Microsoft acquisition of Nokia's mobile business to be finalized on April 25

Microsoft acquisition of Nokia's mobile business to be finalized on April 25

Summary: Microsoft's $7.2 billion Nokia acquisition will be finalized on April 25.

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Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business will be finalized as of this Friday, April 25.

nokialogo

Microsoft acknowledged the transaction-completion date in a blog post on April 21.

As of Friday, Nokia's handset and services business is part of Microsoft. Microsoft announced its intentions to purchase this part of Nokia for $7.2 billion back in September 2013.

There have been a few tweaks to the deal between the time of announcement and the close preparation process, according to today's blog post. Specifically, Microsoft will manage the Nokia.com domain and social-media sites for "up to a year." In addition, Microsoft is not going to purchase Nokia's Korean manufacturing facility, which was originally slated to be part of the deal.

"The original deal had all employees in Nokia’s Chief Technology Office continuing with Nokia. We’ve adjusted the agreement so the 21 employees in China working on mobile phones will join Microsoft and continue their work," added today's post.

Over the weekend, there were a couple of sites claiming that Microsoft plans to refer to the newly acquired Nokia assets as "Microsoft Mobile." Microsoft has not confirmed that this is the plan. When I asked today about the alleged renaming, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company had nothing more to share at this time.

Last September, Microsoft said it would acquire around 32,000 Nokia employees, including more than 18,000 employees involved in the manufacturing of devices, as part of the transaction. Nokia also assigned transfer of some of its patents to Microsoft as part of the deal. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is now heading Microsoft's Devices unit, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

 

Topics: Mobile OS, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Windows Phone

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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33 comments
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  • So what will the phones be called?

    Microsoft Lumia?
    Lumia?
    Microsoft Lumia Windows Phone 9? lol
    cybersaurusrex
    • here's an idea

      About calling it king sidekick surface lumia microsoft mobile?
      virgilnet
    • They would be foolish

      to drop the Nokia name, at least outside the USA. It still has a very strong brand recognition outside of the USA.

      Nokia were always the go-to phone pre-smartphone. They were relatively easy to use and reliable. I went from Nokia to Ericsson, to Nokia, then a few models later, a Motorola, that was nearly as awkward to use as the Ericsson, so back to Nokia, then a dally with a Samsung flipphone, but it was dreadful, so back to Nokia.

      The move to smartphones caught them more or less napping. The Symbian OS has a long history and was a great phone and feature phone OS, as the basis of a smartphone it was also ok, especially if you were developing your own apps, but couldn't compete with iOS and Android and their respective app stores.

      With WP8 they have made a bit of a comeback. After several iPhones and Android devices, I'm happy using a Nokia again (Lumia 1020).
      wright_is
      • Not all of Nokia is being sold

        Microsoft isn't buying the entirety of Nokia, just the phone division (more or less). Although most people only know Nokia by their phones, there's enough of it left that Microsoft won't be getting the name.

        Nokia stays Nokia, they just won't be making phones. Microsoft gets the Lumia name, however they may choose to brand their phones. But it won't be "Nokia anything".

        I guess that nokia.com domain is *temporarily* included in the deal because content-wise it's very much about the newly Microsoft-owned property and they'll probably be informing visitors about the change and redirecting them to whatever the new site will be. After that year Nokia gets control over the site and social media back, and they'll be using them to promote their services.
        Matjaž Miler
        • Correct, but

          they get to use the Nokia name for a few years in the mobile device market.
          wright_is
          • For the transition, yes

            But if they ever have to "return" the name, they have to start deprecating it immediately, they can't just use it freely as if theirs to keep. I imagine they'll first try to shift it to just "Lumia" with Nokia name being shoved further and further towards the disclaimer part of advertisements.

            Lumia is already quite a strong brand in its own right (I wouldn't be really surprised if more people knew of it than there are those who know the name of Samsung's premium phone line as "Galaxy" and not as merely "Samsung" (I doubt it, but I'm not sure either way)), and if this WP8.1 launch goes off well, they might not even need Nokia branding at all. I don't mean to say that it'll outsell Galaxy or anyone else, but for now getting the name out there as a good solid brand is enough to keep building on it even without Nokia's name.
            Matjaž Miler
  • sell it

    WP cannot become a viable platform for OEMs as long as MSFT controls 90% of the hardware as they will once they get Nokia. They need to take a page from google and spin it off to some asian OEM which has the pockets to keep it running. Shame that lenovo didn't get it instead.

    MSFT simply cannot make a point strong enough to convince OEMs to support windows phone while at the same time competing with MSFT in the ultra low volume windows phone market. There just aren't enough customers. To change this MSFT must off course increase marketshare but it is not possible to do this without 3rd party OEM support.

    Free WP prepared the foundation, now MSFT needs to get out of the way and get rid of Nokia to let the platform grow. The more MSFT competes against its OEMs the longer it will take to achieve success. Every single time MSFT has come out against OEMs it has failed.
    zune
    surface
    and now nokia.
    neonspark
    • re:

      Wow! You're certainly right. After all, no other vendors are offering Windows tablets because Microsoft sells the Surface and Surface Pro.

      On a serious note though, Lumia phones set the standard for WP and they far exceed anything from Samsung in quality or Apple in performance. Apple seems to do pretty well with iOS even though they are the only vendor offering iOS hardware.
      Sir Name
      • You are also partially right

        But if Nokia phones are so good why just a few are buying them?!
        And it's a dangerous game for Microsoft, yes they are competing with oems elsewhere, but there are risks doing that. Recent rumours indicate that Google denied Motorola to build a "killer smartphone" because that would be "itchy" for other partners.
        AleMartin
    • Oh, neonspark - what else would you have said?

      ;)
      William.Farrel
    • So Google failed, does that mean everyone else will?

      Googles failures with Motorola were many, but don't mean anything for any other company. Google lost control of Android anyhow.

      Furthermore, OEMs have proven they will produce low quality devices filled with crapware to fuel their race to the bottom price wars between each other.

      Microsoft needs Nokia, Surface and other hardware products to keep OEMs innovating and producing better products.
      Emacho
    • In which case

      by your argument, they shouldn't have bought Nokia in the first place.

      Buying it to simply sell it on doesn't make sense. Plus they are now giving the OS away, which means the biggest hurdle for the OEMs - how to compete on price with Android, if they have to pay MS for the licence - has gone.

      It didn't stop Google buying the Moto mobile division, although they didn't do much with it, outside of the US market. The Moto X has only just arrived in Europe, for example.
      wright_is
  • Microsoft Lumia and Nokia Windroid

    I would hope that Microsoft now has the sense to go all in on Android.

    It made sense to (contractually) keep Nokia exclusive to WP when they were separate organizations, in order to reinforce WP. The merger changes things. Now, only if they leverage Nokia's manufacturing capability to produce both Windows and Windroid (AOSP + Bing) phones for all price levels & markets will they be fully utilizing the acquisition. It's not out of the question that Microsoft could be the leading maker of Android phones in just a short time. This would give Bing a much bigger presence.

    If they can leverage their strength in developer tools to make 'Universal Apps' truly universal (Win World + Android and maybe even IOS), using Xamarin-merger or Xamarin-similar technology, then it would add another layer. It would make them a player in how Android(AOSP) apps are built.

    A long time ago, IBM handed Microsoft the world by focusing on hardware and ignoring the OS. Google gave the world the OS, and that opens up competition in areas that aren't necessarily their strong points.
    Tojuro
    • But will people want a forked Android phone?

      Microsoft products & services are already on regular Android phones for the most part (though they're obviously not the default)... so does Microsoft really need to create a forked version of Android with Microsoft services as the default? I guess the jury is still out. I'm just not sure what the market will be for forked Android phones that don't run all of the Android apps.

      I think they'd be better on fitting Windows Phone OS onto cheaper and cheaper phones so they can go head to head with Android... while offering a better experience.
      cybersaurusrex
      • Interestingly

        the existing entry level WP8 devices from Nokia are cheaper than the X Bingdroids...

        As to forked Android, why not? It worked for Amazon, at least in tablets. For most people it isn't the OS that is important, it is that they can make and receive calls, SMS and email, plus a bit of mobile social networking and casual games. They have to be easy to use and cheap.

        My fiance switched from iOS to WP8 without any problems or complaints. At the end of the day, her contacts were automatically transferred (she never had an Apple account and everything was synced over Outlook.com anyway), that was all that mattered.
        wright_is
    • re:

      MS needs to ditch those stupid Android phones that Nokia came up with. I have a feeling they were nothing but a bargaining chip in the negotiation of the sale anyway. Kind of a "give us what we want or we'll go Android on you" thing. If MS did do something as stupid as ditching the far superior WP, I'd switch to overpriced, outdated Apple before I used anything from Google.
      Sir Name
      • Microsoft and Android

        I see what you're saying but don't fully agree. There is something about Microsoft making both Windows Phones and Android phones. They can make Android look like Windows phone and put it on lower end/mid end handsets and maybe a couple of high end. When people see and like the Windroid (I like the sound of that) maybe they'll be more open to try Windows Phone which will have better Microsoft integrated services. OR maybe Microsoft just uses Android and makes it look and run exactly like Windows Phone?

        When Microsoft (or Amazon before it with the Kindle Fire) takes the Google services out of Android it doesn't do all the scary things that Google is known for. So by putting Microsoft Services on Android its basically making it a Microsoft Phone to the core. The only difference is its using Android instead of Windows.

        I'm not saying that I'm 100% sure about them doing this, just playing devils advocate. Its an interesting idea and if they did do it I wouldn't switch to the iphone...that would never happen.
        rkegel@...
        • re:

          There's no possible advantage to doing this. There's no software price advantage, both WP and Android are free to handset vendors. There's no hardware price advantage, WP runs faster and is more efficient at using system resources than Android. There's certainly no advantage from the standpoint of advancing the WP software ecosystem, developing an app for a "Windroid" would be completely different than developing an app for WP. As for try "Windroid" and then upgrade to WP, well, not for at least two years in the U.S. anyway with contracts. The bottom line is MS owns and controls WP, it's vastly technically superior to Android, and it makes no sense for them to enter into the already overcrowded Android hardware business where Samsung has the defacto monopoly.
          Sir Name
          • I agree

            With the value of Windows Phone and that its faster. I love Windows Phone but there is value at going with Android and thats apps. Android has more apps than Windows Phone and while that doesn't bother me because I love the quickness and its elegentness, most people care about apps. They get it in their head that the amount of apps is important just like the clock speed of a processor and the megapixels of a camera. I know that Windows Phone runs best on lower end hardware than Android and I know that Windows Phone is better in every way than Android and the iphone (I put that in because even though this is about Android you will get that apple fanboy that will bring up the iphone) but the amount of apps do make a difference to most people.

            IF Microsoft can get Android apps to run flawlessly on Windows Phone then I would agree with you 100% because if they did this then and more people bought Windows Phone then it may give app developers a reason to make Windows Phone apps. I'm not sure if they can do this though.

            So the advantage would be that Microsoft making an Android phone would give them all the apps in the Android catalogue (except the Google apps...but who needs those if they can put Cortana and the other Microsoft apps in their Android phone).

            Also since Android is open source they can make it run better, code it better, take out the code thats not needed that bulks it and optimize it better. If they can take the core of Windows 8 and make Windows Phone 8, they can take the core of Android and make it better while letting it continue to use Android apps.
            rkegel@...
    • I've said it here before

      That it would make sense for Microsoft to make android phones and services - it's going to happen and I don't think Microsoft will dump the Nokia X phones anytime soon. I wonder if an android fork was the best thing to do though.
      AleMartin