Update: A reader of ours has informed us that this information was in fact misquoted by the blog that published the interview. Paul Thurrott has cleared up the misquote.
Elop Misquoted: Bing Maps Aren’t Being Renamed or RebrandedA blogger interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is being widely misquoted, unless I’m missing something, with many now claiming that Microsoft is going to rename or rebrand its Bing Maps to Nokia Maps. That’s not what he said, however. In an interview with a blogger from Pocket Lint (?), Elop said that “you’ll starting seeing the word ‘Nokia’ on a map that you get from Microsoft properties over a period of time,” which tells me only that the word Nokia will appear on a map—and possibly only on Windows Phones—not that Bing Maps is being rebranded. “[Microsoft is] placing a bet on our location-based platform: mapping, navigation, and so forth,” he added. Right, as previously announced. So it makes sense that Microsoft would integrate Nokia Maps stuff into its Bing Maps functionality on Windows Phone. But I’m not seeing any note about rebranding or renaming in this interview. Just that Nokia technologies are going to be added to the Bing back end. Which is bolstered by this statement: “In the time ahead, what you will see is, across all the Microsoft properties including Bing maps, more and more work will be done by Nokia,” Elop added. This isn’t news, folks. When Microsoft announced its partnership with Nokia, it said it would be doing exactly this kind of thing, and that some Nokia technologies would make their way to all Windows Phone handsets—not just those sold by Nokia. Moving on.
The Nokia location-based platform includes mapping, navigation and more. However, this agreement will affect many more devices than just Nokia’s own, or even just Windows Phones. As Bing Maps currently is being adopted by Blackberry devices, even those devices will see the Nokia branding on the involved systems. Elop states in the time ahead that many Microsoft properties will have more and more work done directly by Nokia involved.
In a final statement, Elop informs that the agreement for Microsoft to adopt Nokia mapping services, and more, was part of the strategy to balance the Microsoft-Nokia agreement on the Windows Phone. Nokia put the bet on Windows Phone, and Microsoft called the bet with the Nokia mapping platform. So far so good with all the Nokia devices being released, the mapping services on-board are definitely unique and look very good on the Windows Phone platform.