Can Nokia Windows be a smartphone contender?
So what do we think of today's love-in between two giants of the technology world? A marriage of excellent hardware and the latest and best mobile operating system which together will produce world-beating phones? Or, as one cynic put it, two turkeys coming together, and failing to produce an eagle?
Rumours of a deal between Microsoft and Nokia have been circulating for some days - but what was announced this morning went much further than many had expected. In effect, Nokia is handing over its future - in smartphones at least - to Microsoft and Windows Phone 7.
That means bye-bye Symbian which will be allowed to wither on the vine. The loudest laugh at this morning's news conference came when one journalist quizzing the two Steves, Ballmer and Elop, described his publication - "All About Symbian".
It's amazing how quickly Nokia's Symbian handsets have gone from being the hottest phone you could own, as the N95 once was, to "the phone your dad has" in the words of the analyst Ben Wood. So can Nokia Windows really become the third horse in the race, giving Apple and Android a run for their money as Stephen Elop claimed when I sat down with him and Steve Ballmer today?
Well it would be an achievement even if it overtook the Blackberry maker RIM, written out of the race by Mr Elop, and let's not forget that HP is also staking a claim to be a big player, with its new WebOS phones.
The two partners each bring something the other needs to this marriage. Nokia does know plenty about building great hardware - its N8 was a top-drawer piece of kit, with one of the best cameras you could find on a phone, but let down once again by Symbian. The Finnish firm also has long-standing relations with the big network operators and a residue of goodwill, in Europe at least.
Microsoft contributes rather less. After years of underwhelming Windows mobiles, with software that felt like a bad day on a PC desktop, its latest operating system has proved a refreshing change, even winning the approval of Stephen Fry. But, despite the good reviews, Windows Phone 7 has so far made little impact on consumers. All we know is that around two million handsets have been delivered to shops but not how many have been taken home.
Microsoft has been clear that this is a non-exclusive agreement with Nokia, so other manufacturers will still be making Windows phones. How keen the likes of HTC will be to do that when all Microsoft's attention will be on its new buddy's phones is not clear.
In theory, marrying some of the great hardware expertise of the Finnish company which invented the smartphone with the software skills of a business with extraordinary research firepower at its disposal should be a no-brainer.
But both firms will need to show that they can move faster. Stephen Elop, in that infamous "burning platform" memo, worried about the slow pace of innovation at Nokia. And, while Windows Phone 7 was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last February, it did not hit the shops until October.
This year's mobile phone industry beanfeast gets underway in Barcelona on Monday, and I will be trying to keep up with the flood of announcements of new handsets. The rest of the industry has been watching today's events with fascination - but with no word on when the first fruits of the marriage will be unveiled, Nokia Windows' rivals will be intent on galloping off into the distance.