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MobilityLeaks: Ballmer’s Last Big Move: Buy Nokia

magentaYeah, I’m talking about it,  you’re talking about it, the BANNISTER’s talking about it. Here’s what the staff at Mobility Digest are saying (warning: yes, it’s long. Because we’re REALLY talking about it):


Stephen: Whatttttt??? I hope this is executed better than Google’s Motorola purchase. At least at this point Samsung and HTC are doing so little for Windows Phone, they really had nothing to lose.

Murani: This is significant for the timing as well as the actual action. Nokia is gaining momentum worldwide and now Microsoft doesn’t have to pretend to be on good terms with Samsung and HTC.
Financially licensing the mapping solution is better for them as they have turned Bing into a services platform and mapping was a cash hog. Nokia gets a big , steady revenue stream while removing expenses associated with the devices division.

Stephen: Agreed. With Ballmer leaving, this will be a new Microsoft that starts with devices and services, and you’re seeing that right here. I’m excited about this hopefully bringing some expediency to OS development and updates. Something more Apple-like (dare I say it). The Finns won’t be happy, but as a Nokia fan long before Windows Phone, if I ever had to see Nokia get sold to anyone it couldn’t have found a better buyer.

JimS: Boy, this is like going to sleep in Jersey on a Sunday night in February, only to wake up to a foot of snow. And no school! Surprise.
And I suppose Microsoft can use their offshore cash stash for this transaction.

Murani: That’s exactly what they are doing. Using the overseas financials to pay for the deal. Microsoft has selected Finland for their new data center that will.cover Europe so I see signs that Nokia held out to keep jobs and resources being invested in Finland.
There are some heavyweights transitioning from Nokia to Microsoft. Elop, Harlow, Weber and a few others.
One thing that stands put to me is that Microsoft makes it a point to mention how their resources will help accelerate innovation. Nokia had a resources problem not a vision problem. With Microsoft’s resources devices should be developed and released quicker and on a broader scale.

Ram: The loser here is HTC. They can’t compete with  Samsung or Nokia in Android and Windows Phone. Their FB phones sucked big time. Google will not be interested in them because they don’t have bigger IP like Motorola have. Lenovo won’t let them buy BlackBerry easily. Here the loser is HTC definitely. Microsoft has no interest in them for what they did to them when Google announced OHA. Since HP buys all losers and mills them, I don’t be surprised if HP buys them and kills HTC totally.

Murani: Excellent point. This is a game of music chairs and HTC has just been left standing when the music stopped. Blackberry has value as an enterprise play for someone. HTC has very little to offer and now will get zero marketing backing from Microsoft. Google is spending big on Motorola, Apple is Apple and Samsung would eat their own to increase profits. The Chinese OEMs have no desire to duplicate manufacturing chains.

JimS: Yeah, an HP / HTC marriage seems likely. Or, they will simply die a slow death maintaining low single digit market share on Android and WP. Microsoft did make an effort to help them out with the lauch of WP8, but it didn’t make much difference.
Or then again, Zuckerberg can buy them and have his Facebook phone all for himself.

Herg: All I have to say is about time.

JimS: Hows this for a swinging for the fence prediction?  No more 3rd party Windows Phone manufacturers, now its all the new MS/Nokia device team, ala Apple style.  I think it has merit.

Stephen: That’s effectively what has happened. Even if Microsoft will continue to license Windows Phone to Samsung, HTC, and a few Chinese OEMs; nobody is actively marketing these devices enough to make a difference. Samsung is well-covered with Android, and HTC just doesn’t seem to have their stuff together anymore. The way I see it, Microsoft is now effectively the same as Apple in the mobile phone market. The only difference is that Microsoft will likely release more than one phone per year.

Marti: I really agree. Other OEMs have been sitting on the fence & not helping market.

JimS: I think MS will still welcome OEMs, unlike Apple. Each company will need to make a decision based on the potential profitability. Companies like Fujitsu building WPs for the Japanese market come to mind. Don’t know if someone like  HTC has the resources to build a niche for themselves though. And if (when) WP reaches 15-20% market share, you know Samsung will be all over it. That’s why I think they still have their toes in the WP water.

Ram: If Microsoft didn’t step in, huawei would’ve, because it had an eye on Nokia and make it as Google ***** by implanting Android on Lumia line. One question, does this deal include Asha line?

Stephen: Yes, Microsoft thinks they can entice feature phone users to move from Asha to Lumia. Moreover, Microsoft is licensing the rights to use the Nokia brand/name on Asha (and any other) feature phones they sell for the next few years.

JimS: So Nokia is up 35% this morning. Microsoft is down 5%. Go figure. Damn fruit lovers.

Ram: what would happen to Nokia Music, would that become part of Xbox Music or it will be NSN’s. That is nowhere mentioned.

Stephen: I’m guessing that’s a service (like mapping) that Nokia will keep. I would assume they can do whatever they want, if Nokia wants to get out of the business it’s up to them?

Ram: Makes sense.

Murani: Now that I’ve learned what moves the market I knew this would be the reaction had a guy on Bloomberg that talked about how Apple approached the ecosystem holistically. That is total bull Apple didn’t even have an app store when the iPhone launched. Jobs had tone convinced that an app store was a good idea. Also was said you don’t have to rewrite an app on Apple but do if going from WP8 to W8. Pretty sure you have to rewrite if going from iOS to OS X.

Stephen: The UI needs rebuilt in all of the current, modern ecosystems. If you use C# or another .NET "CLR-compilable" language you don’t have to rewrite most of your code, aside from some APIs that change between WinRT and WinPRT. Just the same in Apple world, the UI is completely different between OS X and iOS, while the Objective-C code is largely portable aside from some unique APIs.