Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling recently had a chat with a “lunch companion” with “close connections to Nokia”, and said lunch companion reckons that Nokia’s Ovi Maps will replace Microsoft’s Bing equivalent.
Greg explains that his buddy “argued unequivocally that Nokia Maps would effectively replace almost everything that Microsoft had developed over the past several years in terms of the Bing Maps infrastructure.”
Of course, details were vague when Microsoft and Nokia first announced their companionship back on February 11, though the Open Letter from Elop and Balmer did state: “Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience.”
Greg decided to press Microsoft for more information, and received the following response via email: “Bing Maps has utilized Nokia content for road data, geo-coding and routing services for several years, through Nokia’s Navteq vector data business, relying on the quality of its data for core location services. The Nokia/MS partnership will enable deeper collaboration in the future.”
One train of thought is that Microsoft is keen to unburden itself of the costs of digital mapping. Considering how much it forked out for Skype last week, Microsoft could certainly do with tightening the old purse strings.
Of course, as we heard earlier today, the Ovi brand is being phased out by the Finns over the course of the next year, and renamed Nokia Services.