Microsoft has completed its deal to buy Nokia's devices division, meaning it now owns 90% of all Windows Phone devices on the market
Microsoft’s deal to buy Nokia’s devices division has finally been completed, six months after it was initially announced, giving the Windows Phone software developer control over 90% of all Windows Phone devices currently on the market – as well as Nokia’s entry-level Asha and Nokia X Android smartphones.
The deal, worth a reported €3.79 billion for the company itself plus €1.65 billion for Nokia’s patent portfolio, will see up to 32,000 Nokia employees move over to Microsoft as the company moves from a focus on software to mobile hardware for the first time, with the potential to ship 200 million handsets per year.
According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to use the brand “Microsoft Mobile” for the Nokia phone business, which will be run as a separate subsidiary of the main Microsoft company. The majority of Nokia’s employees won’t be relocating to Redmond, but instead staying put at Nokia’s existing offices and factories.
Until today, it was unclear which company would own the rights to which brand and product names, but the closing of the deal has revealed all: Microsoft will own the rights to the “Lumia” and “Asha” brands, while Nokia will retain ownership of the “Nokia” brand – which can only be used on featurephones, not smartphones, for the next ten years.
Otherwise, the company will now be downsizing to concentrate on three key areas. Here maps and location-based services, NSN network infrastructure and Advanced Technologies licensing and development will remain Nokia controlled, but in a much smaller capacity than before the deal.
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will now return to Microsoft, taking control of all hardware projects including Lumia, Surface and Xbox. Whether he will have more success than at Nokia, which went from one of the biggest telecoms companies in the world to a shadow of its former self under his control, remains to be seen.