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Nokia set to bring the Office to Symbian

Redmond gives Finns a kind Word

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Nokia and Microsoft are set to announce that Pocket Office will be coming to Nokia handsets, upsetting the blogosphere that was getting hyped on the idea of Windows-powered Nokia handsets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is set to be announced today, at a joint press conference that had formerly been taken, by the blogosphere, to be the announcement of something far more significant - a Windows-powered mobile phone from Nokia.

The blogosphere is desperate to see any sign that Nokia is going to walk away from Symbian: announcements of a new tablet are taken as proof that the company is planning to extend Maemo (it's tablet platform) down to phone handsets.

Even the Finns had to step outside their we-don't-comment-on-speculation line when rumours that Nokia was shifting to Android took hold. This time it was Windows Mobile that's not coming to Nokia, so the bloggers are fast running out of options.

Nokia handsets already come with an Office-compatible application from QuickOffice that can view files, and, for a small fee, edit them too. We've always preferred MobiOffice as it underlines our spelling mistakes as we make them, but either product is more than competitive with Pocket Office as supplied on with the version of Windows formally known as "Mobile".

But the existence of Pocket Office does prevent competitive applications being developed: Symbian users have several options beyond those mentioned here, while Handango only lists one alternative for Windows.

With a Bluetooth keyboard it is possible to do decent work on a mobile phone, ideally connected to a decent screen, though Nokia doesn't do that very well as yet.

Having a Microsoft-branded Office package doesn't change that significantly, and while it will likely do little harm to the company, but it's not going to do an awful lot of good either. ®

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