Microsoft has announced the purchase of Nokia’s devices and services unit, bringing Microsoft its own first-party Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion for Nokia’s mobile device business, plus an additional €1.65 billion for its patent portfolio, totally around $7.2 billion. The deal will also see Stephen Elop step down as Nokia’s CEO in order to lead the new Microsoft Devices team; interesting timing as Elop’s entry into Microsoft could make a candidate to replace Steve Ballmer in twelve months.
The acquisition is huge step for Windows Phone, which, despite years of advertising campaigns, numerous improvements and growing sales, has failed to gain significant market share. While there have been numerous positive reviews of the interface, the lack of apps has been a big downfall but Microsoft want to use the acquisition to greatly boost the number of big-name apps in the Windows Store and make Windows Phone more competitive against Apple and Google rivals.
Microsoft’s control over Windows Phone devices puts them in a highly advantageous spot in the enterprise market. Microsoft is already dominant in this space and the new devices division makes for an easy choice amongst enterprises, which also puts Microsoft Lync in an even more attractive position: the inherent integration with the Microsoft operating system is one of the key benefits of the Lync solution, but if Microsoft can control both the desktop and mobile operating systems for enterprise users, the benefits of a Lync UC solution are even easier to convey.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
What Will Microsoft’s Acquisition of Nokia Mean for Lync? Read more on Unified Communications Strategies