Nokia CEO To Become Microsoft Devices Chief
Microsoft has forked over £4.6 billion to acquire Nokia's Devices and Services business, including all patents for their handsets, in an effort to consolidate the Windows Phone brand.
The multi-billion Pound arrangement will be completed by the start of Q1 2014, and means that Microsoft now owns the Lumia phone range outright. Considering that they've proved to be the most popular and critically-acclaimed Windows 8 phones thus far, the deal is likely to benefit both companies. Seeing as Microsoft are primarily a software company while Nokia typically make decent handsets with horrible bespoke operating systems, this could be a match made in heaven.
There'll also be an exchange of personnel. While 32,000 Microsoft employees are expected to join the newly acquired business, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will head up Microsoft's enlarged Devices team - including the Xbox brand.
"It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies," said outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who's set to retire within the year. "Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services.
"In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution."
Windows Phone is gaining momentum thanks in no small part to Nokia's Lumia range, but faces stern competition from Apple and Samsung, who can offer a much wider diversity of apps and games. Now that Microsoft owns the rights to the N-Gage, perhaps... no. Just no.
[Oh, and yes, I am terrible at graphic design. Why do you ask? - Jon]