Microsoft has bought Nokia's smartphone and mobile business for 5.44 billion so we've taken a look at what it means for the companies involved, for Windows Phone, and for the mobile market as a whole.
"Building on the partnership with Nokia announced in February 2011 and the increasing success of Nokia's Lumia smartphones, Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing," it said in a statement.
1. Microsoft buys Nokia: An inevitable move
Nokia went all-in with Microsoft with Windows Phone and it seemed inevitable that eventually one would buy the other; the initial phase of the partnership being a tester for this prospect. Nokia took the plunge, opting not to continue with Symbian or to go with Android, but it's now Microsoft's job to make Windows Phone work.
"With mobile now firmly positioned as the world's fastest growing and largest computing platform we see this move as a bold, but entirely necessary gamble by Microsoft. Mobile needs to be a cornerstone of Microsoft's business for future success. The failure of Microsoft's platform-only approach over the last 15 years, initially with Windows Mobile and more recently with Windows Phone, has left it with few alternatives given its almost complete reliance on Nokia for Windows Phone devices and the competitive eco-system strength of Google and Apple." said Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight.
2. Microsoft buys Nokia: Windows Phone 8's last roll of the dice
Windows Phone is a distant third place to Apple's iOS and Google's Android. And although Windows Phone has just overtaken BlackBerry in the standings, this has got to be the last, and necessary, roll of the dice for the platform.
With Nokia the key partner in the Windows Phone wagon, and little effort from the likes of HTC and Samsung, a consolidated effort is a necessary gamble for the operating system and its bid to be the 'third ecosystem'.
3. Microsoft buys Nokia: Microsoft is becoming a hardware manufacturer
It's clear that Microsoft is no longer a software company and is quickly following in the footsteps of Apple and Google (which bought Motorola) by combining software and hardware. Aside from Surface and Xbox (a mixed bag of successfulness) this is Microsoft's biggest plunge into device making yet, with the transfer of 32,000 Nokia employees.
4. Microsoft buys Nokia: The app battle is over
A major part of the fierce smartphone battle is the apps on offer. If the only serious hardware maker in the Windows world is Microsoft, who is going to bother to make Windows Phone apps? Future Windows Phones will no-doubt come pre-loaded with Microsoft and Nokia apps but there needs to be more on offer than a base selection.
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