Microsoft and Nokia announce strategic smartphone partnership Nokia, the world leader in mobile phones, faces increasing competition from Google and Apple as it fights to win back market share in the competitive smartphone sector. The Finnish telecommunications giant announced this week it has signed a deal with Microsoft to use the company's software instead of its own Symbian software.

Nokia was once the dominant force in the cell phone market, but has quickly lost business as Google's Android operating system and Apple's iPhone quickly gained market share in the coveted smart hone industry. Some analysts contend the deal between the two companies is a last-ditch effort to become a player in the booming smartphone market.

Stephen Elop, Nokia's president and former Microsoft employee, said in a statement that the company is "accelerating change through a new path, aimed at regaining our smartphone leadership, reinforcing our mobile device platform and realizing our investments in the future."

In 2011, mobile devices are forecast to surpass both desktop and laptop computers as the main terminal through which consumers gain access to the Internet. The "broad strategic alliance" between Microsoft and Nokia will extend beyond the use of Microsoft's operating system on Nokia's smartphone offerings, Elop asserts.  

Since his arrival at Nokia, Elop has endeavored to propel the company to the top of the industry. In a leaked memo that was recently published, Elop excoriated employees at the company: "The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes." 
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