Nokia Corporation (NOK), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) May Need to Beat Apple Inc. (AAPL)

As if there isn’t enough pressure, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have a marriage in the smartphone space that will likely have to be a dream marriage – especially for Nokia, as it has sold its entire soul to the success of the new Windows Phone 8 operating system that is soon to launch. But how successful would it have to be for both companies to survive and move forward in this relationship? Would Nokia have to beat both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in smartphone sales during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013?

Stephen Elop & Steve Ballmer

Maybe. But according to one writer, that is possible, considering the rave reviews of the Lumia handset from Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and its integration with Windows 7. from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The unfortunate part is that the Nokia handsets that are currently out that run on Windows 7.5 won’t be able to run Windows 8.

Fortunately, that may not be a bad thing. With the synergy expressed by both Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in terms of how many Nokia handsets now run Windows, and with a joint press conference by the two companies set for a couple week’s time, it’s very likely that the new handsets Nokia produces will be intuitive to using Windows 8 Phone when it launches.

One thing both Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will need is a huge success with Windows 8. While Nokia now makes up about 60 percent of Windows handsets in the marketplace (increasing every month from just 22 percent at the beginning of 2012), the Windows operating system has to this point been dwarfed by the iOS by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the Android system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

The good news is that Windows grew in market share by more than 300 percent in the world market and about 275 percent in the U.S. just since January – while people were supposedly waiting for the new OS to come out. If Windows 8 takes off as anticipated, that type of increase in market share would be very welcome for both companies, as it would make Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) a viable player in the market for smartphone OSs, and it would restore Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) as once again a legitimate competitior with Samsung and HTC for highly desired handsets.

There is certainly much more riding on this for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) than for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), but Microsoft seems more than happy to provide the coattails on which Nokia can ride.