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Nokia will sell Windows Phone 7 apps in the Ovi Store -- but no new phones yet

Nokia has failed to launch a new phone at Mobile World Congress for the second year running, but has confirmed it will sell Windows Phone 7 apps in the Ovi Store.

Nokia has failed to launch a new phone at Mobile World Congress for the second year running. The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer has offered up more details on its adoption of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software, but there's no sign of new devices based on Nokia's Symbian or MeeGo operating systems.

MWC is the biggest blow-out of the mobile blower world, and all the other manufacturers are punting out a wealth of new phones at the giant Barcelona trade show. Nokia announced on Friday that all its smart phones will use Windows Phone 7, but the ink is still wet on the deal so we're nowhere near seeing an actual phone.

At today's MWC press conference, Nokia boss Stephen Elop claims the final decision was reached on Thursday, only hours before the big announcement.

The deal means that Nokia's existing operating systems have been comprehensively undermined, so any new phone would have looked like a lame duck anyway. Instead, Nokia showed off its colourful Windows Phone 7 handset concept designs.

MeeGo MeeGone?

Nokia's next-generation operating system MeeGo -- Nokia's big announcement at last year's MWC -- is effectively dead on arrival. Elop announced Nokia will still develop a MeeGo device this year -- rumoured to be the N9-01 -- but will then "transition to working on future disruption to the market". Intel is heavily involved with MeeGo, so it remains to be seen how the chipmaker feels about the changes.

So long Symbian?

Symbian will continue to be used in Nokia's middle and lower-end phones. Reacting to Friday's walk-out by Symbian-related employees, Elop admits the "whole company wasn't involved in the process", and Nokia is now on a "journey with employees to understand what this means".

After that triumph of marketing speak, Elop refuted claims he still held a significant volume of shares in Microsoft, and denied he is a 'Trojan horse' preparing the way for a Microsoft takeover of Nokia.

Not over for Ovi?

All this newness means we're still short of specifics on what the WP7 deal will actually mean for you and the phone in your pocket, but Elop did offer one useful snippet: Windows Phone 7 apps will be available through the Ovi Store. That means the Ovi Store, Nokia's app ecosystem, will continue in some form.

So when will we see a new Nokia phone? With the iPhone 5 set to launch before summer and a wealth of Android smart phones arriving here at MWC, Nokia had better be quick if it wants to get back in the game. Elop stated there are still "lots of decisions to make", but Nokia reckons is it is "faster than other manufacturers" -- and a new phone is promised "very soon".

Will it be soon enough to see Nokia and WP7 triumph over Apple and Android? Tell us what you think in the comments or on our Facebook wall. And keep it Crave for all the news, reviews and hands-on photos of all the phones announced this week.