Nokia kept its Windows Phone plans secret from Microsoft: Joe Belfiore

Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft dates back to the February 2011 announcement when Nokia announced it would align its smartphone roadmap exclusively around Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Since then the two companies have mostly appeared in public as close partners working together to create a powerful hardware and operating system ecosystem aiming to be the third dominant smartphone platform. However, it turns out that there were some noticeable cracks in the partnership and Nokia kept its device plans secrets from Microsoft, for reasons best known to Nokia.

Windows Phone chief, Joe Belfiore, revealed there were incidents that pushed Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s handset and services biz in order to ensure Windows Phone’s success. “There are real-world examples of situations where Nokia was building a phone and keeping information about it secret from us,” Belfiore told CNET.

“We would make changes in the software, or prioritize things in the software, unaware of the work that they’re doing. And then late in the cycle we’d find out and say, ‘If we had known that we would have done this other thing differently and it would have turned out better!’” he added.

However, the partnership was not all about keeping Microsoft in the dark. Belfiore insists that Nokia gave them insights into emerging markets and the needs in those markets, about which Microsoft had no clue. Nokia’s cues were responsible for Microsoft lowering hardware requirements that led to the possibility of lower cost Windows Phone devices. Similarly, it added the Bluetooth sharing feature after Nokia informed them about its popularity in these markets. The two companies worked closely on the Lumia 1020 and Microsoft was able to add photo handling capabilities that let the phone store the same photo clicked from the phone in two different resolutions.

Once Nokia is integrated with Microsoft, Belfiore is confident it will be able to churn out better products even faster. With the hardware and software teams working together, Windows Phone would evolve much faster and launch new devices at a much faster clip.

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