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Nokia Delivers Where BlackBerry Fails

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nokia's (NOK - Get Report) announcement of the release of six new Windows-based Nokia phones and a tablet on Oct. 22 is actually more exciting news for Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) investors than for Nokia's.

Earlier this month, Microsoft agreed to buy almost all of Nokia's devices and license patents. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2014, and investors should regard Nokia's ongoing phone strategy as Microsoft's. Nokia may be going through the motions, but for all practical purposes, the new devices are de facto Microsoft products.

Selling tablets has been the nemesis for Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), BlackBerry (BBRY) and Barnes & Noble (BKS). Despite less than tenacious sales of Surface, consumers will soon have another tablet from which to choose.

Microsoft may feel like it's pushing a rock up a hill trying to capture market share from Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Amazon (AMZN) in the tablet space, but it does strengthen Microsoft's competitive position with Google (GOOG).
[Read: <a target="blank" data-add-tracking="true" href="http://www.thestreet.com/story/12051271/1/the-deal-jc-penney-investors-suffer-whiplash.html"><em> J.C. Penney Investors Suffer Whiplash</em></a>]

Every tablet sold grows Microsoft's ecosystem and helps maintain the critical mass of users required to keep a steady flow of new and updated apps. Once BlackBerry lost the enthusiasm of app developers, it was easy to see why consumers picked Android and iPhones over BlackBerry, when given a choice of phones.

I'm not expecting an immediate mass exodus from iPads and Droid-pads over to Windows. For investors, that's OK, because Microsoft (financially) doesn't immediately need to win the tablet war.

With that said, BlackBerry's decision to throw in the towel couldn't come at a better time, particularly with market-dominating 41 MP Windows phones now on sale.
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