This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) gave its plans to make Office widely accessible via mobile phone a big boost Wednesday, announcing that Nokia (NYSE: NOK)—the biggest maker of smartphones—would put Office Mobile on some of its phones. The deal will expand the reach of a “rich version” of Office Mobile beyond Microsoft’s own Windows Mobile platform, although other smartphone owners should be able to access a forthcoming version of Office via the web browsers on their phones.
The companies did not say how long the alliance will last—but they emphasized that it was long-term and involved other software, including Microsoft’s Sharepoint and Office Communicator Mobile. The full-range of solutions will first be available on Nokia’s Eseries, although they will later expand to other Nokia handsets. Both companies will also collaborate on the development and marketing of future “productivity solutions” for the phone. “This is much more than just putting Microsoft software on Nokia smartphones, we are investigating new areas of collaboration,” Nokia EVP Kai istm said during a call.
Asked whether the deal would help Nokia better compete with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), EVP istm said, “If any company should be worried about this—this is about really creating a formidable challenge about RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) more than anybody else.” The two companies reiterated there were no plans to put Windows Mobile on Nokia phones. “Of course, Nokia and Microsoft compete in some areas and we will continue to do so,” Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop said.
By Joseph Tartakoff