Microsoft has reached a $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia smartphones, hoping to bring the Windows smartphone into the arena as a “vibrant” third alternative. According to a Sept. 3 article on the NY Times.com, Microsoft has also acquired the right to the Nokia name for 10 years.
Microsoft introduced the Windows Smartphone in 2012, and Nokia smartphones currently make up 80% of these, along with HTC and others. Nokia is based in Finland.
The CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop, was formerly employed by Microsoft and will reportedly be returning to Microsoft after the deal closes. There are rumors that he may eventually replace Steven A. Ballmerm, Microsoft CEO, when he leaves.
Elop feels that the smartphone market is ready for an alternative to Apple’s iPhone and the Android system smartphones. It seems an ambitious goal to hope to compete on a level playing field with these giants who are firmly entrenched in the smartphone market. Do you know anyone who has a Windows smartphone?
Another sidebar to this story is the tax advantage that Microsoft will see by taking this large amount of cash to make this investment to Finland. Microsoft reaped similar benefits in their purchase of Skype.
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