You may have heard, there's been some kind of big news today - Microsoft is buying Nokia's phone and services division.
It's a big move for Microsoft, and it's looking more likely that ever that Elop will replace Ballmer as CEO.
Of course, none of this has really come as much of a surprise. But what do we think this move will mean for the future of Microsoft in the phone space?
Gareth - Phones and Tablets Editor (UK)
While this deal's been mooted for a while, it's still come as something of a shock - but without the support of the Redmond-based firm there's little doubt Nokia would never have survived as a phone manufacturer.
Although Nokia will still retain the rights to most of the technology it developed make no mistake: this is the end of Nokia as we know it. It will never be the same brand that brought us the 3310 or the N95. Here's hoping Windows Phone really gets the kick it needs by bringing the hardware in house… Google, Apple and Samsung could do with more competition at the sharp end.
Kate Solomon - News Editor (UK)
We've basically been waiting for this since Elop took over at Nokia, right? The last three years have been nothing but a charade, Elop and his cronies killing time with not-bad-but-not-great Windows Phones, chuckling together at the audaciousness of their plan over Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch Mathesons after every Microsoft-flavoured phone launch until Nokia could legitimately sell up and get out. I'd like be impressed with the Hollywood sheen of this particular tech storyline but I'm just exhausted by the whole desperate affair.
James Rivington - Reviews Editor (UK)
It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Microsoft has a better chance of making Windows Phone work with complete control over software and hardware. It's typical Microsoft – an unexciting company buying another unexciting company that makes unexciting products in order to make unexciting money. That's what Microsoft is – a successful no-thrills money making machine. So while I wish them good luck, I'm not going to invest, so I'm out.
Kane Fulton - Staff Writer, TechRadar Pro (UK)
The expertise Microsoft will gain from the acquisition could help position Windows Phone as a serious contender to Android and iOS. By providing the hardware, software and managing the underlying infrastructure, Microsoft and Nokia could also see off BlackBerry in the enterprise for good. Secure email, Office, security and mobile device management are just some areas the two could combine, and it will be interesting to see what surfaces over the next few years.
Hugh Langley - Staff Writer (UK)
I'm sad to see the end of the Nokia we've come to know but equally interested to see what Microsoft decides to do now. Will it go full Apple and bring hardware and software together straight away, or does it have a different strategy for absorbing this significant section of the Finnish firm? The news that Nokia's lead designer Marko Ahtisaari is leaving Nokia isn't great news to go alongside this, but I still see a better future for the platform. And I know one thing for sure: I wouldn't want to be a BlackBerry investor today.
Marc Chacksfield - Deputy Editor (UK)
It will be interesting to see how Nokia and its people fit into Microsoft - in fact, the whole thing raises questions rather than giving us answers to the future of Microsoft.
Will it be like Google's buyout of Motorola Mobility, where the two entities work separately or will we see the hardware and software divisions working harmoniously together? This is what's happening at Apple at the moment and I think this is how Microsoft should use Nokia too. Microsoft needs to make phones for the mass market and this can only truly happen when both teams sit down in the same room and communicate.
But then is there the other question: what will happen with the third-party phones that currently use Windows Phone? Steve Ballmer has promised that Windows Phone is an eco-system that won't be locked to Nokia, but for how long?
Catch up on all of TechRadar's coverage of the story so far:
- Microsoft buys Nokia's phone and services division
- Elop is Microsoft's new crown prince, but is he really the best choice?
- Microsoft and Nokia? Steve Jobs would be snickering
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