And there you have it, folks — any sliver of hope that Nokia would ever make a phone that runs Android has been shut down, as Microsoft has officially bought the company (particularly the wireless products and services business). We imagined Microsoft and Nokia would eventually look to make this happen after the two companies struck up an exclusive deal for the latter to make Windows-based smartphones for the former, and now it looks like that dream has been fully realized.
This no doubt similar to Google’s move of buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, though the motives for each company buying these wireless divisions might be completely different. For Google, it was more about securing more key mobile patents to help give them some leverage in the ongoing patent wars (even though Google will probably deny that until the end of times). For Microsoft, it sounds like they want to make sure they have a solid partner that will continue to make the types of devices necessary to keep Windows Phone alive.
It’s not that Windows Phone is suffering terribly or anything, but there’s no doubt that the ecosystem is quite slow in terms of third-party OEM launches and application development compared to the likes of Android. With Nokia, Microsoft can ensure that at least one of those areas is secured in the long term.
The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter of 2014 following a series of regulatory approvals and shareholder voting, though there’s no reason to believe it will be any harder for Microsoft to acquire Nokia than it was for Google to acquire Motorola. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though those details might not be far off.
Interestingly enough, Steve Ballmer — who has just resigned as Microsoft’s long-time CEO — appended his name to this announcement along with Nokia’s Stephen Elop. There’s no doubt that this was his doing, and we’d say it’s a fine “last act” for the revered executive (whose crazy antics over the years were recently documented in this hilarious video put together by Joe from WinSource).
What do you think of all this? Were you secretly hoping Nokia would ever make an Android smartphone or does this news not phase you? Let us know in the comments below!