Friday, February 11, 2011

Morning Brief: Nokia says its wedded to Microsoft; Quebecor CEO blows smoke, then Quebecor building gets smoke bombed by students

As was rumored, Nokia today announced in London that it will ditch its Symbian mobile operating system and has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to produce cellphones using the Windows Phone OS. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer issued a joint statement outlining the deep partnership deal.

In addition to using Windows Phone in its smartphones, Nokia will will begin using Bing as its default search engine and Microsoft's adCenter advertising platform, as well.

Are you gonna hate yourself in the morning?

Canadian-born Stephen Elop, who before joining Nokia as CEO last September, was the former head of the Business Division at Microsoft executive.

The move is all about "ecosystem": the bringing together of hardware, software and commerce (my own definition, I suppose). Apple and Google have it with their mobile operating systems, app stores, and the like. Now Nokia hopes that by creating a deep strategic partnership with Microsoft it can create the "Third Ecosystem".

“Today Nokia and Microsoft intend to enter into a strategic alliance. Together we will bring consumers a new mobile experience with stellar hardware, innovative software and great services. We will create opportunities beyond anything that currently exists,” Elop said on the company's website.

“In this partnership with Nokia, Microsoft brings its’ Windows Phone software and the brand mobile consumers want like Bing, Office and of course Xbox Live,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is quoted.

Here is the YouTube video Nokia and Microsoft produced to announce the deal:

Update: The consequences of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership will be felt most acutely in Finland. reports that Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop told reporters in London that "there will be substantial reductions in employment in various locations around the world and that too will affect Finland."

Finland's Minister for Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen put a sobering number on those words: ”You’re talking about 20,000 people, it’s a big number,” said Pekkarinen.

The CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Peladeau, speaking before a National Assembly committee last week, said that he was against strengthening worker protection laws in the province. His company has engaged in a lock-out of 253 employees at its Journal de Montreal since January of 2009, but has managed to produce the paper without missing an issue thanks to much of the work being done by Quebecor's own wire service, QMI.
Yesterday, Macleans reports, Montreal students smoke bombed Quebecor headquarters. The students were protesting tuition hikes recently imposed in Quebec. "It's the libertarian ideology promoted in the various media properties of the company and their anti-union attitude that pushed protesters to target this company," the students said in an issued statement.