Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 17:18 UK

Microsoft and Nokia form alliance

A Nokia mobile phone
Nokia smartphones have not proved as popular as the rival Blackberry

Microsoft and Nokia have announced an alliance to bring the software giant's services to smartphones made by the world's biggest mobile phone firm.

The deal means that the latest versions of Microsoft's range of products, such as Word and Excel, will be made available on Nokia handsets.

The tie-up is specifically designed to take on Blackberry, the current leader in the smartphone sector.

The two firms said they would start "collaborating immediately".

"These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones, starting with the Nokia E series. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals," a joint statement said.

The new partners will also develop "new and innovative" services, they added.

Microsoft applications will start appearing on Nokia phones next year.

"This is giving some of our competitors - let's spell it out, Research in Motion [maker of the Blackberry] - a run for their money," said Robert Andersson from Nokia.

"I don't think Blackberry has seen this kind of competition we can provide them now."

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