“Nokia and Microsoft teamed up on Friday to build an iPhone killer in a desperate attempt to take on Google and Apple in the fast-growing smartphone market,” Tarmo Virki reports for Reuters.

“Nokia said using Microsoft’s Windows Phone software in its smartphones would speed up new product launches, but shares in the world’s largest cellphone maker fell sharply on uncertainty about the financial impact of new chief executive Stephen Elop’s strategic u-turn,” Virki reports. “‘It is now a three-horse race,’ said Elop, who was drafted in to head Nokia from Microsoft last September.”

“Elop said the partnership would mean job cuts around the world, while research and development spending would also be slashed,” Virki reports. “Investors were unconvinced by Elop’s new strategy and Nokia shares tumbled 10 percent after Nokia said 2011 and 2012 would be ‘transition years,’ fuelling fears of a negative impact on margins.”

“Nokia also said it would use Microsoft’s Bing search engine across its cellphones, potentially opening up a huge market for Microsoft as it seeks to build up its challenge to Google as the world’s leading search engine,” Virki reports. “Analysts said the Finnish company, which invested billions of dollars in building up mobile internet services under its previous CEO, had effectively admitted defeat in its services strategy by joining forces with Microsoft.”

Read more in the full article here.

Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s, “And what about the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems? In a separate [press] release, Nokia said it intends to sell ‘approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come,’ as Symbian ‘becomes a franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value.’

“I have no idea what Nokia means by all that babble, but it sounds like they’re letting it go out to pasture,” Ray writes.

Ray reports, “MeeGo ‘becomes an open-source, mobile operating system project,’ said Nokia. ‘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.’ Farewell, perhaps not forever, MeeGo. Alberto Torres, head of the team that was developing MeeGo, is leaving the company, effective February 10 ‘to pursue other interests outside the company.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Adios, Alberto.

Ray reports, “Given the ‘transitional’ nature of all that, Nokia said it wouldn’t provide a forecast for the full year for its mobile phone business. After the transition, which may not be until next year, or may not be until 2013, Nokia’s goal is to increase sales of devices and services ‘faster than the market.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The change Apple has wrought is a wonder to behold.

Google’s Microsoftian quest is being hurt by Microsoft. “We’ll be the settlers’ second choice!” “No, we’ll be!”

And, so it goes: Nokia gives up, sells soul to Microsoft, becomes just another phone assembler, but at least their OS of choice isn’t riddled with Apple’s IP. Next domino: RIM.

Happily, things are going from bad to worse for Android. Ain’t Karma’s a bitch, Googlesoft?