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Nokia and Yahoo! have announced a conjoined offering, with Nokia's Ovi brand finding its way into Yahoo's services while Yahoo takes over Nokia's email and messaging services.

It's not the first time the companies have worked together, but this time they've carved up the mobile application space between them to create a combined offering that can compete with Google, while avoiding the burden of each having to provide every service.

So Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat become "powered by Yahoo", while Yahoo maps takes its power from Ovi and the two companies work towards providing users with a single logon to their combined services.

The deal makes a lot of sense. Nokia has no skill in running an email service, but the company is sitting on a lot of maps that Yahoo can use in its ongoing fight to be taken seriously as a competitor to Google. Yahoo's messaging is still extremely popular, while the fact that Ovi even had a messaging service was news to us.

More importantly, Nokia and Yahoo aren't in competition with each other: something of a rarity these days. Yahoo is even a Nokia customer in that its mobile optimisation service comes from Novarra - a company recently acquired by Nokia.

That also means Yahoo is ideally positioned to take advantage of customer behaviour captured by Novarra, and to sell advertisements injected into the data stream (as Novarra is capable of enabling).

Not that advertising is the subject of this new announcement. For the moment it's about division of labour, with the first combined offerings expected later this year. ®

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