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Microsoft-buys Nokia with an eye on geospatial data services

US: The much talked about Microsoft and Nokia deal is focused on geospatial data services. Microsoft’s “strategic rationale” highlights, among other things, the importance of geospatial services. The document also talks about the need of an effective alternative to Google Maps.

According to Microsoft”s “strategic rationale”, Nokia’s HERE services will help the company fight off Google with “more than one ”digital map of the world””. According to the agreement, Microsoft will become a strategic licensee of Nokia’s HERE platform, and will separately pay Nokia for a four-year license. This will make Microsoft the third-largest HERE customer, according to Nokia. Microsoft will grant Nokia reciprocal rights to use Microsoft patents in its HERE services. Nokia will grant Microsoft an option to extend this mutual patent agreement in perpetuity. Nokia will provide Microsoft with mapping data services in exchange for annual payments. It will continue to improve HERE mapping apps for other platforms. Microsoft can combine Nokia mapping data with data from other sources. The company can syndicate Nokia’s data to customers using Windows Azure for additional fees.

Microsoft licensing Nokia”s HERE services should have an interesting impact on the Windows Phone and Windows mapping features. At the moment, Nokia offers four main related apps, namely HERE City Lens, HERE Drive+, HERE Maps and HERE Transit (augmented reality, navigation, maps and transit, respectively) for its Lumia lineup.

Source: press.nokia.com