazin’s successful track record in getting the scoop on such matters. Nokia, for its part, declined to comment on “rumours and speculation.”

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Murtazin is no stranger to the phone maker. In July, Nokia contacted Russian authorities to help it reclaim company property that it said Murtazin was in possession of.

“With regard to the idea that this action is in any way related to Mr. Murtazin’s recent criticisms of the company, we have to emphasise that Nokia takes all matters relating to the security of its products, confidential and proprietary information and intellectual property very seriously,” Nokia said in a 7 July statement. “We have asked Mr. Murtazin for the return of all Nokia property in his possession. As he has declined to reply, we asked the Russian authorities to assist us.”

Nokia added that Murtazin, in addition to blogging, acts as a consultant to other mobile phone manufacturers, which made his motives in having “unauthorised Nokia prototypes and other intellectual property” more questionable.

With Nokia hustling to compete in the high end of the smartphone market against Android-running devices, as well as the Apple iPhone, analysts have suggested that it might be well served to add Android to its platform lineup.

Meego and Symbian

Nokia, however, has insisted it sees a future in MeeGo, its joint effort with Intel, as well as Symbian – despite Samsung and Sony Ericsson recently dropping support for the OS. In November, even the Symbian Foundation scaled back its support of the OS, saying it plans to transition from its current activities to acting as only a licensing operation. Nokia responded to the news by again vigorously emphasising its support, saying that it plans to “continue to invest its resources” in the development of Symbian.

“The platform powers hundreds of millions of smartphones – including our own – and we expect to deliver ongoing support and innovation benefiting the Symbian ecosystem in the future,” Jo Harlow, Nokia’s senior vice president of smartphones, said in a statement responding to the Foundation’s announcement.

The same day, Fujitsu and Sharp unveiled new smartphones running Symbian, which Reuters called a “rare show of support for Nokia’s waning software platform.”