Almost everyone in tech world expected it to happen at some point of time and it happened today. Microsoft has announced it will acquire the Nokia devices and services section for a cool $7.2 billion all-cash deal. With this it’s curtains down for Nokia’s long legacy in the mobile handset business where it had its iconic moments and still retains loyal consumers.
The transaction is expected to be sealed in the first quarter of 2014, pending approval from Nokia’s shareholders. The Redmond software giant will pay $5 billion for the devices and services division and $ 2.2 billion in lieu of license patents.The deal also takes along 32,000 people along with the top key engineers and leadership of Nokia to the Microsoft fold.
In an open email from CEO Steve Ballmer to company employees, he mentions:
“Our Windows Phone partnership over the past two and half years has yielded incredible work — the stunning Lumia 1020 is a great example. Our partnership has also yielded incredible growth. In fact, Nokia Windows Phones are the fastest-growing phones in the smartphone market.”
After joining Nokia in 2010, Stephen Elop who was ex-head of Microsoft Business division convinced the struggling Nokia’s board of directors to embrace WP OS and leave the sinking Symbian platform, that once dominated the mobile world but increasingly lost its ground. With Elop on helm of Nokia and his strong allegiance to WP OS, it was always rumored and expected that MS will finally take over the struggling Finnish company. In fact in 2011, both the companies almost entered into a deal but failed to see it through. With this acquisition,. Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft, and he will lead an expanded Devices team.
What do you think of the Microsoft-Nokia deal? Let’s hope Microsoft makes best use of the Nokia hardware and devices and becomes a key player in smartphone market.