I'm unconvinced that the new alliance between Microsoft and Nokia will achieve in its obvious aim -- crushing BlackBerry.

Microsoft has been successful in many areas from desktop and server operating systems to games via productivity applications, and even where it has not quite hit the competition for six -- systems management, back-office applications, databases -- it has shown an ability to iterate to positive effect.

The new mobile order is dominated by two names: Research In Motion and Apple. Nokia and Symbian might have led the first wave of smartphones but both need new impetus and a partnership with Microsoft does not seem likely to provide it. Microsoft is huge and worthy of the greatest respect but its record in mobile is risible and there is no evidence that buyers find a tighter link between desktop and handheld tools desirable.  

As for one of the most-touted planks of the new strategy -- putting Office on Nokia handsets --this strikes me as a very old-school idea, equivalent to launching an ocean liner in a paddling pool. Excel on a three-inch screen? Deal me out. The current crops of document viewers are valuable and there are already plenty of web-based composition tools for those that desperately crave them -- not many people.

When Nokia was at its zenith it was refrerred to as 'the Finnish Microsoft' so maybe it has found its perfect partner, but I doubt it. Alliances and agreements to collaborate in technology have a dire history and display a tendency to peter out rather than end in tears. This looks a  lot like two companies reaching out for a new plan. Like I said, I'm unconvinced.