When Windows Phone hit the market, it launched with one of the worst navigation systems on the planet. Bing Maps was barely able to offer directions, much less route you in a decent way, to your choice of locations. Turn by turn navigation didn’t exist and due to the deal that Microsoft cut with Navteq back in the day, they weren’t able to offer turn by turn directions on mobile devices. Little did they know what put them light years ahead of the competition in the PC market would end up creating a total disaster for them in the mobile space.
Fortunately for Microsoft, Nokia partnered with them and brought along some amazing software based on the Windows platform. Nobody gave the OS much of a glance until then, but with Nokia’s monstrous developer network in place, the Apps began rolling out to make Windows Phone a contender. Of all these Apps, the most valuable had to be access to the Here mapping system.
The question is, what relevance does this have to Google, Android and Windows Phone today? Rumors have been flying that Nokia is willing to part ways with their mapping division. Here. If Microsoft was smart, they would be executing a buyout of the Here division for whatever Nokia wants for it before it even hits the market. If Google has a chance to purchase Here and merge it with their own mapping system, it would solidify Google Maps as the best system on the planet.
If Google is able to make this move, this would stall the primary navigation system that most Windows Phone users depend on. If Google stopped providing updates to Here, Microsoft’s deal with Nokia to have 10 years of access would still hold strong, but the App would eventually frustrate users to the point that they would look elsewhere for their mobile navigation solutions.
With this one deal, Google would steal Microsoft’s saving navigation grace, Here, and swipe one of the most powerful tools in the Windows Phone toolbox. Will it happen or not, we have no idea, but if it does, Windows users better watch out.