By now many of you will have read the disappointing news that Nokia, the iconic provider of simple cell phones, has thrown in the towel, having announced a “strategic partnership” with Microsoft to ship new smartphones with Windows Phone 7.

Nokia CEO (and former Microsoft Exec) Stephen Elop made the announcement at the Nokia Strategy and Financial Briefing in London yesterday.

Nokia

Initial reactions from many directions seem mostly negative, commenters on Nokia’s official blog are slating the announcement, Nokia workers walked out in protest, Alberto Torres (head of MeeGo at Nokia) has quit, and Nokia’s share price plummeted by more than 13%.

The Symbian platform looks pretty much on-life support, and the use of MeeGo is described as a project for “experimental” devices, with Nokia’s R&D budget slashed. There are also rumours that the N9 MeeGo device has been killed.

The following quote is taken from the Nokia press release:

Under the new strategy, MeeGo becomes an open-source, mobile operating system project. MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year.

Intel

Meanwhile, Intel is keen to reassure that it’s not “blinking on MeeGo”:

While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision, Intel is not blinking on MeeGo. We remain committed and welcome Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.

More opinions: Nokia’s towel has been thrown – sad but true, the bomb has hit…

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