Is Microsoft Really about to Buy Nokia for Over $80 Billion?
Microsoft is just full of surprises nowadays, huh? Let’s take a little Microsoft recap, shall we? First there was Windows Phone 7, then a revolutionary partnership with Nokia. After that came a surprise appearance of Ballmer at the BlackBerry World to announce a new RIM Microsoft partnership, and Microsoft then added the icing with an $8.5 BillionÂ acquisitionÂ of Skype (pretty expensive icing me say). Of course, let’s not forget that Microsoft also owns part of Facebook with its relatively small investment a few years back.
Now, the newest rumors started by a certain Russian blogger (that has to be the first time i linked to an article in Russian, but you gotta give credit where credit is due, right?), who was supposedly the one to break the original Microsoft Nokia story, claim that Microsoft and Nokia are in advanced negotiations for the software giant (that is Microsoft, just in case you were wondering) to buy the mobile hardware leaders (Yep, Nokia).
Now the only question that remains is will the new company be called “Microkia” or Nokiasoft”? Decisions, decisions. No, but seriously, this is not only huge news for the industry, but it is also the weirdest and most unexpected rumor we have heard in a long time.
The Russian source also claims that both companies are in a major rush to close this deal and it will most likely be done by the end of 2011. I have heard some ridiculous numbers thrown around including figures as high as $80 Billion, but given Microsoft’s agressive buyingÂ spreeÂ lately, I am not finding this too hard to believe.
As for Nokia, its phone business accounts for 68% of all its revenues, and all (yes, all) of its annual profits. So, if this story is true, can we report Nokia’s time of death upon finalizing the deal? Absolutely not. Nokia, as BGR reports started in the 1800s as a paper company, yes, they sold paper. Talk about a pivot! Who knows what will be with Nokia? The only thing we know is that despite what some online publications lead you to believe, Nokia is still a leading entity in the mobile world and completely and utterly dominates the emerging markets.
However, the real question here is, if this is true and Microsoft is really about to close a deal with Nokia to make their phone business into a Microsoft branch, what does this mean for Microsoft and the mobile industry? Well, in two words it means “Farther reach”.
It means Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and its superior software/UI will now be partnered, possibly exclusively, with the world’s best mobile hardware. Yes, say what you want about Symbian, but Nokia knows how to make their phones. It also means that Microsoft will now have its ticket into all those places that know nothing (or close to nothing) about any iPhone or Android phone, and we are talking billions of people. Yes, Nokia reportedly still sells one million handsets a day!
Finally, when it comes to Microsoft’s new mobile strategy, they have a lot of things falling into place, but one thing is still lacking, apps. While Microsoft’s old operating system Windows Mobile had quite the developer community, the new revamped Windows Phone 7 (really wish they had a cooler name for it) is still lacking apps. Last I heard, there are 15,000 Windows Phone 7 apps (Angry Birds was delayed again, and let’s be honest, do any other apps really matter?), which might seem like a significant number to you, until you compare it to 350,000 on the App Store and 250,000 on the Android Market.
Nokia has a huge developer community across their various OSes and generations. If Microsoft can bring in those developers to create apps for Windows Phone 7, provide them with discovery and monetization for their apps, and offer a real alternative to the App Store and Market, they pretty much have all their bases covered.
So, is this theoretically a good move by Microsoft? I say yes! Of course, let’s not forget these are all rumors and Nokia is denying that there is any basis to them… Besides, I’m sure the Finnish economy and government wouldn’t be too satisfied if these so-called rumors came to fruition, would they?
Either way, at inneractive we have high hopes for Windows Phone 7 as a leader in the mobile space and of course, our long time partnership with Nokia can tell you a thing or two about how highly we think of the hardware giants. We look forward to seeing what comes next.
Meanwhile, Â you can watch our state-of-the-art Windows Phone 7 ad SDK in action below… Doesn’t take more than thirty seconds for a developer to integrate it!
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