In February this year, Microsoft and Nokia entered into a deal to work together on Windows Phone 7 platform to challenge the Apple iOS and Google Android in the critical mobile industry. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, told Reuters on Friday that "Nokia has begun work on the first Nokia smartphone supported by Microsoft software. Elop said a Windows-based Nokia phone could be produced the end of 2011."
Elop also took the time in the Reuters interview to pour cold water on the speculation that Microsoft wants to own Nokia. "I'm not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business," Elop said.
Nokia's chairman has said "Windows-based Nokia phones will be on sale from 2012," though Elop has said "he aims to produce a Windows phone by the end of this year."
"We're right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn't be possible," Elop said.
The agreement between Nokia and Microsoft still has to be finalised, something that Elop has said he expects to happen in the next couple of months.
Elop said he had no current plans to change Nokia's top management, after only one senior executive was dropped in his new line-up announced last month. He dismissed as nonsense a German magazine report that a wider cull was likely.