The Ovi brand of mobile services will be one of the first casualties of Nokia’s deal with Microsoft. As Nokia plans to bring Windows Phones to market exclusively, the Ovi brand name is going away. The services will stick around under Nokia’s name. Even that, however, is likely a measure designed to get customers to stop thinking about Nokia’s mobile products as something separate from the Nokia brand.
It’s important to note that none of the services are going away: Even though the name “Ovi” will go away, all of the services will stay up and active. Everything “Ovi” will be renamed to “Nokia” by the end of 2012. For example, the Ovi Store will become the Nokia Store, and Ovi Maps will become Nokia Maps. All of these, however, will likely either go away entirely or be minimized when Nokia starts loading Windows Phone 7 on its devices and users will have access to Bing Maps and the Zune Marketplace.
Ovi started in 2007, and was supposed to be a Symbian response to Apple‘s iTunes App Store. The service has – much like Symbian – floundered regardless of the platform’s popularity outside of the United States. According to PC World, some of the Ovi services were so unpopular that Nokia stopped offering them, like Ovi Music Unlimited, which launched in 33 countries and eventually only wound up in six. Still, Symbian remains remarkably popular outside the United States, although that popularity is eroding quickly due to the rise of Android devices and the Apple iPhone.
At the same time, Nokia hasn’t announced when its first Windows Phone will hit the market, and when those newly re-branded Nokia services will be replaced by Microsoft‘s own services bundled with windows 7, if ever. Nokia hasn’t wasted any time dropping Symbian though, cutting 4,000 jobs altogether and then transferring 3,000 more to Accenture – along with the rights to Symbian.