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Microsoft Businesses

Official: Microsoft To Acquire Nokia Devices and Services Business 535

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the totally-didn't-see-that-one-coming dept.
Many submitted, and symbolset emailed me to wake up, sending this bit of interesting news out of Redmond: "Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions." And, yep, Elop is part of the deal (quoting Ballmer): "Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft, and he will lead an expanded Devices team, which includes all of our current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams coming over from Nokia, reporting to me."
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Official: Microsoft To Acquire Nokia Devices and Services Business

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:38AM (#44743515)

    A classic Trojan horse manouver pulled off in style by Steven Elop. Now he can go back to Redmond, where they'll hold a Triumph in his honor.

      • by sethstorm (512897) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:41AM (#44743855) Homepage

        As Quoted from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2010/sep10/09-09statement.aspx [microsoft.com]: (Archive mirror [archive.org])

        Microsoft Business Division Transition
        Sept. 09, 2010
        E-mail to Microsoft full-time employees from Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.

        Sept. 9, 2010

        I am writing to let you know that Stephen Elop has been offered and has accepted the job as CEO of Nokia and will be leaving Microsoft, effective immediately. Stephen leaves in place a strong business and technical leadership team, including Chris Capossela, Kurt DelBene, Amy Hood and Kirill Tatarinov, all of whom will report to me for the interim.

        The MBD business continues to grow and thrive, with 15 percent growth in the last quarter. It has been good to see the great response to Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, the growth of our Dynamics business and the way we have been successful in extending all our MBD products and services to the cloud. I appreciate the way that Stephen has been a good steward of the brand and business in his time here, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role at Nokia.

        Please join me in wishing Stephen well.

        Steve

        • by crizh (257304) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @05:35AM (#44744809) Homepage

          Bollocks to it.

          We just can't let this happen, it's almost a full blown disaster, the one ray of sunshine is the patent deal.

          We need to find a way to buy Nokia out before this deal goes through.

          Seriously?!

          Microsoft gets a free pass for all the damage they did and gets a licence to all the Nokia patents that they know they cannot survive in mobile without?

          For the price of the Nokia-Siemens buyout?

          So Nokia shareholders are to sell their entire mobile business to the scumbags that ruined it for just enough money to own the rump end of their own business free and clear?

          Screw that.

          I'll offer the Nokia board $7.5B for 51% of the whole company, less any long term investors that want to assign their proxies to me, and I'll re-organize the whole company, turf out all the losers that have managed the company into the ground and spank the living crap out of the company that did this to them. The company that deliberately did this to them.

          If Microsoft thinks those patents are worth so much, stick 'em under a GPL-like licence that lets anybody play in mobile so long as they share and tell Microsoft and Apple to go screw themselves.

          I posted the following on Groklaw the day it died, in the desperate hope of getting some reasoned help. I was too late.

          Looks like I might be too late again.

          Stuff that for a game of soldiers, Slashdot might be full of loonies and Trolls but there are still some sane voices hidden amongst the noise.

          Have at it.

          ----------

          I've been working up to posting this for weeks.

          I don't really want to post it now but I may never get another chance.

          I'm not ready so the link will be to nowhere till at least tomorrow.

          Apologies in advance for any offence but I won't take the chance that I miss the opportunity to reach members of the Groklaw community that I may never be in contact with again.

          ------

          I'm hoping you guys will be able to help me out.

          I've been silently standing on the sidelines here almost since the very beginning. I, like you, feel very deeply that what we have been watching happen here is an outrage.

          Watching monopolies desperately trying to destroy the open-source world like a bunch of petulant toddlers makes me want to bang my fists and smash things with rage. (Yes I do see the irony there.)

          I have, for a long time, felt powerless to do anything about it but I have come to a decision to make a stand.

          The real problem is that we lack the sort of wealth and influence that the corporate elite possess. We are forced to contend with them on a battlefield of their choosing with little or no resources.

          I think it is about time we stopped putting up with that and started fighting fire with fire.

          If we want to win this war we need to acquire more money and influence than our opponents and, ludicrous as that idea seems on the surface, I don't think it's something that is beyond the realm of possibility.

          You see the thing is that the businesses that we face here are either monopolists or practising outmoded models, they are desperately trying to hang on to a way of doing business that has been out-evolved. They look on the surface like the 800lb Gorillas but in reality they are more like Giant Pandas. They are tottering on the edge of extinction because they are too myopic to realize that their ecological niche has gone or that they are in the process of destroying it with their own stupid greed.

          So here's what I plan to do and what I think I can achieve given a bit of help.

          I plan to buy Nokia.

          I think Nokia could easily be re-organized into a vastly profitable enterprise and its enormous collection of patents could be used to beat the snot out of the trolls and proprietary monopolists. I think a licensing scheme similar to the GPL could be created that forced everyone in the mobile space to 'share and share alike' and to compete on merit rather than in litigation.

          I want to create something that is inherently, by

    • by 21mhz (443080)

      Yeah, the conspiracy theory is now cemented. Impossible to prove or disprove, and just too likable to not believe.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @02:57AM (#44744233)

      A long time Finnish stock analyst wonders the same (on the record)

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/terokuittinen/2013/09/02/nokia-sells-handset-business-to-microsoft-at-a-shockingly-low-price/

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @06:46AM (#44745083) Journal

      Oh bullshit. First of all when it comes to MSFT pretty much ALL of their successes in the past can be preceded by "and then the other guy did something REALLY dumb" thus giving MSFT a free shot, from BE-OS tying itself to one niche CPU after another to netscape putting out the abomination that was NS4 not once did MSFT "come up with some brilliant plan" they just got lucky and were able to capitalize on having a competitor that was a moron.

      Second of all Nokia WAS ALREADY TOAST by the time the board called in Elop, they had not one, not two, but THREE OSes, not one of which was up to the task of competing with Android and iOS, the ONLY place they were ahead was in dumbphones which was like being the biggest 8-track manufacturer in 1987, they couldn't go with Android because not only was the Android market then as now the most cutthroat commodity market in mobile (only HTC and Samsung has made any real money and I'd argue they are on borrowed time, Hong Kong was showing off dual core Android phones that retail for $70 not 4 months ago so like PCs its gonna be profits measured in pennies) but Samsung and HTC frankly would have curbstomped them as nobody does high end Android units better, and they just didn't have the money to compete with HP for WebOS which IMHO would have been the best choice. Add in the fact that a couple of Maemo devs were quoted as saying Maemo wouldn't have been ready for another year and a half MINIMUM (it was having serious memory corruption and CPU issues at the time) and the app devs wouldn't have made shit for maemo anyway after Nokia burnt their bridges to the community by changing the framework? yeah there really wasn't any choice, it was take WinPhone or close the doors and give the money back to the shareholders.

      All those that hate MSFT frankly ought to be dancing in the street, as this gives ballmer the chance to piss away...what? 9 billion US dollars? And while shitting away a mountain of money Ballmer's retarded attempt to turn Windows into a WinPhone is frankly killing the Windows desktop, talking to other shop owners we have all even stopped carrying Win 8.x anything as its a bigger bomb than WinME, and finally you KNOW that Ballmer is gonna push hard for his little yes man Elop to get the big chair because it will let him still push his "vision" which consists of burning the desktop and server business to the ground so he can push half assed Apple clones that are worse in every way compared to the real thing, worse walled garden, worse performance, worse app selection, everything mobile under Ballmer/Elop has been half assed and piss poor and I don't see that changing if Elop gets the big chair.

      But I leave you all here with a warning, be careful what you wish for. So many wanted MSFT dead for being douchebags they aren't even noticing they are replacing one douchebag for an even worse one, Between the big brother levels of data that Google is gathering on every android user and the fact that their new ChromeBooks took what SHOULD have been a completely bog standard X86 laptop and made it so proprietary that the ONLY way to install a different OS is to throw it into "Dev mode" and then and ONLY then can you install not whatever you want, but only one of a handful of Linux distros supported by some guy in his basement? say what you want about MSFT but at least i could grab any Windows desktop or laptop and be booting to install not only any previous MSFT OS but pretty much any other OS, Linux,BSD,Haiku, whatever, in under 20 minutes.

      So while we all know where this is gonna end, another shitpile of money pissed away, declining sales on the X86 front and flatline numbers in mobile for MSFT, lets not replace one asshole company for another shall we? as for Nokia...oh well, between Samsung, HTC, LG, and a bazillion Chinese brands there really isn't a place for Nokia anymore now that the dumbphone market is dead. Hell when I was shopping for my Android phone several of the shops had refurb android phones starting at just $20 and new for $50, with prices THAT low for smartphones? Nokia might as well pack it in, no point in even making dumbphones anymore.

      • by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @08:03AM (#44745553)
        OK Potsy... People still supported Nokia - they had a huge market. Killing off their OSs for Windows effectively killed their market - check what market analysts were saying at the time. Feature phones make alot of money and are stepping stone to smartphones.
      • by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wo ... m ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @08:08AM (#44745609)
        I agree Nokia was already toast.

        I think Microsoft is making their best possible move, given the situation. The future is mobile. There will always be servers, and there will always be desktops and laptops, but their share of the world market is diminishing. Phones are the future of computing, if Microsoft isn't a major player in that market in ten years they will be declining. They are a huge company with billions in the bank and billions in profit, they won't fall quickly. But if 90% of home users do most of their gaming on a tablet and most of their computing with a phone that uses MHL to plug into a monitor and bluetooth to connect the keyboard and mouse, then Microsoft will start to see its fortunes fade.

        The advantage with Android is that it's open source. Amazon has their own flavor of Android. Vendors in China have their own flavors of it too. If Windows Phone is ever killed, Microsoft could put out an Android core, compatible with Android apps, but with Bing for search and Nokia's Navteq for maps. Instead of having multiple competing mobile operating systems, you have one dominant mobile operating system with multiple competing proprietary layers on top.

        If Google's flavor of Android just becomes dominant, then I agree too that it's a serious problem. I think Google's behavior has shown that they're fundamentally no different from other big tech companies. They're open precisely until they get a dominant market position, and then they're closed in order to slam the door against the next set of innovators. Hence Google Plus has no open third party API - Google wants to suck users into their social network, not make it easier for Facebook (or the next Facebook, whatever that is) to suck users out.
    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @08:05AM (#44745577)

      That's one way to look at it.

      The other way to think about it is that the rest of Nokia just unloaded a boat anchor of a mobile phone business and a horrific CEO onto Microsoft, with the added bonus of him possibly becoming CEO of that combined corporation.

      Or, if you prefer, "beware of Finns bearing gifts".

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:41AM (#44743545)

    So Elop left Microsoft to head up Nokia, where he made supposedly very idiotic changes that had the effect of destroying Nokia's share price. Microsoft then buys Nokia at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise have been, and Elop returns to a prestigious role at Microsoft, where he's in with a shot at the CEO role.

    That doesn't look the slightest bit dodgy at all.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:50AM (#44743593) Homepage Journal

      One article says the share price is down 53% during his tenure, just under three years. That's damn fine work, especially in this market!

      [aside: yes, we know pretty much everybody on Slashdot called this from day 1]

      • by F.Ultra (1673484)
        The numbers are almost funny, Nokia on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki market is up 41.6% since yesterday but down 41.2% since three years ago (3 sep 2010)
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:50AM (#44743595)

      So Elop left Microsoft to head up Nokia, where he made supposedly very idiotic changes that had the effect of destroying Nokia's share price. Microsoft then buys Nokia at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise have been, and Elop returns to a prestigious role at Microsoft, where he's in with a shot at the CEO role.

      That doesn't look the slightest bit dodgy at all.

      EMBRACE EXTEND EXTINGUISH.

      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by HyperQuantum (1032422) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @05:47AM (#44744847) Homepage

        So Elop left Microsoft to head up Nokia, where he made supposedly very idiotic changes that had the effect of destroying Nokia's share price. Microsoft then buys Nokia at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise have been, and Elop returns to a prestigious role at Microsoft, where he's in with a shot at the CEO role.

        That doesn't look the slightest bit dodgy at all.

        EMBRACE EXTEND EXTINGUISH.

        Well in this case it looks more like: INFILTRATE - WEAKEN - ASSIMILATE

    • by Urkki (668283)

      MS did not buy Nokia, MS bouth Nokia phone business, which I think is roughly half of Nokia. Nokia shareholders will not become MS shareholders here.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:04AM (#44743689)

      What's incredible is that I haven't seen any mention of the shareholders or board of directors attempting to sue Elop's ass off for malfeasance.

    • by Dracos (107777)

      That was precisely the plan all along. The only surprising piece of this is that the this purchase is about a year earlier than expected. The remaining parts of Nokia, including the patent portfolio, will be snapped up by Redmond soon enough (read: after the stock value deflates more).

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:08AM (#44743717)

      So Elop left Microsoft to head up Nokia, where he made supposedly very idiotic changes that had the effect of destroying Nokia's share price. Microsoft then buys Nokia at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise have been, and Elop returns to a prestigious role at Microsoft, where he's in with a shot at the CEO role.

      If Elop becomes CEO at Microsoft, it will essentially prove the company still has absolutely no idea how to move forward in today's technological world.

      And I'm perfectly okay with that.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

      by rastos1 (601318) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:53AM (#44743917) Homepage
      Now the next step is to return to Maemo to raise the share price back.
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:42AM (#44743551)
    Suddenly, the big money is being earned from hardware (a reversal of the PC industry, where hardware companies slugged it out for razor thin margins and software makers raked in billions). Both Google and Microsoft recently purchased established phone hardware manufacturers. While many hypothesized that they did it to compete with Apple, I think they did it to combat the threat from companies like Samsung, LG and HTC. If you look at Apple's sales figures, the reason is crystal clear: the iPhone is both their highest margin and most profitable product. There is no point in Google and Microsoft doing all the hard work to build and maintain a mobile operating system only to have companies like Samsung walk away with tens of billions of dollars in profit from premium handset sales each quarter. Google, Apple and Microsoft want to dominate the flagship handset market with a handful of must-have devices each year, forcing Korean and Taiwanese companies into the low end.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Nokia has been losing billions on Windows phones. Never made a dime of profit on that, even after their "platform support payments".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dzimas (547818)
        Sure. Currently, only Apple and Samsung are making money in this market. Google plans to join them. And now Microsoft is moi ing the party. This wouldn't be the first time that MS has come from behind: Word utterly crushed Word Perfect to become the standard in the early 90s, Excel pushed Lotus 1-2-3 into has-been status, Internet Explorer killed Netscape as a viable company, and people were surprised when MS released the Xbox and went on to make a fortune in the console industry. Now, they're trailing in t
        • by NickFortune (613926) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:59AM (#44743947) Homepage Journal

          This wouldn't be the first time that MS has come from behind: Word utterly crushed Word Perfect to become the standard in the early 90s, Excel pushed Lotus 1-2-3 into has-been status, Internet Explorer killed Netscape as a viable company, and people were surprised when MS released the Xbox and went on to make a fortune in the console industry

          Hmm. Of course most of those victories were achieved at least in part by leveraging MS' control of the underlying operating system. Admittedly the Xbox didn't have that advantage. That said, while the platform is certainly making money, it's still not clear that MS have recouped the massive investment they needed to brute force their way into the market.

          This situation is different again. MS aren't competing against Apple, Google and Samsung. They're competing against Apple and Android. Every hardware manufacturer in the far east is eyeing Android and thinking "we could sell our phones under our own brand". So all the hardware guys that usually support are potential competitors. That's on top of Apple, Google and Samsung.

          Even worse, they're pretty much tied to the windows brand for whatever phone they use. So the symbol that everyone sees when they're bored at school in computer class and the one that everyone sees when they're bored at work and wishing they were elsewhere doing something, anything else ... that's going to be the brand on the phone. All the Nokia ads I say downplayed the Windows brand as far as possible, which I think was clever of them. But I don't think MS' corporate pride will allow that.

          What might save them in this market is big business. If they can get some large corporations to declare themselves as winphone shops and make everyone use the platform for all work related activities they could use that to make inroads into education and home use. But the business dudes all have iPhones or Android already and it works for them. It's going to be hard work getting them to give up those machines for windows. Especially with BYOD as an emerging trend.

          If you ask me, their best hope might be to launch an Xbox phone. Xbox users tend to like the platform; load it up with plenty of free mobile games and they could build a user base pretty quickly, to say nothing of finally finding takers for their app store. But that wouldn't get them a "serious" offering so I don't think they'll do it.

        • by mvdwege (243851)

          Nokia used to be a solid hardware manufacturer. One of Elop's bone-headed moves was to move to the same outsourced manufacturing model as the competition.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          the difference now is that everybody's used Microsoft's software for a couple of decades, and have decided that they really would rather use something else when given the option.

          MS didn't make a fortune in the console industry, the amount they paid to make the xbox successful has roughly only just been paid back. Any other company (ie without a big sugar daddy parent company) would have been bankrupt long ago. That's how 'successful' xbox has really been.

        • by horza (87255) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @04:03AM (#44744489) Homepage

          Microsoft crushed its competition via illegal and immoral tactics by controlling the underlying operating system. Throwing up fake error messages when running rival products to make them seem unstable, using hidden APIs to give their own products an unnassailable advantage, even pretending IE was built into the OS to ensure it came pre-bundled onto every computer. The one I didn't like was when a new company announced a great new product, Microsoft would fake having the same product coming out shortly after. Everybody would wait for the "official" Microsoft version, the new company would go bankrupt, and Microsoft would buy them for pennies and release their software.

          On an even playing field Microsoft has never done so well. On phones and tablets their propensity to launch slow and buggy products has come back to bite them. The Xbox did ok but they took an awful hit to get it where it is today. The best product they ever made was their mouse, so I guess they can do hardware :-)

          Phillip.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Yeah, it's vastly easier to acquire a company when it is failing... People have been known to sabotage a company just to drop the stock prices to the point that they can buy a controlling interest in that company, then stop the bleeding and turn things around.

      • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@NOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:52AM (#44743909) Homepage

        You know what's sad? Nokia's smartphone division, back in the Symbian days, was consistently profitable. They used to sell more phones than Apple and Samsung put together. Since the move to Windows Phone, they were never profitable. Not a single semester out of the red... except that one time when they sold a building and did some scuzzy math with that.

        • By the time they lost the edge with symbian, they were losing money on smart phones. They tried several things before eventually ending up using only windows. The real problem was that they couldn't get back in the black fast enough and they simply didn't have the funds left to continue their own development and try to reach profit again. Maybe they were selling hand sets at a higher price than it costed to produce them, but the development costs were way higher than the profits they made on the hardware. T
    • Google bought Motorola for the patents. Microsoft bought Nokia because everyone else had almost abandoned Windows phones and Nokia was about to abandon them as well.

      Only Samsung and Apple make money from phones. Nokia, HTC, Blackberry, and Motorola all make a loss. Btw, Nokia and HTC are 9th and 10th on the top smartphone list. Blackberry and Motorola aren't in the top ten.

      At this point the phone business has turned into the PC business. Phones are a commodity. They all have 300-400 ppi screens. Anything higher than that is silly. The screens are all as large as you can hold comfortably. They all have the same CPU and and the same RAM and the same battery life. It's easy to design a high end phone.

      For some reason it's harder to make money with smartphones than with PCs. You have to first become one of the few subsidized phones. I think the phone companies know you have to go through them so they don't pay very well?

      • by MrDoh! (71235)
        MS bought Nokia for the patents too. The Apple/Samsung battles are going to be nothing compared to the upcoming GoogleSamsung/MicrosoftNokia wars. We've even seen the opening salvos, now the big guns are being brought up.
      • by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @07:25AM (#44745267)

        "Only Samsung and Apple make money from phones."

        You missed the two mainland Chinese companies. Too lazy to Google for them right now but that would be two of the following: Lenovo, Huawei or ZTE. LG is probably still porfitable until they get steamrolled by yet another rising Chinese company.

  • The End of Nokia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:45AM (#44743565)

    Microsoft succeeded in its strategy to take-down and take-over a major phone rival. First plant a CEO to destroy the company and lower its shares.... wait... and take over the company. What is left of Nokia is not likely to survive as they all had synergies with the devices unit, which will be taken-over by Microsoft.

    Clearly, Nokia had problems when Elop took over... but he destroyed any potential Nokia had left (think N9/MeeGo). And now he gutted the company even further and will take the devices unit with him as a rejoins the Microsoft family he was clearly so fond of. The poor must have really missed his family.

  • by philovivero (321158) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:46AM (#44743567) Homepage Journal

    ...I keep trying but no matter how hard I work at it, no useful syllables are formed.

    This probably encompasses the user experience of an MSNokia phone, so maybe that's apropos.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @12:51AM (#44743605) Journal

    Microsoft has been paying Nokia $1B/year. As part of a much larger organization, it will be much easier to hide how much money Microsoft is dumping into Windows Phone, including support for marketing and selling handsets below cost.

    Nokia handsets, meet XBox!

  • We saw it coming (Score:5, Informative)

    by ecloud (3022) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:00AM (#44743673) Homepage Journal

    I worked at Nokia from 2011-2012. Everyone was saying then that the reason for Elop (who was otherwise so useless) was to devalue Nokia enough that it would be a good deal for Microsoft. And here we are... the other shoe drops. But there will be a third shoe when he becomes CEO of Microsoft. They deserve each other.

    • Re:We saw it coming (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dyfet (154716) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @02:34AM (#44744119) Homepage

      Its not that anyone didn't see this coming, both inside and outside Nokia. I wrote at that time that clearly Elop was doing the same thing Belluzo did to SGI, all the time working for Microsoft's benefit, not the shareholders of Nokia. And that the reason he would go along and do so is that he was promised to be Ballmer's heir when he returned after Microsoft purchased Nokia cheaply. But where are the Finnish authorities in all this? They should arrest that thug for securities fraud if nothing else, and run him out of the country.

  • by GumphMaster (772693) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:06AM (#44743705)

    I am certainly glad they sold off Qt first. If Microsoft got their hands on it the writing would be on the wall even in the face of pledges to KDE.

  • Inspiring... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:07AM (#44743715) Journal

    How I read the open letter:

    "Nokia has an identity spanning 150 years of heritage, innovation, excellence, and change. That ends today. By this evening those 150 years will be a rumor. They never happened. Think about that. Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now, the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history, and you are part of it..."

  • by Mr Europe (657225) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:30AM (#44743815)

    Do you find it peculiar the Elop never sold his house in Redmond and his family didn't move to Finland though Stephen said hey would ? Can you avoid thinking of a conspiracy ?

  • by Ecuador (740021) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:32AM (#44743827) Homepage

    I mean, everybody and their mother could see his "moves" were suicidal, the only reason to not expect that he was destroying the company for MS to pick it up cheap was the sheer audacity of the fact...
    As a side note, I finally switched to a Galaxy S3 from a Nokia N9 over half a year ago, due to the fact nobody was developing for the abandoned platform. However, in every other way (except screen size I guess) the N9 and Maemo/Meego was so superior to S3/Android that for about 2 months I was constantly on the verge of getting another N9. In retrospect, my favorite feature of the N9 was how multitasking and switching between apps worked. On Android and iOS, apart from the fact that it is much slower to switch between apps, I am never certain my apps have not exited in the background and will launch from scratch and you have to jump some serious UI hoops if you actually want to force an app to restart. N9's swipe interface was the thing closer to a full desktop - fast switching between active apps (a swipe and a tap), exiting vs minimizing app having the same UI cost (single swipe from different side) and apps not dying by themselves in the background (at least in the same usage pattern that in iOS and Android kills them).

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      On Android and iOS, apart from the fact that it is much slower to switch between apps, I am never certain my apps have not exited in the background and will launch from scratch and you have to jump some serious UI hoops if you actually want to force an app to restart.

      Alternative viewpoint: If apps are constantly running in the background, they are using up resources, and if you feel the need to force apps to restart, there's something wrong with them.

    • by real-modo (1460457) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @02:41AM (#44744165)

      Yeah, everybody could see it coming, but it doesn't make sense from the POV of Microsoft shareholders.

      Nokia Mobile built its success on two things: excellent relationships with its channels, the telcos; and a superb market segmentation model. (Its designs were robust, reliable, and well-liked by their users, but conservative; and its manufacturing division ... did tolerably well, considering the tens of models and hundreds of variants. Not brilliantly, but tolerably; perhaps less so in the year before Elop was brought on board.)

      Nokia's value resided in these two things: channel relationships, and a deep understanding of all market segments: a willingness and ability to make phones for every demographic and national market, and sell them via the established channels. Those were Nokia's core competencies, the places it created value, the things it did better than its competitors. Not manufacturing. Not design innovation. Marketing, market research, selling a large range, nearly everywhere. (The one geographical market in which Nokia didn't have good telco relationships was the USA. So it didn't sell many phones, except to the discriminating.)

      That was before Elop and the "only Winpho, only North America, Apple me-too" strategy. Elop has admitted to channel resistance to selling Windows Phone, and he has pruned Nokia's tree of products down to a stump, pretty much. He's ignored (at best) nearly all markets outside North America.

      Nokia's value is gone. Sacrificed to the belief that Nokia could out-innovate companies which excel at that.

      Microsoft's buying Nokia in the hope of obtaining massively successful product innovation is ... misguided? Optimistic? An interesting idea? Unlikely to be in the shareholders' best interests? What the hell is a suitable euphemism for "deranged lunacy"?

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:34AM (#44743837) Homepage

    Given that Microsoft all but ensured that it would be an acquisition, Elop was the person who burnt the platform.

    Shame that they took over Nokia and bastardized it to be an unremarkable Windows Phone platform.

  • by zedrdave (1978512) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @01:46AM (#44743883)
    You break it, you buy it...
  • by gargleblast (683147) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @02:19AM (#44744053)

    Any alternate headlines? Here are some:

    "Headless software company buys brainless phone company"
    "Rumours of Dinosaur extinction greatly exaggerated (And their mating habits haven't changed)"

    I'm sure there's more ...

  • by gnalre (323830) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @02:45AM (#44744183)

    Depressing Inevitability
    This was the only likely scenario once Elop tied Nokia to the MS mast and cut away the lifeboats. It was always going to be we sail together and we sink together.
    In many ways Nokia has fulfilled their side of the bargain by generating some hardware which is as good as any phone out there. What has held them back is the OS, which despite having some good features is always lagging behind the iphone and android, and seems incapable of introducing the needed changes at the rate required in a consumer device.

    In a perfect world, Nokia would take over responsibility of the MS mobile division and it would be left alone to force the changes that the engineers of Nokia know are required. However what is more likely is that Microsoft will smother the innovative culture in Nokia to make it more like itself, so that we will get a company more concerned about how Office runs on the phone than offering the best consumer experience. I also can't wait to see how the trolls of Helsinki react to their first stack ranking session.

    What is confusing about this is the timing. Is this Ballmer's last hurrah or Elop's last desperate grab for power. If your CEO had just announced he would be leaving so would not be taking long term responsibility for such a decision, as a board wouldn't you say Whoa, maybe we will get the next guy in to look at this? Lets face it with Baller's acquisition track record it may be more profitable to take the billions of dollars, pile it the middle of Oulu and set fire to it....

  • if they think they will find a place in my mobile phone or tablet, they are loony.

    (gosh, that is how long ago I replaced Windows95 with Slackware ... and never looked back).

  • Shareholder lawsuit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @10:22AM (#44746685)

    The CEO has a fiduciary duty to his company and its shareholders. Elop pretty obviously violated that duty by acting in the best interests of MS, not Nokia. It seems to me that there would be strong grounds for a Nokia shareholder lawsuit against Elop personally, and possibly against MS as well. Discovery proceedings could be quite interesting – civil attorneys can demand just about any relevant documents, emails, and so forth. Unless everything was done verbally with no record, there ought to be some evidence of Elop's malfeasance.

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