Accenture has bought Nokia's Symbian Professional Services unit, and will be responsible for helping device manufacturers get version ^2 onto their handsets.
Neither party is saying how much Accenture (the artist formerly known as Andersen Consulting) has paid for the unit, but the deal includes 165 staff who'll be transferred to Accenture, presumably requiring some sort of fast-track indoctrination into the Accenture way of doing things before being released to help chip and device manufacturers integrate Symbian into their designs.
The deal is expected to take a few months to process, but once completed Accenture will be able to offer "advanced technical support, techniques for enhancing performance, memory, and power, advanced error diagnosis and repair, and turnkey software development services" on the Symbian platform.
Having an independent third party to turn to for help with Symbian makes sense - rival manufacturers were never very happy calling up Nokia for help, despite the Finns' attempt to emphasise the separation of Nokia Software.
Accenture will be hoping to make money out of manufacturers planning to take advantage of Symbian ^2's open (and free) nature, though right now it's far from clear how many such companies there are going to be. ®