The moment I woke up two days ago I was hit in the face by the biggest, yet most predictable, news of the quarter: “Microsoft Buys Nokia’s Devices and Services Division”. Most of Nokia, that is.
The writing was on the wall
Think about it for a moment. Microsoft invested pretty heavily in Nokia, pumping billions of dollars into the struggling company. They gave the company unprecedented access to Microsoft’s inner workings. They pulled Nokia out of the whole they were in and brought them to their feet.
And let’s not forget, as far as the public is concerned Nokia is Windows Phone. The only reason the HTC 8S gained traction in Malta was its cheap price. The moment Nokia’s full Lumia line was made available the 8S was forgotten. Here at work I’ve seen four or five different people with Lumias – they’re not as rare as you may think.
Almost every single Windows Phone commercial, be it Microsoft’s, a carrier’s, or a retail chain’s, has featured a Lumia.
Insert Lumia-featuring Windows Phone Commercials Here
We could see it coming. Ever since they struck that partnership in February 2011 we’ve asking ‘when’ Microsoft will buy Nokia, not ‘if’.
Why is Microsoft doing this?
Micosoft needs a first-rate Microsoft Phone experience for users
That quote pretty much sums it up. This isn’t really news, however. Microsoft pretty much made Nokia a division of theirs when they stuck up the partnership in 2011. Here are a few points from Microsoft’s press release dated February 10th, 2011:
Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
- Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping service. For example, Maps would be intergrated with Bing’s search engine and adCentre advertising platform to create a unique local search and advertising experience.
- Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.
Microsoft already makes hardware, though the only consumer electronics they still make themselves are their Surface line of tablets. Why did they do that? They weren’t happy with OEMs tablet efforts to that point so they created a halo device to lead the way and show them how it’s done. Chances are that’s what Microsoft’s plan is for Nokia: create their vision and any other devices have to be at least that good. It’s essentially Google’s Nexus program, only Microsoft calls all the shots.
There was some talk soon after Nokia and Microsoft broke the news that Stephen Elop might take over as Microsoft CEO. It would be pretty cool to see, after all he’s done great work with Nokia so far. Officially he’s stepping down as CEO to become Executive VP of Devices and Services, so he might be in the running for Microsoft CEO after all.
The saddest part of this purchase? No more phones bearing the legendary Nokia name. Microsoft only bought the rights to the Lumia and Asha names, so that’s it. The last phone with Nokia branding could very well turn out to be the Lumia 925, but it could just as well be the “Bandit” phablet being rumoured.
I’m sad to hear of Nokia’s passing, but excited as to what its future entails. For the love of God Microsoft don’t pull an HP!