Nokia's Windows Phone Announcement Imminent

It appears that Nokia will announce its new deal to offer Windows Mobile on Nokia hardware either this Friday or very soon thereafter in London. No surprises there. Windows is a much better mobile OS than it used to be but it doesn't have much visibility or traction among consumers. Microsoft hopes the world's largest handset maker can change that. And Nokia hopes that by going with an outside OS it can be competitive with Android and Apple.

The strategy should work better than the status quo for both companies. The question is: how many units will sell? 

The other question is: will Nokia do anything with Android? My guess is that Microsoft worked very hard to prevent that relationship from happening. A tweet noticed by TechCrunch from Google's Vic Gundotra suggests that there's no forthcoming Android-Nokia announcement. 

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Previously Android chief Andy Rubin said in a conference appearance that, in the wake of management changes at Nokia, the company might be open to building phones that run Android. Despite prior Nokia hostility toward Android, Rubin hinted Google and Nokia might already be talking about the hardware OEM using the Google OS: 

Asked pointedly whether Google has discussed Android with Nokia, Rubin answered: "I think the company has new leadership and ... they are evaluating what their options are ... I'm a big proponent of Android and I hope they adopt it."

About whether a meeting took place, Rubin only said: "I'm not going to talk in detail."

I would think that Nokia wouldn't completely rule out Android, especially if Nokia-made Windows Phones fail to catch on. However there may be some period of exclusivity that Microsoft has secured or negotiated. European carriers have also reportedly lobbied Nokia against using Android.

There may be a highly favorable Windows Phone licensing deal whose terms reduce the cost of licenses substantially for the Finland-based Nokia. That's pure speculation on my part. (I'm sure there's some financial incentive coming from Microsoft however.)

Either way, we'll know certainly by this time next week what Nokia's new direction is and whether it's going to release just Windows Phones or whether Android is in its future as well. 

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