Microsoft and Nokia have made it clear that their partnership extends beyond the operating system that is bundled into a device. And with the launch of Windows Phone 8, that will be apparent, according to a new report.
WP Central is reporting today that Microsoft will replace Bing Maps with Nokia Maps in Windows Phone 8. With Nokia Maps' help, the platform will deliver 3D navigation and hardware acceleration. More importantly, according to WP Central, Nokia Maps will be available on Windows Phone-based devices, and not just those from Nokia.
There have been reports in the past of Nokia branding coming to all Windows Phone devices through the platform's maps feature. In fact, back in January, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told tech site Pocket-lint in an interview that users will start "seeing the word 'Nokia' on a map that you get from Microsoft properties over a period of time."
Just last month, Microsoft announced that Bing Maps users now have traffic information available to them from Nokia's Where platform. It's part of what Nokia says, is an ongoing effort on the companies' parts to build Nokia services into existing Microsoft products.
News of Microsoft's plans for Nokia Maps comes just a day after Apple unveiled its own platform for iOS-based devices, featuring turn-by-turn navigation and 3D integration. Google last week announced updates to its mapping solution.
But even with all that, those companies have a long way to go to catch up to Nokia. The company powers Yahoo's mapping services, and claims to have a presence in 80 percent of in-dash navigation modules and after-market devices.
"We're basically the world's largest mapping company," Hans Peter Brondmo, head of innovation for Nokia's Location and Commerce business, told CNET last week.
CNET has contacted Microsoft for comment on the WP Central report. We will update this story when we have more information.