When Nokia showed off its new Windows Phone wares at Nokia World last week, we all wondered if the software features shown off would arrive on other devices. Well, the answer appears to be “kinda.” The most interesting Nokia app was the turn-by-turn Nokia Maps, and other Windows Phone 7 devices will get access, but without voice prompts in navigation.
Nokia Drive fills in a real feature gap in Windows phone, which lacks voice prompts or live routing in its navigation app. The Nokia Maps app will show up in the Windows Phone Marketplace in the next few weeks, but it’s not going to offer much more than the existing integrated Bing Maps. This sets Nokia’s Lumia phones apart from the rest of the Windows Phone lineup.
Microsoft said that Nokia would be a special partner on Windows Phone, and this is the first manifestation of it. Microsoft has been unable to implement a feature, instead leaving it up to Nokia, which reasonably wants to promote its own phones. Do you think Microsoft should develop its own turn-by-turn technology for Windows phone, or let Nokia have this differentiator?