Microsoft and Nokia: Timeline of togetherness

Microsoft and Nokia have worked closely on Windows Phone since 2011, but the two companies have an even longer history.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and AT&T mobility chief Ralph de la Vega at CES 2012
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and AT&T mobility chief Ralph de la Vega at CES 2012. CNET

With the news that Microsoft is acquiring Nokia's mobile business unit still fresh, we take a look back at the relationship between the two companies over the years.

If you want to get specific, Nokia and Microsoft first teamed up in 2005 to help transfer Windows Media Audio files to Nokia phones. But the relationship that led to the recent acquisition started just a few years ago.

August 2009
Microsoft, Nokia ink mobile Office deal
One the earliest partnerships between Nokia and Microsoft had nothing to do with Windows Phone. Instead, the two companies got together to build a mobile version of Microsoft Office that could run on Nokia's Symbian phones. Though he would later become Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop worked at Microsoft at the time and was part of the mobile Office efforts.

September 2010
Microsoft exec Elop named Nokia CEO
Stephen Elop, the head of Microsoft's Business Division, jumped ship from Microsoft to become Nokia's CEO. Elop replaced Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo and was hired to help usher in new changes at Nokia.

February 2011
Microsoft and Nokia announce proposed Windows Phone partnership
In February 2011, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced that the two companies were teaming up to build Windows Phone devices. The hope was to bolster the Windows mobile ecosystem to a level where it could to compete with Google's Android and Apple's iOS platforms.

There was also speculation in the tech community that the partnership was a prelude to an eventual Microsoft-Nokia merger.

February 2011
Nokia CEO talks about the Microsoft partnership at Mobile World Congress
Just a few days after Microsoft and Nokia announced they were coming together to work on Windows Phone, Nokia's Elop took the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to make his case about the partnership. He talked about how Nokia would save a significant amount of money to not build a mobile operating system and just focus on hardware.

October 2011
Nokia announces its first Windows Phones
At a press conference in London, Nokia showed off its first Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. The Lumia 800 was the flagship phone, selling first in the UK and parts of Europe for 420 euros, while the 710 was the first budget Windows Phone device in Nokia's lineup. Both phones shipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and came with Nokia and Microsoft apps preinstalled.

November 2011
Nokia Lumia 800 ships
The first Nokia Windows Phone, the Lumia 800, shipped to European customers in November 2011. It wouldn't arrive in the US for a few more months.

January 2012
Microsoft, Nokia, and AT&T CEOs unveil the Lumia 900
The heads of Microsoft, Nokia, and AT&T Mobility gathered at CES 2012 to take the wraps off the Lumia 900. The newest flagship Windows Phone device flaunted a large screen, a Carl Zeiss lens in the camera, and LTE support.

September 2012
First flagship Windows Phone 8 device announced
Nokia CEO Elop showed off the Lumia 920, the first phone to run the next version Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8. Nokia made a big push for a better camera with the 920 and included wireless charging.

October 2012
Windows Phone 8 launches
Microsoft held a press conference in October 2012 to show off the official release Windows Phone 8 . Some of the new features included Kid's Corner, People Hub, and Skype. Though HTC, Samsung, and Nokia phones were used to demonstrate the new features, Microsoft's Ballmer noted that Nokia had sold the most Windows Phones so far.

April 2013
Windows Phone VP says Microsoft doesn't need to build phone hardware
Windows Phone vice president Terry Myerson said on stage at the 2013 Dive Into Mobile conference that the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft was going strong, and there was no need for Microsoft to step in to build its own Windows phones.

July 2013
Nokia shows off the newest flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 1020
The Lumia 1020 wowed everyone with a 41-megapixel camera. The phone is the current (as of September 2013) flagship phone in the Lumia lineup and the last major release before the Microsoft acquisition .

 

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