It's only taken two and a bit months, but Nokia and Microsoft have finally cemented the terms of their co-operation first announced back in February and signed a definitive agreement.
Yet the deal has actually been concluded ahead of schedule, and not only dishes up the specifics of how the pair will work together to play to their respective strengths, but reveals some further details of the all-important debut Windows Phone 7-powered Nokia smartphones.
The big news regarding the latter is that we're still on for the first WP Nokias to arrive this year, though mass production is only likely to kick off in earnest in 2012.
Looking at the wider scope of their agreement, the deal focuses on four areas: the sharing of assets to make the partnership unique; the payment of royalties by Nokia for using the Windows Phone platform; direct payment to Nokia of sums running into the billions of dollars for stepping into the deal in the first place; and the recognition of intellectual property values that could see further cash heading Finland's way.
As you'd expect, both sides had plenty of nice things to say about each other, and yes, the word “ecosystem” was mentioned.
“At the highest level, we have entered into a win-win partnership,” said Nokia boss Stephen Elop. “It is the complementary nature of our assets, and the overall competitiveness of that combined offering, that is the foundation of our relationship.”
His former boss, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer, wasn't to be outdone: “our agreement is good for the industry. Together, Nokia and Microsoft will innovate with greater speed, and provide enhanced opportunities for consumers and our partners to share in the success of our ecosystem.”