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Microsoft to shut down Nokia Store for feature phones

Owners of Nokia feature phones and Symbian and Nokia X phones will be redirected to the Opera Mobile Store before the Nokia Store closes by mid-2015.

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The Nokia Store will shut down by mid-2015. Screenshot by CNET

As Microsoft continues sloughing off the Nokia brand name on phones, the Nokia Store for feature phones will cease to exist.

Having already dropped the Nokia branding for its latest smartphone -- the Microsoft Lumia 535 -- Microsoft is set to shut down the Nokia Store in the first half of 2015.

The Nokia Store enables owners of Nokia feature phones, such as the Asha series, and Symbian and Nokia X phones to download apps to their devices. Based on the last statistics released two years ago, the store was serving up to 15 million downloads daily.

Users will, however, still be able to get access to apps via a deal with Opera Software. Starting in the first quarter of 2015, users will be redirected to the Opera Mobile Store, which currently has close to 300,000 apps.

The migration of users to the Opera Mobile Store is expected to be complete in the first half of 2015, when the Nokia Store shuts down.

Both Microsoft and Opera are "looking into methods to help developers move their content over, and this will be communicated to developers ahead of the migration," Opera said in statement.

As for phone owners who have paid for apps from the Nokia Store, Opera said the "the company will work closely with developers to find out the best solution for consumers."

Opera added that consumers should not delete a previously purchased app once the transition takes place, or they will need to buy it again.

This isn't the first time that Opera and Microsoft have collaborated. In August, both companies struck a deal to use the Opera Mini browser as the default browser for Microsoft's feature and Asha handsets.