Nokia to switch its phones to Windows Mobile?

Windows Mobile may be in some smartphones, but will it be in Nokia devices?

Microsoft is close to forming a partnership with Nokia that will see the phone manufacturer release Windows Mobile smartphones to the masses, according to Microsoft's former marketing director.

Without getting too in-depth, the former executive said an agreement could see Nokia's support for Microsoft technologies "extend completely" to include Windows Mobile.

Ever since the iPhone hit store shelves, some have wondered what the future of Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system will look like. And as its market share continues to dwindle and Google's Android platform looms, Microsoft has decided to be proactive and form a partnership with Nokia due to its status as a major Symbian OS backer.

Major shift coming?

As it stands, Nokia only includes select features from Microsoft's mobile operating system in its phones. But if it strikes a deal with Microsoft, the entire cell phone industry could be turned upside down.

Symbian currently leads the mobile phone market with 65 per cent of all devices shipping with the software installed, compared to Windows Mobile's 12 per cent market share. More importantly, Nokia commands 53 per cent of the entire smartphone market and a switch to Windows Mobile could propel Microsoft's OS to the top spot.

There is currently no word on how close both companies are to inking the deal, but some have speculated that it could be announced as early as next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Watch this space.