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Nokia-Microsoft Alliance in a Win for Apple

The marriage of Nokia and Microsoft is official. The smartphone alliance combining the Windows Phone 7 mobile OS from Microsoft with the mobile phone manufacturing muscle of Nokia could be a line in the sand leading to a brighter mobile future for both, or a final desperate swan song. Regardless of how it ultimately works out for Nokia and Microsoft, though, the partnership is good news for Apple.

Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst, commented that foror Nokia to bet on Microsoft’s new phone platform is an incredible vote of confidence but it is also a natural partnership given the various points of synergies. In the long run, Microsoft will really need a stronger hardware strategy to compete with Apple and RIM and to make headway against the ubiquitously sourced Android.

Abandoning Symbian and embracing Windows Phone 7 seems like a well-orchestrated coup for Microsoft—a subversive takeover from the inside that conveniently provides Microsoft with a major smartphone development capacity without all of the financial and regulatory red tape involved in trying to actually buy Nokia.

The Nokia-Microsoft alliance is good news for Apple, though—legally speaking.  By teaming with Microsoft, Nokia has a deep patent pool to draw from and can most likely bring its legal battles with Apple to a close.