Microsoft to snatch up Nokia’s Devices & Services business

Well, Microsoft sure is shaking things up lately. On the heels of Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement, Microsoft says it’s entered into an agreement to acquire "substantially all" of Nokia’s Devices & Services business. The deal will also see Microsoft get ahold of Nokia patents and make use of the Finnish firm’s mapping services.

Here are the details of the agreement. In case you’re wondering, the total transaction price works out to about $7.17 billion in freedom money:

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Now, this move didn’t come totally out of the blue. Microsoft and Nokia partnered up way back in February 2011, and since then, just about all of Nokia’s smartphones have been based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating systems. That includes the Lumia 820 and 920, which came out roughly a year ago and run the latest release, Windows Phone 8.

This is also the second time a major smartphone OS vendor has acquired a similarly major smartphone maker. In August 2011, Google announced its acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The deal closed in May 2012. It hasn’t stirred things up a whole lot, though. Google still licenses Android to other phone makers, and many reports, including this one from CNet News, indicate that Motorola Mobility gets no "special treatment" from Google.

I don’t know what Microsoft has planned for Nokia, but I hope it’s something a little more exciting—because there’s definitely not much excitement surrounding Windows Phone right now. IDC’s latest market share data suggests the operating system had a tiny 3.7% share of shipments last quarter, up from just 3.1% the year before. Windows Phone exclusivity hasn’t worked out all that great for Nokia, either. The company’s latest financials show a 32% year-over-year dive in net sales for the Device & Services business.

Comments closed
    • martianliz
    • 6 years ago

    expecting the phone produced by microkia~LOL!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Nokia has been tanking for about a dozen business related practices. Windows is no the reason that nokia can’t sell phones. Nokia is the reason Nokia can’t sell phones.

    Beyond patents that part of their business doesn’t hold allot of value without the name associated with it because of their blunders.

    Edit:
    Why buy a competitor with no market share for such a premium?

    • trackerben
    • 6 years ago

    Apple iPhone 5
    Microsoft Nokia Lumia 1020
    five syllables vs. twelve
    Apple wins

    • dashbarron
    • 6 years ago

    Owner of a Lumia 920.

    I have mixed feelings about this. I’m an old-school Nokia fan, so seeing their business (let’s be honest, this is their entire business) eaten by Microsoft is sad (where it will probably squander and die). Their hardware is top dog in the smartphone market, and despite the market share, the OS is sound. My own anecdotal, but after using all three platforms for a good chunk of time, I prefer WP8–it’s simply solid.

    One would hope that Microsoft will bolster the smartphone and do good things with it, but after the Surface…yeah, we know where that will probably head unless they can continue to spin the PR and keep dumping money into it until it becomes solvent (this is their current strategy with Bing, and that’s going great…).

    As a side note, I wonder what the terms of using the mapping service are. Indefinitely with the WP8 platform? Nokia still owns and is trying to develop the service. Interesting little string out there.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    It’s not too late for Nokia to retain their handset business. Fire Elop, adopt Android. They still have the money, talent and credibility to pull it off. People still trust Nokia, but they don’t want Windows Phone 8 because people just usually stick with Android or iOS. it’s not too late, Nokia. Don’t let Finland down. Ditch Windows Phone 8, go with the Android crowd. There’s no shame in that. If cheap, Chinese knockoffs can pull off (albeit low quality) Android devices, so can you, with all your talent and money,

    I would (as I’m certain most other folks also would) buy a well-made, Android-powered Nokia smartphone or tablet. Nokia has a reputation for quality and more people have grown to trust their brand more over the years than other brands like Motorola or LG. Remember, Nokia was, for a very long time, the world’s No. 1 handset supplier. People know them. People trust them. And they still have the resources to get back in the game. Now, if only they would kick this Elop moron and rebuild their business and ecosystem. You can do it, Nokia. Looking forward to an Android-powered lineup from you guys.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 6 years ago

      They’d have to back out of this deal – I don’t see that happening.

      My guess is the down-votes are all WP fan(atic)s. Everything other than them backing out is true.

      • indeego
      • 6 years ago

      Nokia would just be another Android OEM, and they’d have to compete with Samsung on it’s already well established hardware turf. The only area they could differentiate themselves is the front-end interface, and that just isn’t enough to drive most people away.

      6 years ago? Yes! They could have teamed with Google and really migrated quite easily a customer base that loved their hardware. But they stalled. And it cost them dearly, and they saw Microsoft as the only exit strategy (which also stalled.)

      2007-2010 will be seen as the years Microsoft and Nokia had opportunities, but blew them, and it cost them hundreds of billions in future revenue.

      It just goes to show you nobody remains top dog in this industry very long, and everyone is a target.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 6 years ago

        Their deal with Carl Zeiss and the brand name (still more valuable than that of HTC) still carry some weight. Low end Android phones would be a better replacement for former Symbian phone users. I’m not at all convinced Nokia still wouldn’t do well in the current marketplace. They have a history of unique, solid devices as well. If anyone could take on Samsung it would be Nokia.

        I think it’s somewhat ironic that you mention that Samsung is #1 in one section as to dismiss Nokia’s ability to compete against it and that you conclude with “nobody remains top dog in this industry very long, and everyone is a target” which illustrates why Samsung is still vulnerable.

        At this point this is more a thought exercise as I don’t see Nokia’s board not going along with the current plan. However, I give MS three years as a device maker before all the Nokians are gone and they begin shuttering operations as a handset maker completely.

        • Klimax
        • 6 years ago

        They were talking to Google. Talks failed.
        [url<]http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_24/b4232056703101.htm[/url<] p5: "The obvious choice would have been to jump on the Android bandwagon. Attracted by Google's free software, every other major smartphone maker except Apple and RIM had already done so, and almost every large carrier was supporting Android as the only genuine Apple alternative. But Google was riding so high that it essentially refused to negotiate, offering no concessions to Nokia despite its global presence. Elop later told the Salo employees that Google "acted like they'd already won. Apple and Android deserve some real competition." " Got link on another siet (Ars Technica), looks like interesting reading, which might good to understand things.

          • indeego
          • 6 years ago

          Nokia had the resources to fork Linux or Android as they needed to. LAZY. It just screams laziness and complacency in the marketplace.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            They lost so much time that such options ceased to exist. And what do you thing Meego was…

            ETA: Considering things, forking Android wouldn’t help them at all. (Even more engineers tied into it)

            ETA2: [url<]http://dominiescommunicate.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/story-of-nokia-meego/[/url<] [url<]http://taskumuro.com/artikkelit/the-story-of-nokia-meego[/url<]

    • bfar
    • 6 years ago

    The quality & quantity of their mobile apps is still an issue. A good start would be to work on their own ones. Then work on third party developers; providing some incentives, and working on a solid standards framework.

    • Maff
    • 6 years ago

    Now give me that 5 inch AMD-kabini-successor-powered 86x surface phone with a full sized USB3.0 port, mini DP connector and an optional touch cover mini!

    You know you want to make it Microsoft! gogo!

    Seriously; I could really see something like this on the market in two years. (one can have his fantasies right?)

      • Klimax
      • 6 years ago

      Kabini-successor-based? Better luck with Atom. (AMD has nothing for phone-space or in planning and current smartphones still have too low batter life)

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]Seriously; I could really see something like this on the market in two years.[/quote<] Yeah. With two-hour battery life

    • Aliasundercover
    • 6 years ago

    Elop did his part getting the price down.

    • Xenolith
    • 6 years ago

    I guess Elop is the leading candidate to take over for Balmer.

    • blastdoor
    • 6 years ago

    It’s just flat out too late. There’s no way Microsoft can catch up with Apple/Google on the client device side now unless one of those other two shoots themselves in the foot (repeatedly).

    I suppose it’s worth keeping WP alive as a hedge just in case such an opportunity were to present itself, but MS management appears to be going far beyond that. They sound as if they are committed to turning MS into an Apple clone. I think that’s a bad idea. They’ll never be Apple, just like Apple will never be MS. MS should focus on being the best MS it can be, not on aping Apple.

    Towards that end, I think MS should focus on making great apps and web services for all mobile devices. For starters, put an un-crippled, native version of Office on iOS and Android. Maybe also make content/app creation/development tools for Mac and PC that target both Android and iOS. Adobe kinda sorta tries to do this, but Adobe tools are crazy complicated and expensive. There are huge opportunities in mobile that involve premium software/services that nobody is currently exploiting. That’s where MS should be focused, and they should do it in a platform agnostic way.

      • Goofus Maximus
      • 6 years ago

      Heh! I just flashed on a vision of Microsoft introducing Windows 9… based on Linux or BSD! (^_^)

      Or better yet, written entirely in HTML 5…

        • dmjifn
        • 6 years ago

        In case you’re not a developer, the HTML 5 vision is arguably what the death of Silverlight is about.

      • Horshu
      • 6 years ago

      Given the lifespan of a phone (1-2 years), I’d say they have a good chance of converting a decent number of people. Especially when they’re putting massive cameras on their phones.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 6 years ago

        Getting past the UI, and the massive amount of apps that are on other ecosystems are incredibly high hurdles.

        Even if you’re an MS booster realizing that you’re still behind Blackberry despite being able to pay devs to port their apps to the ecosystem says more about Nokia killing Symbian than it does in the quality of the OS and its ecosystem.

        If MS actually brought anything new or extraordinary to the table instead of attempting to do what it’s always done – subvert, destroy competition, become a monopoly, etc. then I might be able to root for them. They’re neither an underdog nor a tech leader. They’re just a moneyed also-ran in that space.

          • Klimax
          • 6 years ago

          UI isn’t problem. (Opposite of it) And what is worse – amount of crapps or smaller number of high quality apps? (IOS and Android has artificially high number of apps by way of crapps)

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 6 years ago

            For you. I don’t pretend to have the same taste as the majority but I know many people that are less than enthused with the UI or with the app situation.

            You can pretend they are non-issues but they aren’t. Nor is MS alone in the predicament of having not enough apps – the platform I use as well has this issue. It’s Google and Apple’s market to lose. That would require someone having more game than either of them. MS has thus far proved not to be that competitor (nor do I expect that they ever will be).

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            And many who like it.

            And I didn’t say other things were nonissues, I posed question what is more important, just quantity or does it need also quality? If all you have crapps like farting and flashlight apps, then your platform sucks compared to others. Also not all apps are needed on WP. (Because for example their functionality has been already provided or weren’t needed in the first place)

            And generally there aren’t that many missing apps. (They might not be named like their counterparts on other platforms and might not be official, but they are there…) Exception I know is Instagram and few more, but rest of major services already got there. (Maybe Youtube app too, but we got load of them already)

            • BabelHuber
            • 6 years ago

            With the huge Playstore, Android is also much more versatile. Sure, there are a few hundred thousands Apps which are crap, but another few hundred thousands are not.

            My GF for example uses her SGS3 100% stock, while my SGS4 runs a Google Edition Custom ROM which is of course rooted.

            You have Apps like the sixaxis controller App, which lets you emulate touch inputs with a PS3 controller (quite funny).

            With System Tuner Pro, you can controle voltages and clock frequencies (with the according Kernel of course), governor, I/O-scheduler, uninstall system apps, start a Linux Shell etcetc.

            There are various File Browsers which let you control every file on the device (it has a real Linux File System after all), you can write scripts…

            All this you do not have with WP. IMHO a regular Windows PC has more in common with the openness of Android than with the closed, restricted WP-platform.

            Edit: Typos

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            If all you care is tinkering with phone, then go ahead, but many people want to use it as communication device and have it be reliable and fast. For fun and play I have number of PC and PC-like devices ranging from tower (3930k W7) through EliteBook to Surface Pro.
            But phone is critical accessory to be reached and to reach and as such must work always. If phone fails that then its junk. (Either manufactured or by age)

            What use is playing with playing with voltages and clocks when it won’t improve things, what use is to have extra utility to uninstall things. (Already fully functional here) using shells and such is very limited of use on mobile. Scripts? What for. (Scripts are useful, but not on phone)

            As we enthusiasts are minority in main PCs segment, same goes for phones. Those things you mentioned are not central to smartphones usage.

            • BabelHuber
            • 6 years ago

            A real enthusiast wants to have control over every computer, may it be big or small 🙂

            And of course you have a benefit when you undervolt your phone – the battery lasts longer.

            Also, scripts are never useless on a Linux computer, e.g. when you want to set some new mount points upon startup.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Computer yes, but mobile should work always. It’s too important communication device. (BTW: It smells like logical fallacy called No true Scotsman…) But then I was very long on feature phone. (Some kind of cheaper Nokia. Got new device only because batter was failing and didn’t think it was worth looking for new one)

            Linux, but WP is not that. (And I don’t need any scripts for majority of tasks like automounting… and in case I’d need there is either startup script under GPO or much easier Scheduled tasks.)

            • BabelHuber
            • 6 years ago

            [quote<]Computer yes, but mobile should work always [/quote<] My mobile phone always works. I am posting this from a hotel where I use WLAN tethering so I can use my notebook (WLAN is very crappy here, but hey, I have LTE on my phone). I just use a custom ROM where everything works - almost, I have to admit: With CM10.2, my car is capable of reading SMS, but with my GE ROM it is not. But OTOH I have much better battery runtime, so I can live with this ATM. Also, my phone is neither overclocked or undervolted, but the point is that I can do this if I wish to. With WP I have no admin privilege, so I cannot do it at all. It is beyond my understanding that anybody would settle for less options. After all, in case things get annoying, I am free to flash an original Samsung ROM if I want to. But I do have choice: If I want to use a stock ROM, I use it. The same goes for CM modified CM ROMs, GE ROMs and modified TW ROMs. You basically argue that it is better to have less options. IMO this is retarded, sorry.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Frankly trusting custom roms, is asking a lot. And pushing things into untested area is fine on computer, but I dislike it on phone. I guess I don’t want to extend same set of up and downs from computer to mobile, because of its function. Losing computer I far less problematic and catastrophic then losing communication. And custom roms are outside of spec and requires trust to unknowns.

            Less options on critical infrastructure. It’s mission critical. End of line. I argue stability and reliability, features and modifications are ranking way below that. Smartphones might resemble nowadays computers, but their primary function is still that of communication at all times, reliable.

            Keep whatever you like, but don’t try to pretend to be in majority or anywhere near market relevance. people still want their phone to work when they need it most, not to play with it. Things didn’t change over time that much, it just added to base functionality and added further means of communication.

            (In short: likely just to agree to disagree, because both of us represent different markets in mobile world)

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 6 years ago

            You’ve answered your own question. If the apps have different names or if they aren’t official clients that’s enough to put off the majority of users right there. Further driving nails into the coffin is that, as you mention, Instagram and others aren’t there. I mentioned this isn’t solely an MS issue but it keeps WP as a perennial also-ran for as long as *all* the important apps aren’t there.

            My preferred OS also has this problem – the difference is that I’m a pragmatist and not a fanboy. WP is a failure – and any OS not in the top two is a failure and will continue to be unless Apple and Google start hemorraghing market share.

            • blastdoor
            • 6 years ago

            I agree — I think the UI is a huge problem. And in a way, it’s made worse by the echo-chamber of tech-geeks on the Internet who love the UI, thereby feeding the delusion at MS that the UI isn’t a problem.

            Put it this way — WP could just as easily be called ZunePhone. Loved by geeks, shunned by everyone else.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            Assumption not proven by marketplace. (Including part talking about Techgeeks.)

            ETA: Your dislike and of few others is not representative of majority. (Aka same argument you tried yourself)

          • trackerben
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]...If MS actually brought anything new or extraordinary to the table instead of attempting to do what it's always done - subvert, destroy competition, become a monopoly, etc. then I might be able to root for them. They're neither an underdog nor a tech leader. They're just a moneyed also-ran in that space...[/quote<] Cheer up. Google was unable to bully Microsoft for $Billion on standards-essential patents this round. Samsung wasn't able to pull that type of stunt against Apple either. Not all of their competitors are following the same regulatory playbook they were forced to adopt. [url<]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23970623[/url<] Microsoft notches up patent victory against Google

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    dang, now i’ll never be able to get an android nokia phone. does any other phone maker still make windows phones? i know sammy and htc did at one point. i assume MS will also own Nokia’s networking equipment business too?

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]i assume MS will also own Nokia's networking equipment business too?[/quote<] No; Nokia keeps the networking business

    • tanker27
    • 6 years ago

    While it probably makes good business sense I just don’t see it impacting mobile sales that much. If a Windows phone couldn’t break through what makes MS think that outright buying a mobile maker is going to change anything?

      • demani
      • 6 years ago

      I think they will probably take the same tactic they did with the Xbox: throw a crapton of money at it for several years until it gains traction, and takes off on its own.

      Then after a few years make an ill-advised announcement to take the wind out of the sales of all their supporters and show that the guy driving the bus doesn’t really get it (especially if Elop takes over).

        • Goofus Maximus
        • 6 years ago

        But won’t that only work if Google and Apple both fumble the way Sony did, and give Microsoft the chance to race past them up the market-share ladder?

          • tanker27
          • 6 years ago

          I’m sorry I just don’t see Google or Apple fumbling. (well….maybe Apple just a bit) I just don’t see a market for a Windows phone at all. I mean what could they possibly offer that you cant already get or do?

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 6 years ago

      Well now MS can keep trying even after the point where Nokia alone would have run out of cash.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    This news is already posted in the Tuesday shortbread. When I saw it I just couldn’t believe it. Well guys, this is what we get from concentrating too much on Apple and Samsung!

    • jdaven
    • 6 years ago

    MS has also confirmed that Elop is in the running for CEO:

    [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/03/microlop/[/url<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      I find the end of that article amusing:

      [quote<]time will tell, of course, which washroom he ultimately gets the key for.[/quote<] Men's or women's?

    • just brew it!
    • 6 years ago

    I guess Elop can unfurl the “Mission Accomplished” banner and return to the Microsoft fold now.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      And ten years in the future Nokia will still be trying to stabilize their business.

        • just brew it!
        • 6 years ago

        I will be somewhat surprised if they are still around by then.

          • Flatland_Spider
          • 6 years ago

          Nokia’s other businesses are pretty stable. The cellphone division was a money pit.

      • flip-mode
      • 6 years ago

      +1 rare word bonus point for ‘unfurl’.

    • Game_boy
    • 6 years ago

    How likely is it that Elop was put in there to destroy the value of the company for anyone but MS, and make a buyout easy?

    Before he went in, their smartphone division was profitable and MeeGo was well recieved.

    After he went in, stock value dropped 80%, they lost lots of money, and they stuck to Windows for every project whether it made sense or not. And now Elop’s back at MS as head of Devices.

      • ermo
      • 6 years ago

      Well, it means that he’s effectively still head of Nokia as well, right?

      I don’t like the conspiracy theory, but I’m afraid the connection is uncomfortably easy to make…

      • Duct Tape Dude
      • 6 years ago

      Everyone is making this connection, but honestly I just couldn’t see MeeGo or Symbian retaining their market share after a few years.

      BlackBerry has been in a similar position, sitting on a great smartphone business, but they didn’t act quickly enough and now they’re circling the drain.

      I’m not saying Elop was an amazing CEO, I’m just pointing out that the former Nokia OS suites were likely doomed no matter what.

        • Game_boy
        • 6 years ago

        Blackberry made the same mistakes as Nokia. Announce shiny new platform, have it so delayed that current products tank, and then when it’s released it’s outdated compared to the competition (like WP7).

        Incrementally improving Symbian while transitioning to a fully competitive MeeGo, or Android, or even just waiting for WP8 maturity would have been so much better.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 6 years ago

          The interesting thing that Blackberry is doing is marketing the BB OS 7.x phones as the replacement for Symbian phones. If they don’t price themselves out of existence they’ve got a good chance of actually succeeding there.

          • ronch
          • 6 years ago

          I think Meego would’ve resulted in the same outcome today for Nokia if they pushed through with it. I believe there’s only so much room in the smartphone industry for a couple of OSes or platforms, that is, Android and iOS. Perhaps there is room for another one but it had better be good and pushed really, really, really, REALLY hard to even make a blip on the radar. Look at Firefox OS and Ubuntu for mobile. Does anybody really think they’ll be able to compete with iOS and Android?

        • shank15217
        • 6 years ago

        Ok so what stopped Nokia from going into the android market? They make great phones, they just needed a nice customizable OS. Imagine their flagship products running android 4.3, I would buy one in a heartbeat.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 6 years ago

          A good business is profitable, first and foremost. The margins on non-Samsung Android phones basically stink, and you’re simply getting into a bidding war in a crowded market filled with tons of phones from everyone (LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, smaller guys like Kyocera, etc. etc.).

          Lets look at some Android numbers… after Samsung (29%) and Apple (21%), you’ve got Huawei at 4.9% marketshare, Sony at 4.5% marketshare, ZTE at 4.3% marketshare.

          All else considered, Nokia at 3.7% marketshare is middle of the road for the phone market. Android is not a “magic bullet” that automatically makes you win.

          That said, I think Meego had lots of promise. It was a shame that Elop killed Meego. A truly open source phone OS would have had heads turning…

          • ThorAxe
          • 6 years ago

          I have a Galaxy Nexus with 4.3 and a Lumia 920 with the Amber update. The Lumia is leagues ahead of it in terms of GUI and speed while the FM radio comes in handy. The only thing I miss is NFL GamePass, hopefully WP8 will get it down the track.

            • shank15217
            • 6 years ago

            A nokia 920 is running snapdragon s4, a galaxy nexus has a omap 4460, thats not even in the same league..

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 6 years ago

        They stopped investing in Symbian and didn’t provide enough developers, MeeGo was still born and we never saw what it could become with some actual support (though thanks to Jolla that may change).

        Nokia had options. Instead they wanted the quick cash infusion and the directors thought about their own personal gains before that of the company. They and Samsung would be the two leaders in Android had they gone that route.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, Symbian was on a downward spiral when he came in, so what happened was he was too stubborn to go with the Android crowd and instead pushed his former (or current all along?) employer’s OS which was yet to prove itself in the field. Not only that, given Nokia’s resources back then they could’ve experimented with two separate product lines. One Android, one MS, to see which one sticks. But no. He would’ve seen the low demand for MS-powered phones long ago and quickly made the jump to Android, but no, as well.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 6 years ago

      It is coincidental for sure. But he went in just as iOS and Android were starting out. I highly highly doubt that Nokia’s phones would have been able to compete against the juggernaut that iOS and Android are today.

        • Game_boy
        • 6 years ago

        A well managed company could have remained profitable through the transition, and not tied themselves to the fate of an external product (Windows Phone).

        With Nokia’s great hardware, they could have been #2 or #3 Android vendor and make a decent profit.

          • PixelArmy
          • 6 years ago

          Define decent. [url<]http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-16/google-makes-android-but-samsung-makes-all-the-money[/url<] Though, I guess making minuscule profit (even that isn't guaranteed) is better than losing money.

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            And Nokia makes money on Lumias, it’s Asha and rest of basic phones which caused most of loss. (In developing markets like India)

      • chµck
      • 6 years ago

      I still like going on tirades about how he killed symbian and meego.
      Lost a lot of friends that way…

      • Scrotos
      • 6 years ago

      My Finnish pal said the same thing back when he first took hold of the company. He’s in the IT industry and apparently Nokia’s really tied in with the Finnish economy and government and its decline has had a big negative impact on the entire country.

      • Klimax
      • 6 years ago

      Profitable and failing. Inertia can mask a lot of problems, but only last for long. By the time he came, they were already falling fast. (a month or two before)

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      My thoughts, exactly.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 6 years ago

    This seems more like a sign of desperation. Like swapping of roles. Just as Microsoft had hegemony during the PC age, Google and Apple have hegemony over mobile devices. How many billions has Microsoft squandered trying to get into this sector? If I was on Microsoft’s board, I’d recommend doubling up on cloud infrastructure for growth and just making sure Windows and Server continued to be world class. Take the money to be spend on mobile devices and just give out huge dividends to make the shareholders happy.

      • Helmore
      • 6 years ago

      But Microsoft is seeing that in the future you won’t have a laptop, PC, tablet, etc, etc. You’ll only have a smartphone that does it all for you. Or at least, things will slowly move in that direction. Not being in the smartphone business will indirectly harm their Windows unit in the long term.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Curiously, they couldn’t use that money for a dividend. It was in MSFT’s “rationale” slides that this deal is funded with [b<]offshore[/b<] money, so it won't affect the company's ability to return cash to shareholders

        • nanoflower
        • 6 years ago

        They ‘could’ use the money for a dividend but they would first have to bring it into the USA. Then they would have to pay US taxes on the money and then they could give out dividends on what was left. This ‘off-shore’ money has been an issue for a while with no obvious solution.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          That’s what I meant when I said they ‘couldn’t’… Overall, this is a relatively clever use of off-shore money. Google had to use ‘in-shore’ money for Motorola.

          Makes a lot of sense for MSFT. Back in 2008:

          [b<]Ballmer[/b<]: "Huh, we have all this money but we can't use it! GGRRR!!" [i<]*chair flying*[/i<] [b<]Turner[/b<]: "Hey, how about we use it to get some phone patents?" [b<]Liddell[/b<]: "But how? Qualcomm is in the USA. Motorola is in the USA. We most definitely shouldn't repatriate the cash, and Ericsson was already snatched up by Sony." [b<]Ballmer[/b<]: "GGRRRRR!!!" [b<]Turner[/b<]: "How about Nokia? They have a solid portfolio." [b<]Liddell[/b<]: "Too expensive." [b<]Ballmer[/b<]: "AAARRGGH!!" [b<]Turner[/b<]: "What we could do, is send someone to cripple the company so it would be cheaper.." [b<]Liddell[/b<]: "I like it. The guy from the Business Division, Elop, could be good. He destroyed that chicken company, and arranged the Macromedia/Adobe deal in just a few months as a CEO. He's got experience in this sort of stuff." [b<]Turner[/b<]: "Yes! Elop is perfect. He even looks Finnish. Ballmer..?" [b<]Ballmer[/b<], kicking a filing cabinet: "WHAT!?" [b<]Turner[/b<]: "We have a plan. Let's pay Nokia a billion dollars to take on Stephen Elop as a CEO. In a few years he'll cripple the company so that it'll be cheap to buy, along with all their patents." [b<]Liddell[/b<]: "With off-shore money. Elop is good at destroying companies." [b<]Ballmer[/b<]: "DESTROY?! YES, LET'S DESTROY! GET IT DONE!"

      • ludi
      • 6 years ago

      The problem is that in today’s IP climate, if you want to do anything in the mobile sector, you need a big fat patent portfolio. Apple was an early developer in smartphones, so they have one; Google bought one by picking up Motorola’s phone division; and now Microsoft has thrown their beer money fund into Nokia.

        • indeego
        • 6 years ago

        Microsoft was well ahead of Apple on Smartphones, and has a rather large patent portfolio behind it. Android OEMs pay Microsoft because of it.

        Microsoft was just lazy about the development of the OS behind it after IOS.

      • dpaus
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]just making sure Windows and Server continued to be world class[/quote<] Yeah, bringing out Windows Server with a Metro interface was a big, big step towards 'world class' for a server operating system [RollsEyesAndBarfs]

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<] I’d recommend doubling up on cloud infrastructure for growth[/quote<] That's coming. Soon you'll be able to 'rent' all of your software. Office 2013/365 is the start.

    • ermo
    • 6 years ago

    First of all, why [i<]wouldn't[/i<] Microsoft buy Nokia? They do make pretty decent hardware and they have a [i<]lot[/i<] of useful patents.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      And compared to what Google paid for Motorola Mobility, $7.2b for Nokia is a bargain

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 6 years ago

      Nokia didn’t sell their patents. MS is licensing them from Nokia.

      • Xenolith
      • 6 years ago

      They didn’t need to buy Nokia, they already had the agreement. The agreement was a way of owning Nokia without actually buying Nokia.

        • confusedpenguin
        • 6 years ago

        So Microsoft clicked yes on Nokia’s EULA agreement. Microsoft didn’t actually buy Nokia, they just paid for the privilege to use their stuff.

    • My Johnson
    • 6 years ago

    What took them so long? Oh yeah. Steve Ballmer.

      • MarkG509
      • 6 years ago

      Scorched Earth policy for Ballmer, much?

      I’m thinking maybe that by pushing this “deal”, he’s getting back at MSFT for pushing him out.

      • Klimax
      • 6 years ago

      Negotiations and likely waiting for results of a year or two to see how well things will go.

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