Nokia to launch Windows phone in early 2012

Nokia will launch its first Windows smartphone in around 12 months from now, and not 2 years as is being widely reported, its head for India D Shivakumar said in Delhi today.

He said the new phone will tightly integrate with the rest of Microsoft’s services such as Bing Search, Zune music player and Facebook, in which the latter has a 5% stake.

“Microsoft is a strong software company. We are a strong hardware plus software company. It has a stake in facebook and its operating system has links to it,” Shivakumar told reporters today.

“Microsoft has been looking for a strong hardware partner, but they have been on phones which has not given them that strength. In many a markets, people will get used to a Windows Mobile phone thanks to the Nokia tie-up,” he added.

He also said that the talks with Indian government on monitoring of Nokia messaging system were only for consumer accounts and not for corporate accounts. “Enterprise part, we haven’t started discussions with anyone,” he said.

Blackberry maker Research In Motion has similarly denied the possibility of caching and combing through enterprise data, though the government has been reluctant to accept the argument.

Shivakumar also said Nokia will launch around 20 smartphones this year while the first Windows Mobile 7 phones are expected only in early 2012.