Microsoft and Nokia had a big day today, they announced a partnership that is unique between the two because it goes further than simply putting WP7 on to Nokia devices. Announced in their press conference today, Nokia will be given exclusive rights to customize the platform.
We have established a relationship with Microsoft that allows Nokia to jointly drive the future of Windows Phone 7. To jointly define the language, functions and customizations that you’ll see in the future of Windows Phone 7. To have unique access to and the ability to do unique differentiating things relative to Android around software design, chipset support, and display configuration. And, of course, to ensure that it is competitive to Android and Apple.
At the same time we have to make sure we can differentiate within the Windows Phone ecosystem. Nokia has exclusive technologies – one example is our camera technology that you see on the N8 – and, because of this unique relationship with Microsoft, contribute capabilities like that to a Nokia Windows Phone 7 phone that you will not see on any other Windows Phone device.
We have the ability to do customizations and extensions to the software environment that are unique and therefore differentiate. It’s very important to understand this is not a standard OEM agreement. Microsoft is placing a big bet on us.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as HTC is a big supporter of Windows Phone 7 and they too like to customize their products. This can be seen in their Android products as they all ship with the "Sense" skin applied to them.
If Microsoft is going to ostracize HTC and not allow them to customize the platform, it could disrupt their relationship, one that Microsoft can not afford to give up.