Microsoft nearly bought Nokia as well – who’s next?

Microsoft nearly bought Nokia as well   whos next?

Microsoft and Nokia’s current smartphone business is so interdependent that many in the phone industry have joked that Microsoft should just buy Nokia.

Apparently that had occurred to Microsoft too, and negotiations had not only begun, but had reached an advanced stage, before collapsing – according to the Wall Street Journal.

But why would Microsoft want a phone company, seeing as they are a software shop?

Well Microsoft are desperate to make a splash in the mobile world, but although their OS is reviewing well, it’s not setting the world alight – especially with manufacturers. Nokia are THE driving force behind Windows Phone, and the few manufacturers that joined Nokia in launching Windows Phone 8 devices are fast disappearing – and there were hardly any to start with. Nokia account for the vast majority of Windows Phone devices and without Nokia, Windows Phone would be royally stuffed.

Although the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft is currently tight, that is largely due to Nokia’s current CEO being an ex-Microsoft man, and Nokia’s shareholders are starting to run out of patience. Elop had a very uncomfortable time at the last set of results with several big investors begging him to try Android. And that has left the company vulnerable to takeover – with Microsoft sensibly being the first to explore the option.

The problem is, what happens next?

Nokia’s imaging and mapping expertise make them an attractive target for other manufacturers and Microsoft’s negotiations failure has left Nokia exposed for a rival take over – with Huwaei being the first to try their luck.

And that must be terrifying for Microsoft – if another phone manufacturer, with a proven Android track record buys Nokia, it could spell the end of Windows Phone. Heck Nokia could even ended up being a target for Apple – something to improve Apple Maps, and can you imagine an iPhone with PureView tech in it?

I really hope it doesn’t come to that, as I’m a big fan of Windows Phone, and I would love to see it continue. Like Apple, Microsoft also have large piles of cash outside the US, which would cost them too much in tax to bring back to the US, so buying Nokia still makes a lot of sense.

Time for Microsoft to dig a bit deeper…


SourceWall Street Journal (sorry it’s behind a paywall)

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve always said this, but if Nokia made the same great hardware with Android instead of Windows, they’d be where Samsung is now in the Smartphone world. I have no doubt that Nokia could produce a device to at least equal the Galaxy S4.

    Windows might be ok – it might be good even. But it doesn’t really offer you very much over any other handset out there. Also, Microsoft aren’t the most loved of companies (not sure if that really factors into it), but I certainly hear more people lament Microsoft than praise them these days. I can imagine the less tech-savvy user avoiding MS based on their desktop experiences alone.

    • Martin

      Spot on sir, I’d have a Nokia Android phone over Samsung all day long. A 925 running Jelly Bean would be great. I may be wrong but don’t M$ specify the hardware specs for the software? So it will be a while before a full HD quad core windows phone? I know in real world use we don’t ‘need’ a quad core SOC to make calls and text and twitter our facebooks off, but these are the headlines that sell phones.

      It looks like Nokia could be launching a windows phone with a full fat 41mp Pureview camera, if that was Android I’d be all over it, on Windows I’m just not too sure, I’d need to do some proper checking that the Apps I use the most are on there before moving.

      • Paul

        I have a dream…..where mobile OSs can be purchased,downloaded and installed on any supported mobile device giving the user/owner the choice on which platform they prefer, just like laptops with Windows, Linux, Ubuntu etc

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, exactly! I mean, you can do it on most devices, but you risk your warranty, etc.

          I still seethe every time I buy a new laptop, and I am forced to purchase a Windows licence, just because that’s what comes on it. When I get it home, the first thing I do is wipe the damn thing and put a decent OS on it. Thinking that I could’ve saved maybe 10 percent of the purchase price if MS didn’t have what I regard as a highly immoral monopoly. And now it’s even harder to remove Windoze because of UEFI, so in fact your argument is actually a little less relevant since the launch of Windows 8.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Microsoft do specify the hardware down to a fair level of detail, so creative licence is restricted somewhat. I’m not sure if a quad core processor would be supported yet, but as you infer, most people probably wouldn’t know the difference or need it for most things.

        I think for most, it would take something quite special to get the motivation to switch platforms, especially if you already know and like android. So far I haven’t seen anything which would motivate me to move over.

        The 41MP camera sounds nice in theory, but it would have to be one hell of a snapper to tempt most people over, as the vast majority of phone cameras are more than good enough already. 41MP is a ridiculously large image, and I cannot imagine that the optics could be anywhere near good enough to warrant such a sensor. Any gained detail would be thwarted by the lack of light flowing through the aperture. Sure, it might end up 10% better overall, but it’s more of a gimmick in my opinion.

      • We’re always interested in the apps situation – people moving to Windows Phone, so let us know if there’s any you can’t find.
        My personal experience is that the absence of offical apps can actually result in some better 3rd party ones – like Gooroovster – appearing.
        Just drop us an email or Tweet.

        • Martin

          If I get a windows phone I’ll do that :)