Microsoft and Nokia have confirmed they will be working together to bring Microsoft's Mobile Office Platform to future Nokia handsets, as we brought you news of earlier.

The announcement means that from 2010 Nokia E-series handsets will be using mobile versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, as well as integration with Microsoft communicator so users will be able to see what a contact is up to from their phonebook.

Nokia has also renewed its Exchange deal as part of the agreement, meaning continued use of the MS platform on its handsets and push corporate email from its handsets.

No Apple challenge

When asked about whether this alliance was to create a challenge to Apple, the duo of Stephen Elop from Microsoft and Nokia Devices executive vice president Kai Oistamo said that this wasn't the case.

"This is really about creating a formidable challenge to RIM than anyone else," said the Nokia VP.

Elop also made it clear that this partnership was not a sign that Symbian (or Maemo) will be integrating with Windows Mobile - highlighting that Microsoft is still committed to the OS.

"We [obviously] do compete in some areas, and will continue to do so. We are committed to Windows Mobile and future iterations, with 6.5 coming this fall with Office Mobile for Windows Mobile coming soon after that. Nokia is also tremendously committed to Symbian.

Wider Symbian platform

Although refusing to be drawn on which phones would be seeing the fruits of the partnership first, Oistamo said it would move into the wider Symbian portfolio, and wouldn't be a competitor to Ovi Mail, as he believes "consumer behaviour today is to have multiple email addresses for work and for personal lives, and [this deal] is about giving the best possible tools to address that market."

He also added that this was a "long-term relationship" which has "only just scratched the surface [of what's in store] and isn't the full extent of all to come" with much more than just Microsoft's products being put on Nokia phones.

So it might not be the Apple-slaying collaboration we had hoped for, but at the same time it signals Nokia's real intent to be taken seriously as a corporate player, gaining those all important company-wide contracts to increase its consumer base.