Nokia gets Xbox LIVE with Microsoft partnership

Xbox fans who can't get enough achievement whoring can now pump up their Gamerscore on the go thanks to Windows Phone 7. And thanks to a new partnership, there's an important new manufacturer that will add to the collection of available WP7 phones.

For years, Nokia reigned over the mobile phone industry and brought its own proprietary operating system, Symbian, to prominence. In fact, it even sold licenses to Symbian to other phone manufacturers.

But now, you'll be hard pressed to even find a Nokia phone for sale in the US. Virtually every other major manufacturer has dropped Symbian support, and Nokia is losing market share quickly.

Today marks a very important symbolic change in the mobile space, as Nokia will for the first time be making phones that use a third-party operating system. And that operating system will be Windows Phone 7.

Why not go with Android? Nokia won't say this, but some are speculating it's because Nokia's new CEO used to be a Microsoft executive. Nevertheless, it could bring new life into both Nokia and Windows Phone 7, so today's announcement is a big deal.

"In this partnership with Nokia. Microsoft brings its Windows Phone software and the brands that mobile consumers want, like Bing, Office and, of course, Xbox Live," said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer.

It's unknown when the new generation of Windows-powered Nokia phones will be available, but when they are you'll be able to play special Xbox Live games, connect with XBL friends, and earn achievements on-the-go. There are currently WP7 handsets from other manufacturers for every major carrier, but the selection is not very overwhelming.

Feb 11, 2011

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