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Nokia and Windows Phone 7: The verdict

Nokia has made Windows Phone 7 its chief platform. We look at whether it's the best move the Finnish firm could have made in the midst of a crisis.

Despite anxieties, a number of analysts have backed the move away from Symbian and the shift to Windows Phone 7.

"This is a bold decision by Nokia but absolutely the right one, both for itself and for Microsoft given the drastically changed landscape for smartphones in the past couple of years," said Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum.

"There were few short-term options available to the company to help it get back on terms with Apple and especially the Android masses, which in 2011 look set to overtake Nokia in terms of smartphone shipments, bringing with it the full wrath of the investor community."

Whilst there are clearly positive signs for Nokia, it will need to work hard to remove itself from the mire in which it has found itself. It will need to jump far from the "burning platform" on which it stands.

"For Nokia to compete they are going to need to dramatically up their game and they can only achieve this with a monumental change to their organisation," said Mark Seemann, chief technology officer for Outsourcery, one of Microsoft's major partners in the UK.

Leaving the sauna

Outside of the Microsoft partnership, Nokia announced more movements within its senior management team. Two non-Finnish women were placed in charge of the mobile and smartphone sides of the business, indicating a shift in mentality.

It has previously been remarked that Nokia was too insular and male-centric, leaving it vulnerable to falling behind more open competitors.

This so-called sauna culture' appears to have been ditched by Elop with some faces from the US being given more responsibility, whilst some major Finnish faces have departed in recent months.

Sutherland said the company needed this shift in attitude, particularly with the rapid uptake of internet-enabled smart devices something US experts have more experience in.

"You need to bring that new blood in there to get that new perspective from a hardware manufacturer's point of view," Sutherland said.

To sum up

At this stage, it's hard to say whether Steve Ballmer's claim that both Microsoft and Nokia will see notable boosts in revenue from the deal will come true.

Windows Phone 7 is a relatively new platform. It is yet to gain real traction and faces an uphill battle to take on Android and iOS.

However, it's difficult not to admire Elop's decisive actions. Nokia needed a shot in the arm, as did Windows Phone 7, and this might just be the kickstart both were after.

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