Microsoft and Verizon Wireless have been through some difficult times together over the years. (Anybody remember the Microsoft Kin? No, didn’t think so.)
But Microsoft’s Windows Phone got a shout-out and a promise of support from the wireless giant this morning on its earnings conference call with analysts.
Francis Shammo, the company’s chief financial officer, was asked a question about the company’s ability to control (i.e. minimize) iPhone subsidies covered by the company, and he concluded with this:
“I do think, though, it is important that there is a third ecosystem that is brought into the mix here, and we are fully supportive of that with Microsoft. And as we said that we created the Android platform from beginning, and it is an incredible platform today that we helped create, and we are looking to do the same thing with a third ecosystem. So that is how I think that we plan to go into the future here.”
(That’s from the official transcript, which is available here.)
In short, it is in Verizon’s interests to have a strong No. 3, to give the company leverage in its negotiations over Android and iOS devices. The statement by the company’s CFO amounts to Verizon declaring Windows Phone the inevitable winner over BlackBerry, as Research in Motion struggles to find its find its footing.
It also raises the question of how, exactly, Verizon will show its support. The company currently sells the HTC Trophy Windows Phone, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Nokia Windows Phone come to Verizon based on Shammo’s comment.
Nokia earlier today said sales of its Lumia Windows Phone line have been strong in the U.S. but not as good in other parts of the world, such as the U.K.
For the record, CNet News.com notes that T-Mobile was the first U.S. carrier to offer an Android phone, so Verizon didn’t quite create the Android platform from the beginning, but it did make it a hit with the Motorola Droid.