Also at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Nokia handset division—whose $7.4 billion sale to Microsoft was announced in September but has not yet officially closed—will introduce a smartphone powered by Android OS. Despite running on Google’s open-source operating system, the new Nokia phone will not accept apps from the Google Play store and will lack certain features developed by Google for other Android phones. Instead it will come loaded with services created specially for it by Nokia and Microsoft.
The choice of Android was apparently motivated by a desire to target the worldwide low-end smartphone market, in which Microsoft’s Windows mobile operating system has failed to gain traction. Whether the omission of typical Android offerings will shore up Microsoft’s brand in the mobile marketplace or simply alienate consumers remains to be seen.