* To hold joint New York event with Microsoft on Sept. 5
* Says will stick to Windows operating software
* S&P downgrades Nokia credit rating to BB-
* Nokia U.S. shares gain 6 percent
By Balazs Koranyi and Sinead Carew
OSLO/NEW YORK Aug 15 Mobile phone maker Nokia
Oyj said on Wednesday it will hold a joint
media event with Microsoft Corp in New York on Sept. 5,
boosting hopes that it will unveil its long-awaited Windows
smartphone upgrade before rival Apple Inc rolls out its
The Finnish company gave no details about the September
event, but Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said earlier on Wednesday the
company would unveil soon a new smartphone using Microsoft's
latest smartphone software known as Windows Phone 8.
The joint event with Microsoft will occur a week before
Apple is expected to unveil its own hotly anticipated iPhone 5.
Nokia has been fighting for survival after ceding vast
ground to rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
in recent years. In 2011 it forged a software
alliance with Elop's former employer, Microsoft, which also fell
behind in smartphone software.
Both Nokia and Microsoft are pinning their hopes on the next
Windows-based phone to challenge Apple's iPhone and Samsung's
Nokia has not commented on specific plans for its Nokia
World trade show event in Helsinki on Sept. 5 and 6.
Elop did not deny a September launch when he spoke to
reporters earlier on Wednesday. He said only that Windows Phone
8 smartphones would be released in the "relatively near term."
Nokia shares, which have been trading near all-time lows,
rose sharply in Helsinki after Elop's comments and gained 3.4
percent to close at 2.0760 euros ($2.55) in Helsinki on
Wednesday. Its U.S. shares closed up 6 percent at $2.64 on the
New York Stock Exchange.
Also on Wednesday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Nokia's
credit rating to BB- with a "negative" outlook.
Elop, who was brought in from Microsoft two years ago to
lead Nokia's fight against Apple and Samsung, said he was
sticking to his strategy of using Microsoft software despite the
limited success of Windows phones so far.
Nokia decided in early 2011 to ditch its home-grown Symbian
software in favor of software from Microsoft.
"I don't think about rewinding the clock and thinking about
competing elsewhere," he told reporters in Oslo.
"In today's war ... (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we
are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows phone,"
said Elop, who was in Oslo for a meeting with Telenor ASA
Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
Nokia lost 1.53 billion euros in the second quarter and sold
just 4 million Windows phones in the period, well short of
Apple's sales of 26 million iPhones and Samsung's 50 million
Nokia shrugged off S&P's downgrade, saying it had sufficient
liquidity and was saving money. S&P cut Nokia's rating in April
to BB+ -- junk status -- meaning conservative investors like
pension funds will consider it too risky to hold.