Nokia confirms Microsoft partnership -

Nokia and Microsoft have started a beautiful relationship.

The pair have today announced plans to come together and form a "new global mobile ecosystem".

Both companies claim that they intend to "jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity."  

Because each company will focus on what they claim to do best, they reckon they will be able to push new products into the market quickly.  

Nokia will play dad to Windows Phone 7, adopting the Microsoft's smartphone strategy and teaching it things it's good at like imaging. It will also advise on hardware design and language support - hoped to bring the Windows Phone to a "larger range of price points, market segments and geographies."

The pair will also work together on marketing initiatives, while Bing will power Nokia's search services across Nokia devices.

Microsoft adCenter will also be adopted by Nokia while Microsoft will take on Nokia's Map features.

The pair will also mix up Nokia's content and application store with Microsoft's Marketplace.

"Today, developers, operators and consumers want  compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great  experience," Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London.

 "Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It's now a three-horse race."

"I am excited about this partnership with Nokia," said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute."

Nokia needs a shot in the arm and Microsoft was late to the game.

Either they will kick each other in the rear to become a real contender or they will drag each other down with red tape and delays. Critics say Nokia's best hope would have been to go for the open Android, rather than Microsoft's closed approach to software.