The ‘strategic partnership’ between Microsoft and Nokia announced back in February, has now been formalised with the “signing of a definitive agreement on a partnership that will result in a new global mobile ecosystem”.

Many people were concerned at the lack of formal agreement after the initial announcement, citing that it could take ‘years’ to put in place, and the 2011/2012 release of Nokia hardware running Windows Phone 7 might be unrealistic. This was slightly tempered by Stephen Elop’s statement in mid-March that development of the co-branded devices was in fact already underway, and this was confirmed in the press release that stated there was already “significant progress on the development of the first Nokia products incorporating Windows Phone”.

The agreement will focus on 4 key areas:

  1. “A combination of complementary assets” – essentially porting the most successful Nokia Apps (Ovi Maps, Navigation and certain location-based services) to the Windows Phone 7
  2. Microsoft will receive a running royalty from Nokia for the Windows Phone platform, starting when the first Nokia products incorporating Windows Phone ship
  3. A payment by Microsoft to Nokia (there has been much speculation on how much cash was involved in this deal) “in recognition of the unique nature of Nokia’s agreement with Microsoft and the contributions that Nokia is providing”
  4. An agreement that recognizes the value of intellectual property and puts in place mechanisms for exchanging rights to intellectual property. Again Nokia will receive more cash from the Microsoft vault.

You can read the full release on both the Microsoft and Nokia sites, and there are more details on the Official Nokia Conversations Blog