Microsoft, which has partnered with the Finish company for several years now and whose Lumia handsets run a Windows Phone operating system, has marked its intention to move in to the handset manufacturing business.

“Today’s announcement is a bold step into the future,” said Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer at a press conference in Espoo, Finland this morning..

“For Microsoft it is a signature event in our transformation.

“Through our partnership we have already accomplished so much, and yet clearly the opportunity ahead is remarkable. And I am incredibly optimistic about what we can achieve together,

Microsoft has been relatively slow to adjust to the contemporary landscape of mobile phones and tablets, instead being synonymous with PCs and software. This new deal though marks its intention to move forward and change this and become a key player in the handset business as well. 

Finish company Nokia, who were once at the forefront of the mobile devices world, has been struggling for many years with fierce competition from Apple and Samsung.