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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK): BBC Hits Lumia

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) have been inexorably linked in the smartphone race, for better or worse. And while Nokia seems to be trying to hype up its latest and greatest phone – the Lumia 925 was unveiled Tuesday, and other than a metal body, there seems to be tepid enthusiasm compared to the 920, its close twin – it has seemed to be clear that Nokia and Microsoft are going to have to succeed or fail on their own merits and not by some innovation. Though a real innovation will certainly help.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)One of the drawbacks for Windows Phone, it seems, has been a relative lack of apps compared to what is offered for iOS and Android. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) brought Windows Phone 8 to market about six months ago, and it seems that its Windows Phone Store has been catching up ever since, while iOS and Android have been very aggressive with developers in getting them to make apps. One  knock had been that Microsoft, and by extension Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and its Lumia line of handset, wee lacking some of the more popular apps in the store, though progress has been made on that front.

A milestone was reached this week when one of the most popular apps, BBC iPlayer, was launched for Windows Phone, putting Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)  on somewhat equal footing with the iOS and Android devices of the world, which have had access to iPlayer for a while now.

Image: Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)

iPlayer puts many popular BBC TV and Radio programs and shows available for on-demand streaming on mobile devices, and it is not only one of the most popular apps in the U.K. but also in other parts of the country, including the U.S. Since BBC announced it was working on the app for Windows Phone two months ago, it was estimated that about 80 million requests came in for the app, which constituted about 30 percent of traffic. Users can access the content through 3G or a Wi-fi connection and shows and programs can be browsed by category, popularity, schedule and featured programs.

How do you think this will play for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) to have this app available? Can catching up with the market leaders in smartphones help these companies gain traction? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.