Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Phones unit and license patents for $7.2b
As someone who writes about consumer tech, even I sometimes miss out on the excitement quotient when it comes to major acquisitions. Maybe as a writer, it has become a monotonous part of our jobs or maybe these acquisitions are not exactly what would raise an enthusiast’s eyebrow.
But Microsoft buying Nokia’s Device Division and patents cannot be regarded anything short of a landmark acquisition. The transaction is expected to be wrapped up within the 1st quarter of 2014 after which an employee base of around 32,000 will shift office from Nokia to Microsoft. Stephen Elop has stepped down as CEO and will now be heading Microsoft’s Devices team as Risto Siilasmaa fulfils the role on an interim basis.
Closer Integration for Better Results
This acquisition also indicates that Microsoft is pretty sold out on the potential of Windows Phone and intends to go all out to compete with iOS and Android devices in this saturated marketplace. With a reported 27% drop in sales volume of Lumia handsets in the second quarter this year, this acquisition only means good news for the Finnish mobile giants as it will allow a more taut integration of technologies between Microsoft and Nokia as well as a greater control for Microsoft. For a layman, it means Microsoft can definitely come up with a worthy WP8 competitor for Google’s Nexus devices in the near future.
Another driving factor of this whole buyout is the well-rooted reach of Nokia’s Asha lineup in developing countries which can only help Microsoft in making the WP8 platform ubiquitous. Nokia will be focusing on its network infrastructure, HERE maps and Advanced Technologies with Microsoft paying for a 4-year license on HERE maps and funding the navigation services division in the process.
On an ending note..
If this is Steve Ballmer’s last hoorah before stepping down as Microsoft CEO, then it might well be the best one in hindsight.