Say goodbye to the once indestructable Nokia that we all knew and love: Microsoft just bought the mobile division of Nokia for $7.17 billion. Why? If you need a reason, here's two of them: iOS and Android.
With the purchase of this part of Nokia—a company that has been around for more than 150 years—Microsoft will finally have more power over some of the phones that use Windows Phone OS. Nokia has been Microsoft's biggest Windows Phone manufacturer, and because of that, Microsoft hopes that the close relationship they established will speed up the growth of Windows Phone. Microsoft faces the crazy popularity iOS and Android continue to experience. With the purchase, 32,000 Nokia employees will soon be Microsoft employees, and Microsoft will begin building a new $250 million data facility in Finland (Nokia's home country), which will in turn make the country the center of Microsoft's phone research and development.
"It's a bold step into the future—a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies, said Microsft CEO Steve Ballmer. "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."
Nokia isn't entirely going away though: Microsoft "just" purchased their cellphone division, and Nokia will continue to make cellular equipment, location-based services, and patents. When it comes to actually making the phones, Microsoft will have the right to put the Nokia brandname on its future devices.
In a related note, as we reported in August, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is retiring within the next year. With the purchase of Nokia, Microsoft regains Stephen Elop (pictured above), who was the former head of Microsoft’s business division. He left the company in September 2010 to become CEO of Nokia. Now, it seems, he's the lead candidate to take over for Ballmer.
“The people of Nokia have a tremendous amount to be proud of,” Elop said. “But we have to go even faster.”
“Rightfully, everyone in Finland is proud of what Nokia stands for,” he said.
In memory of the Nokia of old: