Take that, iPhone: Microsoft and Nokia will announce an alliance today in which the software giant will bring its popular Microsoft Office software to Nokia's smart phones. The alliance will be announced during a late morning conference call today.
The companies haven't publicly confirmed the extent of the agreement yet; that will come during today's news conference. But according to sources close to the companies, it involves Microsoft creating a mobile version of Microsoft Office that will run on Nokia phones. If true, this will mark the first non-Windows Mobile version of Office for mobile devices.
It also puts strong competitive pressure on both Apple, which makes the iPhone, and Google, which creates a competing mobile platform called Android as well as a web-based office productivity suite called Google Docs.
Looked at a different way, today's announcement will also likely harm Windows Mobile. To date, the struggling mobile platform is the only one to run a native version of Office.
But Microsoft has a long history of pushing aside one of its platforms to benefit another. It already licenses Exchange to various mobile competitors, including Apple, for example. This suggests that native mobile versions of Microsoft Office could be ported to the iPhone and Android platforms.
Stay tuned. I'll have more news after the official announcement.