MWC 2011: A bidding war between Microsoft and Google means that Steve Ballmer's eventual bill for the mash-up will be in the billions of dollars rather than tens of millions as most pundits have predicted.
Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop, who has insisted that he is "not a Trojan horse" despite having worked for Microsoft for many years, said that Microsoft's financial commitment to ailing Nokia could be measured "in Bs not Ms" according to an IDG report.
Speaking in Barcelona on the eve of this year's Mobile World Congress, Elop gave no indication as to how long the billions would take to flow from Microsoft to Nokia, but hinted that devices designed and manufactured by the Finnish outfit and running Windows 7 Mobile would be rushed to market before the end of the year.
Elop did his best to pour cold water on the assumption that he had been weaselled onto the Nokia board in order to ease Microsoft into the Nokia fold at the cost of Google, by saying that the entire management team had been involved with the process and had been unanimous in their decision to get into bed with the Redmond software giant.
Elop also suggested that the move would be good for the mobile industry in general. Apple and Android's dominance of the smartphone market would soon be met with viable competition from the Nokia/Microsoft partnership. RIM's BlackBerry platform didn't even get a look-in.
Despite premature announcements of its immediate demise, Nokia has said it will continue to support developers who are writing software for the Symbian platform.