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Microsoft Businesses Cellphones

Microsoft/Nokia Deal Closes 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the dotted-the-s-and-crossed-the-u dept.
Last September Microsoft announced it would be purchasing Nokia's Devices and Services business. The terms have been worked out, the shareholders gave approval, and the regulatory issues were hurdled. As of today, it's official: Nokia's phone business is now Microsoft Mobile. The final price is around $7.5 billion, and 30,000 employees are transferring to Microsoft. "The purchase of the unprofitable division makes Microsoft the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones with about 14 percent of the market, according to researcher IDC." Here's Nokia's official statement, and a rather more personal one from an employee. According to The Verge, "Nokia's Android handsets are the most intriguing part of the deal, as they shed some light on how Microsoft might approach the messy and complex nature of shipping devices that don't run the company's Windows software. The Nokia X introduces a new "forked" version of Android that’s akin to what Amazon does with its Kindle Fire line, but it also includes a Windows Phone-like UI and an Android store that's separate to Google Play. Microsoft has the chance to control another app store, but also a solid opportunity to push its own cloud-based services." One interesting note: Nokia's phone manufacturing plant in India is not part of the deal because of an ongoing tax dispute. Nokia will continue to operate it as a contract manufacturing unit for Microsoft.
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Microsoft/Nokia Deal Closes

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:29PM (#46843151) Journal
    Let me be the first to welcome Microsoft to the ranks of Linux PC OEMs. Amazing times we live in, eh?
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:32PM (#46843175) Journal

    Our shareholders cannot repel executives of this magnitude!

    Seriously, is there anyone in the tech industry who didn't think it was a massive trap when Elop joined?

    He basically prepped nokia to be ripe for takeover by microsoft. I mean after committing so heavily to such a minority platform, who else would have wanted them? Massive inside job and apparently completely legal!

    • Maybe, but Nokia would still have ended up in a far worse situation without the Microsoft deal.
      • Re:IT'S A TRAP! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:49PM (#46843315) Journal

        Maybe, but Nokia would still have ended up in a far worse situation without the Microsoft deal.

        May have. They still had an assload of patents on almost all areas of mobile phone hardware and showed no sign of slowing down in that department. They also were still moving a metric assloads (approximately 1.1 imperial short fucktons) of dumbphones.

        Companies have turned around from worse successfully.

        • Even former pros at this, like RIM/Blackberry, HP/Palm, and others are in the ditch. Sony-Ericsson, both of them bleeding heavily. Dumb phones are going the way of the landline, and in the land of less developed areas, growth will be huge-- and those will huge portfolios of patents are already parachuting in.

          Microsoft wanted to be like Apple, and control its supply chain, which is barely do-able because they don't have the militarism of Apple when it comes to discipline. They might get a few points but it'l

      • I'm not sure about that. They had a decent upgrade path to convert Symbian customers to Maemo/Meego/Sailfish, and it seems like that road was getting better reception than the WP path despite MS having largely killed it by the time they had anything released. It probably would have been difficult to have tanked Nokia harder without the kind of malice that would bring on investigations from various governments.
        • They didn't put almost any meaningful resources on the Linux phones, and weren't planning to. Actually they killed all those projects. Also Sailfish is a Jolla OS and didn't exist back then at all.

          Nokia's cart was thrusting full speed down the mine shaft when Microsoft made the offer.

          • Re:IT'S A TRAP! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday April 25, 2014 @04:05PM (#46843967)
            That's an outright lie. They bought TrollTech, were shifting Symbian to QT, and thus would have built an app ecosystem that was at least partially shared between Symbian and Maemo. They later collaborated with Intel's Moblin project and Maemo became Meego. They released the N900, and that seemed to be what their future plan was before MS got involved.

            Also Sailfish is a Jolla OS and didn't exist back then at all.

            I know, but it is the successor to Meego and was a company of ex-Nokia devs, so practically speaking, Maemo, Meego, and Sailfish are the same OS.

            • They released the N900, and that seemed to be what their future plan was before MS got involved.

              The Internet Tablets were only a small sidetrack and did not represent their future plan in general.

              Nokia was mostly dealing with the crusty Symbian and the competition from Android and iPhone had destroyed them almost completely. That's when Microsoft entered the scene.

              • by CptPicard (680154)

                Still untrue -- the MeeGo plan was the supposed future and the pre-Elop Nokia was full-on backing it. The Nokia N9 was the best mobile device I had owned, and then Elop came in and didn't give it a release in any major markets.

                • by dos1 (2950945)

                  Unfortunately, Maemo/Meego plan was internally fought over by the Symbian team, creating unnecessary, unhealthy competition inside Nokia and delaying success of any of them. When Nokia finally realized that it was Maemo that had greatest potential for future, not Symbian, they were already quite a lot behind competitors. Elop could either make risky, but potentially beneficial for the company decision in favor of Maemo/Meego, or take an easy road as a trojan horse, mostly beneficial for himself and for stak

                  • by dbIII (701233)

                    Unfortunately, Maemo/Meego plan was internally fought over by the Symbian team, creating unnecessary, unhealthy competition inside Nokia and delaying success of any of them

                    Management is in place to deal with such things and earlier management said to retire Symbian and migrate to the newer system. Then Elop came in and pinned all hopes on a frankly utter crap Microsoft OS which MS abandoned not long after. Then they scrambled to do a second port to the newer and very different MS OS.

                    • by dos1 (2950945)

                      >earlier management said to retire Symbian and migrate to the newer system

                      They did, but not before years of internal competition making both teams reinvent the wheel and limiting collaboration between them. Maemo 6/Meego as seen on Nokia N9 was entirely reimplemented three times. When it all started, Symbian team was also doing transition to Qt - just like Maemo; but internal conflicts, on both management and "engineers morale" levels led them to implement completely separate, incompatible libraries, was

                    • by dbIII (701233)
                      Since in hindsight destruction to drive down the sale price was the aim (and removing competing technologies to Winphone another aim) any time would have been too late to stop Elop from destroying it all completely.
                    • by dos1 (2950945)

                      I think that if Nokia was in better state few years ago, Elop wouldn't be chosen as a CEO at all, so he wouldn't have a possibility to destroy it. But maybe that's just me being naive :)

              • By all indications I had seen, that was clearly the plan. That's why both of them were using QT, which they had acquired probably for that exact purpose. They were going to leverage Symbian's market share, which was still significant, to foster a strong app ecosystem for Maemo. I recall it quite well, as I was quite enthused about it, but Nokia fanboys were practically creaming themselves over how wonderful their Maemo future would be.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Which Microsoft deal would that be?

        • The one where they took their media fuctions from Microsoft and then Microsoft failed to deliver music?|
        • The one where they took their office software from Mictosoft and then Steven Elop failed to deliver software?
        • The one where they took their OS from Microsoft and then MS failed to deliver working apps?
        • The one where they sold of their crippled mobile phone division to MS?
      • by dbIII (701233)
        No. Elop did some active wrecking. A trust fund baby that never turned up for work would have done better.
    • by eulernet (1132389)

      Do you believe that Nokia was naive when Elop was hired ?

      I think that Nokia's investors realized that they were losing the mobile war.
      The company peaked a few years ago, so they wanted to recover the money they invested in it before the company didn't worth anything.

      Microsoft wanted to take a significant share in the mobile market, because they were unable to achieve it with their products.
      Buying Nokia was the easiest way to get more than 10% of this market.

      I'm sorry for all the people who believed in Nokia

      • It's worse than you think [forbes.com]

        I think though, this is the result of the bungling OPK and even a bit before him Jorma Ollila, where the company wasn't focused on putting out great products but rather became concerned with infighting and territorial control. The whole place was dysfunctional from the inside out.

      • by Threni (635302)

        > Do you believe that Nokia was naive when Elop was hired ?

        Yes. They knew they were losing - that's not insight; that's just looking at the figures. They needed to do something. They probably thought he was going to use his experience to help, not to make decisions which would lead to them losing enough money so that his (previous) employers could perform a takeover. I'm a little surprised there's been no lawsuit yet; perhaps now is the time for that?

      • by dbIII (701233)

        Do you believe that Nokia was naive when Elop was hired

        I believe some of Nokia's board members got kickbacks starting from just before they hired Elop since among many other things that explains why they didn't throw Elop out for performance far worse than what they threw out the previous CEO for.
        Nokia was an enormous company, yet it was the first CEO gig for Elop. That smells pretty funny on it's own.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      "Buy him out boys!"
      http://vimeo.com/70498601 [vimeo.com]
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:32PM (#46843177) Homepage
    Anyone interested in how a former giant could collapse so bad would probably enjoy David Cord's The Decline and Fall of Nokia [amazon.com] . I flipped through it at our large bookstore in Helsinki and found it gripping enough to purchase there and then. Besides press coverage, Cord bases his account on interviews with former Nokia staffers -- there are a lot of bitter Nokia veterans in the Helsinki veteran who want to get the inside story out. Also, as much as I love my N900, it is sad to see that the writing was on the wall even before that particular device came out.
  • Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 25, 2014 @02:40PM (#46843243)

    Now Microsoft will have a phone you don't want to go along with the tablet you don't want.

    • Now Microsoft will have a phone you don't want to go along with the tablet you don't want.

      Microsoft excels at selling you stuff you don't want.

      For Windows Plan 9, I think that they are going to tweak the EULA. Microsoft will charge you $99.95 for the Windows license for every PC. But that price will include a "free" Nokia Windows Phone! And then you can choose your own contract with any cell phone carrier you like. That way, they'll finally be able to force users onto their phone platform. If you already have to buy a Windows Phone when you buy your PC with Windows, why would you buy anoth

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now Microsoft will have a phone you don't want to go along with the tablet you don't want.

      I am SOLD!!

      I am gonna get my MS Phone and Tablet, walk up the iPhone using -iPad carrying people and say, "Hah! I'm one bad ass motherfucker! I'm bucking the trend and I don't even have tattoos!"

      And I'll walk proudly into a LUG group with my Microsoft phone and tablet and when looked at disparagingly, I tell stare back and yell,"You wanna a piece of me! Huh! Yeah! Didn't think so!"

      Hell yeah, I'll be one original guy! Not some sheep iThing user, not some pseudo cool Android user BUT A FUCKING MICROSOFT USER!

    • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday April 25, 2014 @04:02PM (#46843941) Homepage
      I'm sure they'll also work quite well alongside the copy of Windows 8 you got stuck with, including the installation of IE you'll never use and the copy of Microsoft Office you wish you didn't need.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        I don't think Microsoft can rely on the customer being "stuck" with Win8 and MS Office much longer, according to StatCounter [statcounter.com] mobile is now 24%, tablets 6% and the desktop only 70% of web browsing. Subtract a few percent for Mac/Linux and more than one in three is no longer using Windows to browse the web. Of course web browsing != general computing but people are going to want solutions for the devices they're using, if there's an app for it they'd probably rather use that than haul out their laptop. I gues

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      to go along with the tablet you don't want

      As opposed to the tablet I really want, but when I buy it, realize that all it amounts to is a $500 Facebook app?

  • It'll be sad to see the demise of nokia's symbian-based phones. For those of us who're still not using a smartphone, the symbian no-frills mobiles have the best UI and quality than anything else on the market..
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Symbian died years ago. Long before this deal sadly.

    • For those of us who're still not using a smartphone, the symbian no-frills mobiles have the best UI and quality than anything else on the market..

      That's not quite how I remember it. Symbian was extremely laggy, had a clunky UI, crashed a lot, and everyone hated developing apps for it.

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Can confirm, I have/had an S60 mobile. Terribly slow UI, constantly crashing, but at least the apps had a consistent(ly bad) design.

        The phone also randomly rebooted in the middle of phone calls. That was cool too.

      • by blackpaw (240313)

        I did S60 apps - worst dev system I have every seen - incredibly arcane and convulated dev chain, the C++ library had over *1200* classes. For a fucking mobile phone. And the class hierarchy was just perverse.

      • by mvar (1386987)
        I can't talk about developing applications, my opinion is from a user's perspective. Never had any issues with UI or lag on my 5130v2 which, after 5 years, died by being crushed under my car's wheels. And the 105 that i got for $20 does its job as expected
  • So Nokia +30,000 employees = 1/2 Whatsup !!
  • brought Snake to millions of people.
    built phones that could take on a tank. That didn't need to be upgraded every two years.
    became the largest phone manufacturer in the world.
    became the largest camera manufacturer in the world.
    only to fall prey to a trojan horse called Stephen Elop.

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