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By 28 April 2011 | Categories: news

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Nokia and Microsoft have recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement on a partnership relating to Windows Phone appearing on future Nokia smartphones. So what happens to Symbian, Nokia’s previous operating system of choice? Well according to a posting from Nokia, the Finnish manufacturer is handing over the development of the Symbian mobile OS to Accenture.
 
Not only will Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company be taking over Nokia’s Symbian activities, it will also be taking on around 3000 of Nokia’s employees, to support the continued delivery of Symbian software development as well as support services.
 
In addition, this collaboration between the two companies will include plans for Accenture to provide mobility software, business and operational services for the Windows Phone OS platform, to both Nokia as well as other ecosystem participants.
 
“Mobility is a key area for Accenture,” said Marty Cole, group chief executive, Accenture Communications and High Tech group. “One of our areas of focus is mobility software, where we provide engineering consulting and product development services to mobile phone manufacturers, chip manufacturers, and mobile operators worldwide. With the influx of highly qualified talent from Nokia, Accenture can help our clients rapidly leverage mobility to advance their business strategy.”
 
“This collaboration demonstrates our ongoing investment to serve our Symbian customers,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president for Smart Devices, Nokia. “As we move our primary smartphone platform to the Windows Phone platform, the transition of skilled talent to Accenture also shows our commitment to provide our Symbian employees with potential new career opportunities.”
 
More job cuts to follow
 
Nokia has also announced that it plans to “align its global workforce and consolidate its site operations” to come in line with its new strategy. The company expects to reduce its global workforce by a total of 4000 employees (out of around 65 000 worldwide, not including Nokia Siemens Networks) by the end of next year.
 
This reduction includes an estimated 1400 employees in the company’s home country of Finland and will mostly involve Symbian and MeeGo R&D staff. Unlike the 3000 employees being taken on by Accenture, these 4000 employees may not have their next job lined up straight away.
 
As a result the Finnish company is launching a comprehensive social responsibility program for them. Nokia states that it will be “invest[ing] time, money and expertise in a program to support re-employment in all the countries where the impact will be felt.”
 
Nokia recently unveiled what appears to be its last hoorah when it comes to Symbian in the form of an update to Symbian^3, called Symbian Anna. It also launched two smartphones powered by this OS, the E6 and the X7.
 
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