Nokia Maps just weeks away from wider Windows Phone launch

Nokia Maps just weeks away from wider Windows Phone launchOne of the most interesting aspects of Nokia's move to Windows Phone is seeing how the company's strong suit of services are incorporated into the WinPho landscape.

Microsoft has promised all along that Nokia Maps, probably the trump card in Nokia's services pack, would be opened up to other Windows Phone handset makers. And now we're hearing it will be landing in the Windows Phone Marketplace as a free download within just weeks.

For a long time Nokia Maps (or Ovi Maps as it was called until Nokia decided to rebrand a couple of months ago) was one of the most underrated tools in the mobile world simply because it was only available on Nokia phones.

But speak to any of the Nokia faithful and they'll quickly assure you that the Navteq-infused mapping and navigation service is a match for any rival, especially since it delivers turn-by-turn navigation goodness completely free of charge to all Nokia handsets.

More recently, though, Nokia Maps has started figuring on the wider mobile radar. It's already available in web-based HTML5 form for Android and iOS users, and according to ZDNet it'll be making its wider Windows Phone bow within just weeks.

That's based on the talk from the show floor at Nokia World last week, and we're told the other Windows Phone manufacturers will be given full and free access to the entire Nokia Maps service with the exception of offline maps support and voice-guided navigation, which will remain Nokia-only.

What we'd really like to see is a mapping service for Windows Phone that incorporates the best of Bing Maps and Nokia Maps in a single service. But if such a thing is in the pipelines, it'll probably be a while before it materialises for the end user.

Read more about: Windows Phone

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