Microsoft announces deal with Canon for future phone cameras
Microsoft has announced details of its latest deal with camera giant Canon, which could see the future of camera phones changed for good thanks to the company's recent teaming up with Nokia for future releases.
Nokia smartphones have long been known for their fantastic snappers, and the Lumia range has included some fantastic photo-taking opportunities, with the Nokia Lumia 1020 having been the very top of the range with a rear-facing camera that packed 41 megapixels.
And it appears that this will be the path that Microsoft will look to continue down in the future as the two companies come together to focus on Windows Phone branded handsets thanks to the mammoth deal with Canon.
The teaming up will allow Microsoft and Canon to have access to each other's patent portfolios, including "certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products", freely, which could in turn see the likes of Canon's optics, lens and image processing technology come to the next generation of Nokia and Microsoft developed handsets.
Why is this so important? Well it's quite simple - the move will give Nokia and Microsoft a clear unique selling point when compared to the likes of Apple and Android phones from Samsung, Sony and HTC.
Windows Phone as an operating system has fallen behind both iOS and Android since the dawn of smartphones, so being able to position themselves at a different point in the market with a camera that blows other manufacturers out of the water could give Nokia and Microsoft an advantage.
Of course, it's all speculation at the moment, but it could prove to be a fantastic move for the two firms if Microsoft does opt to use its new patent access to develop camera technology for its smartphones. Other uses that have been speculated include a better sensor for its XBox Kinect service and the development of Canon digital cameras powered by Windows.
Whatever happens, though, it would surely be a mistake to allow this opportunity to pass without at least trying to introduce Canon technology in a smartphone.