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Navteq to get Bing power on Nokia devices

UK: Nokia and Microsoft announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem. Under this partnership, Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience.

According to an article published on ZDNet UK, using Navteq’s mapping information with Google Maps on a putative Nokia Android phone would be problematic. If OEMs want to get the Android Marketplace on their device, they would have to take the Google location and navigation service (so Google could use the phones as sensors to improve its maps and traffic services as well as for the potential ad revenue from location services). But Nokia is already gathering that data from its own phones and using it for Ovi Maps and Navteq. Two years ago, Henri Tirri, the head of the Nokia Research Center said that he only needed 5% of the people on a road to be sending back location information for him to do 99% accurate real-time traffic modelling – and in California he thought it would be even lower.

The article expects the partnership might end up with Bing saving some money on the data it buys from Navteq, but because of its architecture, Bing Maps can take better advantage of the traffic information, the map data, the streetside photos, the 3D LiDAR-generated models and the building details than Google.

According to Microsoft press release, other initiatives under the proposed partnership include:
– Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

– Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

– Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

“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.”

Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, said, “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. This partnership will provide incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Source: Microsoft & ZDNet UK