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A new study from the IDC research firm predicts that Microsoft’s Windows Phone will surpass the iPhone and Blackberry in worldwide market share by 2015 — making it second only to Google’s Android — thanks to the Redmond company’s new partnership with Nokia.

IDC says the Nokia deal will have “significant implications” for the smartphone market.

“Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,” says IDC analyst Ramon Llamas in the news release. “The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.”

Here’s how IDC sees the market shaping up in 2015.

Also of note: Look what happens to Symbian, the longtime Nokia platform, under the IDC model.

As noted by Kip Kniskern of, it’s a rare bit of good news for Microsoft’s mobile initiative at a time when the company is getting raked over the coals over its slow and glitchy Windows Phone update process.

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