Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system is rumored to launch in November on new handsets, but a report from the Financial Times suggests that Nokia may be preparing to offer its future Lumia devices as operator exclusives. Replicating a strategy used with AT&T in the US, Nokia is said to have entered negotiations with European operators over Windows Phone 8, specifically with France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. No deal has been reached with either party yet.

Nokia will benefit from increased promotion and support of its handsets, while operators get a share of the profits from device sales — something that's likely attractive to carriers. It's not clear how early stage the negotiations are, but if Nokia is able to strike exclusive partnerships across Europe then it may help the company establish Windows Phone as a viable third mobile operating system — providing the deals result in increased sales to customers. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is counting on a "bold and aggressive marketing campaign for Windows 8" when it launches in October, one that he expects will help boost Lumia and Windows Phone. Speaking during an investor call last week, Elop revealed that Lumia activations were flat, to up following Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 announcement.