When Steve Ballmer was famously laughing at the iPhone and saying that he likes the Windows Mobile strategy “a lot” he was sitting next to the then-CEO of Nortel (Mike Zafirovski formerly of Motorola) with whom the company had just closed a strategic deal. ”an alliance between Microsoft and Nortel announced in July 2006 … includes three new joint solutions to dramatically improve business communications by breaking down the barriers between voice, e-mail, instant messaging, multimedia conferencing and other forms of communication”.

What happened? Nortel declared bankruptcy two years later.

Horace Dediu’s wrote up some quick stories of Microsoft’s past mobile-manufacturer partnerships. This one is so perfect. (via mrgan)