Nokia isn't changing its strategy or its level of support for developers, the post stressed. It's just changing the name on its four-year-old Maps, Mail and Ovi Store mobile apps businesses as "there is no longer a differentiation" between its devices and mobile experiences.
Nokia will begin the name transition in July and expects it to be complete by the end of 2012.
Why this matters
Nokia doesn't mention the real impetus for the change in its blog post, but it clearly has to do with its adoption of the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) operating system for future smartphones. As part of the deal, Nokia will use nearly all of Microsoft's software products, with the exception of Maps, so there is little need for a third brand name in Ovi.
Interestingly, rumors sprung up Monday that Nokia could be set to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft soon. Blogger Eldar Murtazin, who has a track record of accurate Nokia intel, reports that the negotiations will begin next week, although the results will not be made public immediately.
Even if the acquisition doesn't come to fruition -- and many doubt it will -- changing the Ovi name makes sense to simplify the merged brand for customers.
Read up on the Nokia/Microsoft chronicles in the following stories:
- Microsoft Plans a WP7 Skype Soiree
- Microsoft + Skype + Nokia?
- Nokia Cuts 4,000 Jobs, Sheds Symbian
- Nokia, Microsoft Team Up
- RIP Symbian & MeeGo: Nokia Ties Future to WP7
- MWC 2011: Microsoft & Nokia Court Carriers
- Ovi Store Picks Up Steam
- Nokia Boasts Ovi Success
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile