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Report: Ballmer had board pushback on Nokia deal, originally included HERE Maps division

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has a fascinating article today on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Microsoft on the Nokia devices acquisition. The four page article is mostly about how CEO Nadella is putting things back together, and asserting his vision, but there are some enthralling tidbits too about how the Nokia deal came to be.

In the report, it’s revealed that the original deal included Nokia’s HERE Maps in addition to Nokia’s hardware division. That’s interesting, if only because many arm-chair CEOs have suggested that Microsoft should just buy everything from Nokia. The Microsoft board, however, disagreed. The main complaint? The deal was “too expensive and complex” and the mapping division was not even needed (between Bing Maps and licensing, it’s not clear why Microsoft needs to own HERE Maps).

Even more revealing was a straw poll on the initial purchase. Future CEO Nadella was initially against the deal, though he changed his mind on the final vote. Outgoing Tony Bates was “staunchly opposed” and probably the biggest blow was Bill Gates was not on board either, expressing concern whether the company really needs to head into hardware. From the report:

“Gates didn’t agree that the world’s largest software maker should produce its own mobile devices, and Ballmer was hurt that Gates didn’t back him, the people said. At November’s shareholder meeting, General Counsel Brad Smith had to persuade them to take the stage together.”

Ballmer reportedly yelled a lot during the meeting, and some board members have hinted to Bloomberg that it was him not listening to their concerns that finally began the push to oust him from CEO.

New vision, new identity

It seems to be apparent now that Microsoft’s foray into hardware, including the Surface – which was critically praised, but suffered from lackluster sales – was not something the company was united on. Divisions, often reflecting the siloed nature of the company, seem to arise around this question of should Microsoft make its own hardware, and specifically, mobile phones?

Nadella was reportedly against this move, but has since come around. But the divisions the Nokia purchase wrought are obvious, with Tony Bates moving on from the company and other reorganizations expected in the future.

While Microsoft buying Nokia, who controls around 80% of the Windows Phone market, seems evident to outsiders, it’s clear that Microsoft’s board was much more hesitant. But with rumors of Nokia making Android phones after the February 2014, it looks like time was of the essence back when talks began in February 2013.

The Microsoft-Nokia deal is in its final days of approval, although Samsung and Google may delay things.

Source: Bloomberg BusinesWeek

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Reader comments

Report: Ballmer had board pushback on Nokia deal, originally included HERE Maps division

184 Comments

I hope you're joking. Whatsapp solld out for 19 billion where??? Microsoft paid 7 billion for the handset division. Nokia already sold their headquarters building for cash. In Nokia's case it's not 1 persons choice it's a board / shareholders. EVERYTHING is for sale. Microsoft had opportunity to buy B.B. and yahoo recently.They passed because there was no value added. Same with Nokia's Here services. It was redundant and added no value. So Microsoft only bought a piece of the pie instead of the whole pie.

Let us keep the facts straight:

Ballmer wanted to buy Yahoo, it was that minus habens of Jerry Yang that refused the offer.

Which original report? Bloomberg specifically noted 

"The board rejected the first deal as too expensive and complex, including not only the handset division but also a mapping unit Microsoft didn’t need."

The first deal. It sounds like either there was a price, or the MS board was split on whether they should try and buy HERE Maps too.

If the handset division was not profitable, then why are all Finns upset that the division was sold? Please don't drop the old, "Asha was on fire until the WP deal". Please give an honest answer.

They are upset because Nokia handsets became sort of national trademark. I imagine that If Nokia stopped making phones altogether, they would be upset as well.

 

 

National pride; if Winchester were bought by a foreign company would not a lot of US people be upset?

 

 

Besides it is not an "If" as you are trying to imply. It is clearly stated in Nokia financial statement which is an official document.

If "it" (Asha) was selling so well, why windows phone, android, or any other for that matter? Why was it not eating Android or Apples market share? Honestly it was choppy and laggy just like their latest android X phones; that being said, what makes the x better than Asha? Last bit not least, pride doesn't ensure a companies profitability or survival..
..Money talks, bullsh*t walks. You belove board chose, "Show me the Money"

Asha are feature phones, Android, WP and Apple are smartphones. Besides, reading Nokia financial statement, which is an official report, not something generated by the PR department clearly show which Nokia divisions were/are profitable and which not.

Again, if it was profitable, why move away from it now? You seem to be avoiding he question, because asha live on even after the wp lumia line; it was only a week or so ago that the X series was announced. Lumia is supposable selling well overseas with the exception of maybe China and Japan, so why even get on the Android train if the two platforms you currently support are doing well? According to Finn's, asha is selling like hotcakes, and according to media reports, WP is doing well in many European countries even surpassing the iphone in many; with that being said, if the x line isn't going to be sold in the US, why would you inject a device into the regions your other devices are selling well in? This will only lower the profitability of the others potentially having all 3 of them appear as write downs via future financial reports. While I am a Nokia support and device user, this show me the stupidity of the management team/board that currently make decisions at Nokia. At least Microsoft in giving WP a specific period of time for the platform to mature before moving on to another platform or starting over again from the ground up. Nokia on the other hand has had Meego, Maemo, Asha, as well as the rumors of them being behing sailfin/Jolla....They're all over the place and can seem to make a definitive decision on what the should do.....It's like tossing coins in the air to see which one catches on. The only sensible decision they've made lately is to sell the hardware division and continue with their mapping technologies focusing on getting them into autimobiles of all kinds despite what the blind Finnish Fanboy think.

"so why even get on the Android train if the two platforms you currently support are doing well?"
Actually, the answer is very simple: because the future is in smartphones and you need cheap smartphones to replace your cheap featurephones.
Ashas are not smartphones and Lumias are not that cheap. They needed real smartphones to replace Ashas.

Actually, the most valuable part of Nokia was not purchased or even licensed: the ability to use the Nokia name on smartphones. I wish they had grabbed the rights to that.

Anyway, so it seems Ballmer pushed hard for this deal, got his way, but it cost him his job. This is interesting because I'm surprised there was so much opposition to the deal. Considering that Facebook just bought Whatsapp for $19 billion or whatever, Microsoft getting Nokia's devices business for $8 billion (or whatever) is a bargain. Plus, Microsoft really had no other choice. Nokia was going to go Android and once that happened Windows Phone would've been dead. All that time and money that Microsoft had spent investing in Windows Phone over the past 3-4 years would've been for naught. They absolutely had to double down, and they did. So, for all the hate for Ballmer, I think he may have actually saved the company's chances in the mobile sector, selflessly doing so even though he knew it might get him canned. Respect.

The Nokia name is definitely not worthless but it's not as valuable now as it used to be. If it were, Nokia would still be no.1 and they would not have needed to get rid of Symbian and use WP instead. And if it were as valuable as it's vaunted to be, WP would be in a better position now that Nokia is the main engine for its spread.

As to your second paragraph, I agree with you completely. I now see that had it not been for Ballmer, Microsoft would probably be already lost out there in the wilderness by now, based on the board's attitude as reported by the article. And am I now glad that Tony Bates never made it to the CEO position!

You statement makes sense, but you said something the Finn's should be appreciative of, but they're not......"Microsoft spent millions on windows phone which was injected into Nokia". So it wasn't like Nokia just decide to make windows phones, they were paid to do so, no matter how it looked when Stephen Elop made the announcement....This was all about money! While everyone is saying Elop was a trojan, could this have been a setup from the begining to make Nokia profitable for the eventual sell??? It wouldn't surprise me, look a what happend with Skype....It all coming out now; go read the material on the moves they made prior to sell off.

Me too.

Here could be  agreat value to Microsoft. It gives the opportunitie to integrate into car infotainmentsystemes: that's the place to be for the comming years! If not, Apple will completely defeat MS in this market as well.

Beside that It would also be better to keep the Nokia brand on the Lumia phones. That will give the opportunity to sell that part of the company (and keep the great name) if the hardware strategy of MS is not continued.

 

The original report from NYT and AllthingsD ( before they moved to Recode) here are a few quotes.

"Nokia also made it clear that it had no intention of parting ways with a mapping service called Here, which Microsoft wanted as part of the deal. Microsoft had to come to peace with that, Nokia executives said."

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/the-long-road-to-nokia-deal-a-b...

"A particularly strong sticking point was Nokia’s mapping business. Siilasmaa was unwavering in his belief that the business was vital for Nokia to continue as a company, and Microsoft felt similarly strongly that it couldn’t succeed in mobile without control over the location technology it was using."

http://allthingsd.com/20130904/from-can-we-talk-to-a-coffee-table-mishap...

 

These are two independent reports... 

Nokia HERE maps are slow and often not accurate. It all worked well since MS already have superior product in Bing maps. Now MS must step up their game and start producing phones with Surface design and quality. Simply Lumia 'design language' is weak and doesn't sell.

Yes the surface was widely appraised. But the lumia design is weak and doesn't sell??? Are you living a under a bridge or something? If it was "weak" it wouldn't be so widely cloned. Case in point - iphone 5c.

Leo Apotheker didn't want HP to have anything to do with device either, only software, and we all saw how practically killed HP and WebOS in the space of a few minutes. I hope the new CEO has a bit more sense and doesn't write down Nokia devices and Windows Phone the first chance he gets. The surface, take it or leave it, its been a failure.

What has he done so far that is promising? Actually, what has he done at all? I don't think his feet are wet yet.

While I believe in Nadella, I think Penn Should have been dismissed as well. His advertising/marketing strategy stinks and frankly, I dont want him anywhere near strategy.

Well why didn't he call a "Technical Foul" on Penn? The only worthy marketing campaign he's come up with over the years is the recent superbowl ad.....Instead of focusing on "Scroogled", he should have been focusing on the beauty of WP and it's functionality.....maybe showing someone playing a game via xb hub or an app, who then gets a call from the office needing information, that person then opens the office hub, selects a document (Exel spreadsheet) and shares it with the caller from the office...and in the end resuming the game he was playing before receiving the request from the office. Simplistic, straight to the point, and gorgeous!

They are talking about how much Nokia's market share in Windows Phone is. When the article was written it was around 80%, but now it's around 90%

Even I feel so. Because otherwise MS will be controlling everything at their own slow pace. 2013 had a lot to do with Nokia's support, which shall now no longer be there once MS comes in charge. I think the two companies should function independently.

They did add that crucial input & urgency which made a big difference.
However now everything is under one roof and everything can now be baked into perfection.

I think this is a good point, Nokia was in a bad place when they got into WP and had to move fast and aggressively to survive. 

Microsoft have billions rolling in, while its good to see the Nokia division not working under that sort of stress at the same time I hope they dont get fat and complacent.  I guess though that they will always have Microsoft asking them what they are doing next and that pressure to be relevent in the marketplace, hopefully we'll still see great things in future.

 

I understand why you say so. You think now you won't see nokia, end of Nokia, etc.. I felt the same at first. But you see, Nokia under Microsoft has good financial support for their R&D.. This way they can make better products.. And as they said.. Nokia and Lumia branding will remain the same. At leat Lumia is for sure staying.
So it's just the same phone with better chances to fight lagdroid.

No. Microsoft did not buy the whole Nokia, just their biggest division. Nokia will continue being Nokia and do something else. Again. The phones might continue being Lumia, but not Nokia. After the initial period anyway.

Get outta here please with the nonsense. If they don't sell, they will have to have massive layoffs. What will the Finns think about them once it impacts the community via those layoffs. Look at where foolishness led blackberry. Is that what you guys want to see happen to Nokia?

That HERE-thing was reported soon after the deal already. Siilasmaa was not happy with the idea:

 

http://allthingsd.com/20130904/from-can-we-talk-to-a-coffee-table-mishap...

 

"A particularly strong sticking point was Nokia’s mapping business. Siilasmaa was unwavering in his belief that the business was vital for Nokia to continue as a company, and Microsoft felt similarly strongly that it couldn’t succeed in mobile without control over the location technology it was using."

 

Seems like Nokia was in a strong position during the negotiations after all (at least these reports seems to give that kind of an aspect to this topic)

Given that Nokia bought what was originally Here, for something like $8 billion, I'm thinking MS just didn't offer enough.

There will always be major issues of disagreement within a company, but when a final decision is made, everyone needs to stand behind it with full support.  It's often the case that multiple routes can prove fruitful, but you need everyone involved to be involved 100%.  Hopefully this is something Nadella can achieve, because it sounds like Ballmer couldn't.

Unfortunately no, it won't. But if Gates, Nadella and Bates voices were heard in time, it wouldn't even happen.
Now the only thing that may delay the conclusion of the deal is Google/Samsung (see WPCs article on that)

You all forget that Ballmer made huge profit for MSFT. While most of the USA people dont see the need of Here maps acquisition because there is already Bing on board, in Europe things stand the other way around. Bing maps and bing in general lack, in most of the european countries.

Those profits were made on enterprise and Windows XP/7. Definitely not on Bing and other misguided adventures like Kin, Vista etc.
But you're right about the superiority of HERE in Europe compared to Bing maps. Unfortunately they still both get kicked badly by Google Maps.

Any judge in his right mind will not let Google/Samsung delay this deal. But in this biased society of Android/Apple, I wouldn't be surprised

Seriously, right? If I were a judge and the two biggest players in mobile--the two companies that absolutely dominate the market--filed a lawsuit or whatnot against two companies merging that control just a few percentage points of the market, I would say, "Motion denied. And now you two have to pay all court costs for everyone, wasting everyone's time like a bunch of self-centered yahoos. Got it? Good. Now GTFO!"

For the record, as what i have read somewhere. This report was a flashback to the Microsoft-Nokia deal(Some time between June of last year till the mentioned date November in the article). Which is by the way on its final stages. It will not be cancelled.

IMO, dont think Wp has a chance to succeed unless they have their own hardware.  You can't count on HTC and Samsung is all up into google. 

Surface on the other hand, not sure if it was needed or not, but the issue with the surface was the confusion with windows 8 and also the RT being such a bad product.  Laggy and confusing, it didnt help that MS store employees were goign around telling people to try the Surface RT that runs windows 8 instead of running RT, at least his happened in the store in my area.   

The price point was also too high for the surface as well. 

 

Yeah - I think Microsoft having hardware interests in Surface and WP come from two different, but seemingly similar needs.

With Surface - and Windows 8 - I think Microsoft lost faith in the hardware OEMs.  I think they were afraid of "Netbook part 2" experience where Win8 would just be thrown onto the same old hardware, rinse, and repeat. Since Win8 was so different, I think Microsoft felt they needed thay also needed to reset the hardware expectations and vision.

With WP and Nokia's overwhelming penetration, short of other OEM's upping their commitments, MS needs an OEM focused intently on the hardware in order for the platform to exist and grow.  That OEM just happens to be themselves now.

The price point was high, and the SoC outdated and underpowered for the pre-8.1 RT. At $400 with S4 Pro inside, it wouldn't have made much, but would have helped drive the ecosystem, which also just wasn't there at the time.

As for the deal, MS needs Nokia hw. If MS wants to be part of the "mobile revolution" they need someone to be making hw for their sw, and no one was/is really willing to risk it, except Nokia, which is more of a cautionary tale for other OEMs. MS can't afford any setbacks anymore, and losing Nokia (to whatever) would lose them most of their already miniscule market share, which in turn would hit their ecosystem. Windows 8 -tablets really seem to be the now and future shining beacon of hope (for growth), in the mean time WP needs to hang in there to enjoy the ride to the top.

Have a L920 and waiting for next updated version. Love this phone and unless another truely outstanding phone appears, I will have the next model.

 

Surface RT, as above suits my needs and will get another model sooner or later.

 

Just keep them coming and I remain a customer, with both above models and the excellent services from Microsoft included, Im staying WP and Surface, as whole package is awesome.

Whether or not they should go into hardware? I'm sure Apple thought going into hardware was a stupid idea....oh wait, last I checked, Apple was one of most valuable companies in the world, specifically because they were making their own hardware. Times are changing, and companies need to change with them or they will be left behind. Doesn't matter what kind of a company, everyone needs to stick with the time. Microsoft needs to become a consumer company if they want to stay in business for the next 20 years. Their Enterprise division is strong, but there is only so much enterprise is willing to buy. Average consumers spend a lot more than businesses.

Google is an example of a company who makes a lot of money and does NOT do hardware. In fact, they should got out of the smartphone game last month.

Palm and BlackBerry are two examples of companies that do hardware and software and failed.

Holding Apple up as this poster child for technology success I think is misguided if not greatly oversimplified.

Daniel that is flawed. Google makes money off its users by providing free stuff for their data. Palm and blackberry failed not because they do hardware and software but because they failed to innovate and move fast enough. Apple is the perfect example of a company who can do both.

You're missing the point. Whether or not a company produces their own hardware is not a primary determinant for success. Microsoft will not automatically fail or succeed solely because they have a new hardware division.

That's the point? That if you decide to enter the hardware business you won't magically become successful like Apple? Really? Why waste time pointing that out.  Obviously everyone knows that the hardware business is not a sure thing. But Microsoft had no choice in this matter: if they didn't buy Nokia's devices divisions, the WP market would've collapsed. Game over.

Apple is also the only company in the business that successfully combines HW and SW. They are a very rare exception.

Apple has failed to innovate and move fast enough since 2007! Yet their marketing benefits help them a lot!

So you don't think Microsoft can provide a piece of hardware combined with appealing enough software to succeed? All blackberry had was a keyboard and bes server basically

Dude, Apple has been making their own hardware since the 80s and almost went bankrupt doing it, what was the point of bringing them up?

Because Microsoft has been going after Apple for a few years now, including pretty much copies of Apple Stores as Microsoft Stores. It's clear that Ballmer wanted Microsoft to going head to head against Apple in every market, not just OS.

Yes but donig hardware and software early in the game is quite the difference than doing hardware and software late in the game.  Especially when your software was also late to the game. 

You really can't compare the two situations, you can compare two when it comes to their goals and strategy, but the two situations are quite different. 

All we should be pointing out is that MS missed out early, because honestly, its never too late due to the fact that technology changes rapidly as everyone here often elude to when speaking about hardware and peripherals. So what it boils down to really is making a product that appeals to the masses.

It is debatable whether nokias partnership enabled higher synergy than what Microsoft can do with its own hardware. Personally im leaning towards Microsoft's pride, vision and Nokia's desperation to survive being a really good mix.. Microsoft is swimming against the tide and been caught napping at the moment.. Lots to do..

I have this feeling that Microsoft will willingly sell the handset division back to nokia once wp hits 10% market share. I think the primary reason for purchase was Nokia's desire to go android &wp post the partnership deal. (2015)

I'd highly doubt they woudl sell back the hardware divsion, especially back to Nokia. 

If they reach 10% which is a long ways off, i can't imagine MS ever considering selling it back or selling period because clearly, the plan iwould be working if they reach that level. 

Not to mention Nokia can get a new, smaller and more sustainable hardware division in 2016, which is way way before WP ever reaches the two digits market share (IF it ever reaches it, which I doubt).

I agree with you. I am thinkgin that Nokia want to go the Apple way. Design and finalize the desing with Advanced services team and send it to Foxconn to manufactor and enjoy the profits. BB is also going that way. For MS, they had to buy the nokia division or else Lumia will be gone. So it was mostly MS foreced to buy Nokia hardware division rather than anythign else. Lets wait and see.

Dude, others almost ran Apple in the ground due to a power struggle at the top. That's why Steve Jobs went to pixel; once the board saw they were going down in flames without Jobs; they immediately brought him back, he brokered deal with Gates to infuse cash and the rest is history. I'm not an Apple fan boy, but facts are facts

MSFT has tried hardware:

zune

kin

xbox.

surface.

I think we don't need more proof Apple cannot be defeated by MSFT in hardware. Leave it to samsung or a hardware company. MSFT needs to exit hardware. As much as I love surface, it isn't worth losing OEMs to it.

Zune - when did you see it advertised?
Kin - too early for its time and interface needed refinement. Proof: what do most people use their phones/mobile devices for...social communication which the kin essentially was.
Xbox - great gaming console. Best overall selling console in the world.
Surface - Microsoft let there concerns about OEM partners affect the overall intent of the device; scared that if its too good and cheap, it wouldn't leave room for their partners the make money. Well its these stupid hardware partner who released sub par hardware along with bloatware that pushed consumers to apple hardware (desktops, macbooks, etc). These partner are just starting to produce decent looking machines now, but some still don't care.

while I agree with you on the OEMs, look at android's tablet marketshare? it just surpassed the ipad. This could be MSFT if OEMs (crappy ones as you say) were choosing windows and not android. Why does this happen? A lot of it is price yes, but a lot of it is simply companies like Acer being really really pissed at MSFT's surface.

Surface is a great device. Maybe they should spin it up as another company. Maybe sell it to nokia or lenovo, or somebody to run with the brand. However at this point surface is doing more harm to windows than good.

I dont know much about zune,but kin had a terrible approach from what I read, it was doomed to failure. I dont see the Xbox as a failure, it is pretty succesful and today a big name in gaming. Surface is different, is great hardware with a unique idea (Pro version) I dont think MS approach, from what I see, is to have surface become a super seller, but more be set an example to OEMs. Coming back to Zune, i mever had one but most people say it wasnt really bad... Maybe MS didnt push it enough or they cant battle against the usual MS hate they recieve.

Pick one up off eBay, the Zune was actually very good, just unheard of due to lack of advertisement

I have a zune HD. great device but MSFT completely abandoned it software wise. It had an appstore but no developer could submit apps to it, they had to be "partners"...what's another failing product that tried this? oh the xbox one yes. An appstore with like 10 apps. If they had opened it, maybe they would have 10K apps by now, and sold as many as sony has.

yet again proving MSFT and hardware, are like oil and water.

I've always been against this stupid deal as everyone knows. I'm glad to see that not only the guy I would pick up for CEO - Bates - was against it but also Bill Gates was against the deal.
Even Nadella was, though he probably came around just as a real politik move to be able to get to CEO, and not because he believes in it.
Of course, now it's too late but I still wish Gates and Nadella, now that that Ballmer ape is out, would revert things and drop the deal.

As it won't happen, I'm glad Google and Samsung are creating delays, if only to see if I can still get one last true Nokia branded flagship before they go out, to last until 2016.

I'm not in favor the deal as well. Not that I'm a Nokia fan at all, but MS destroyed Danger and I could see that happening to Nokia. It's pretty unnecessary but I'm glad MS is working to get other OEMs back on board.

I can't, I left it at your mommy's house last night. Please ask her to send it to me if she hasn't sold it for cocaine yet. Thanks.

So... You're a necrophiliac?
You need help.

I use your own words against you and you resort to third grade 'yo mama' jokes. Classic.

Exactly. Though I think it's more likely we'll all be buying Android phones, specially if Apple keeps ignoring third world countries markets and pissing off Apple consumers in Western markets as they did with iOS7.

Due to Malware and spying, I will never use an Android handset. I'd carry a 7 inch tab and dumbphone instead. No way am I going to get Android.

Yeah, like the black update and photo apps that caused problems on the devices. I see most Finns are shortsighted and over look flaws simply because they love a specific company. While I support Microsoft, I'm not afraid to point out flaws,mistakes. Their first mistaken was bailing apple out years ago, second, under estimating internet/mobile. Third, allowing OEM's to produce poorly designed hardware. This is the short list, but they can right the wrongs of they get it right through this deal.

The overseas-tax savings from buying Nokia almost pays for itself but now MS has more to manage and it's been mismanaging a lot. Any sensible person would have pushed back against Balmer given the SurfaceRT fisco and his mismanagment of mobile from day-1

 

Now Satya has to make lemonade out of lemons but he seems up to the task and 100x smarter tekkie than Steve B. ever dreamed to be

Here maps is MUCH better than Bing Maps. In fact for some reason Bing Maps has DISAPPEARED from my Windows Phone. Not that I miss it, Here Maps is much better anyway.

On this I agree with Ballmer. If you want to push innovation then you need to have the ability to do so. It's true that MS dropped the ball when it came to smartphones and tablets. But in the later they didn't even have the ability to really bring tablets to the market. Their OEMs never saw the real benefit in them.

True enough MS should have done more on the software front as well but they've learned their lesson. They're all in now. They can't be reliable on thirdparty support the next time opportunity knocks on their door.

As a Windows Phone fan I'm not the least  happy about the Microsoft /Nokia deal because a lot could go wrong with this. Nokia is bringing over 30,000 new employees and there is no way they'll all be allowed to "stick together". Some will be fired , others will be integrated to other parts of Microsoft, other Microsoft employees will be brought in. That is when things will start to get ugly. They'll get sucked into Microsoft's "toxic corporate culture" and the reason why Microsoft's lackluster performance in the mobile market will rear it's ugly head again. 

Nokia was doing well on it's own, their only problem was that they were not advertising their products as hard has they should and appeared to have problems getting their devices on more carriers. Both problems I suspect was because of their bad finances. 

The only way I see Nokia DS buyout go on well is if Nokia is allowed to operate as a semiautonomous company but with the backing from Microsoft deep pockets ( purposes of marketing and carrier support) .. moreover this will also eliminate the problem of having to compete directly with OEM partners.(at least a bit.) 

Nokia was much better to Windows phone being an outsider, they were able to build on what Microsoft originally offered with Windows Phone ( eg. Nokia Music, Xpressbrowser, Here Maps etc), If I'm not exaggerating I will say that Nokia brought more to the windows phone platform than Microsoft ever did.  all these will be lost once the buyout completes because Microsoft wouldn't want duplicate products. 

Anyways it will interesting to see how things pan out.. I hope I'll be proven wrong.

Trivia questions:
How many mobile operating systems did Nokia have before deciding to give WP a go?
How many of them succeeded making a profit and gaining market share impacting Android/Apple?
Was Nokia more prevalent the Navtec and others in the mapping arena?
I can personally tell you that Nokias maps are severely outdated here in the US and I have to use Google maps because of their lackluster maps.

And Nokia on the way to making Android based phones!

 

Would agree with others comments here that Microsoft had to buy Nokia to survive/enhance WP. Just that reason alone seems to make it a clear and proper decision that MS do what they have done.

This deal is good. Good for Microsoft and good for consumers. I just hope the integration goes smoothly.

"While Microsoft buying Nokia, who controls around 80% of the Windows Phone market, seems evident to outsiders, it’s clear that Microsoft’s board was much more hesitant."

The bolded words commonly fuel miscommunication that causes people to believe that Microsoft is infact buying Nokia and that statement is simply not true, regardless of how much we all understand the details behind it.

I have had countless people come to me, personally and professionally and say "Have you heard that Microsoft is buying Nokia?!?!?!" I always have to kindly inform them that Microsoft is buying Nokia's Devices and Services divison and that they are factually not buying Nokia. Buying a division of Nokia and actually buying Nokia means two different things, as most of us know and understand.

Our (as a writer and IT guy at a college) readership is vast and this article could be one of the first few times that a reader has heard of the deal between Microsoft and Nokia and they may actually think that Microsoft is buying Nokia, rather than just buying Nokias' Devices and Services division, even if you linked more information explaining what the actual deal consists of.

So true. Although a huge tragedy for Nokia, nothing new to Nokia. They have changed their direction several times, manufacturing on the way toilet paper, tv sets, car tires, policemans rubber batons and so on. Let's hope they are again successful on their new direction.

It was the board who put Microsoft behind to start with, so please stop glorifying them all of a sudden as they were pushing management (Ballmer & others) to milk the office/enterprise cow all these years, ignoring consumers. Consumers are the place where both Google and Apple established themselves as major players, they by opening the doors to enterprise they're currently are trying to enter. If Microsoft's board would have acted on the consumer hardware side a long time ago, they could have locked up consumer and enterprise inlets. Microsoft is an entirely different animal than blackberry who live and died by they hardware keyboard and BES server.

OMG55, did you reply to the wrong post? Where have I glorified Microsoft? I only stated that Microsoft is not buying Nokia. I didnt say anything about the board, milking enterprise or ignoring consumers or anything about the reasoning or history behind the deal.

Must have, but do you agree with my statement about the board? Nokias board was smart in allowing themselves to become, "Blackberry Reloaded"

I think Balmer was right. On the surface its easy to say Microsoft can just go cross platform with all it's services and software and still make billions, but notice no one really talks about Microsoft's revenue. Even with the predicted gloom and doom message of the PC's impending death, M$ bottom line keeps growing.

What you will hear about is how people are using software and the devices they're using that software on. Tablets and Phones are the new PC. Those two markets are where M$ was weakest. The surface may have had a disastrous start sales wise, but it's bounced back in the sales department just as fast.

MS has to have it's own hardware division, because it's OEM partners aren't creating the devices that consumers want. If you aren't making the devices consumers want, very few licenses get sold with Microsoft's services and software front and center.

Notice people don't talk about that. For every Windows OEM talking about people don't want Windows tablets, MS doesn't seem to have that same problem. MS's partners have failed miserably at creating compelling tablets that people want. The Surface 2 lineup has proven that a windows tablet is not only on the minds of consumers, but that they'll also pay a near Apple premium to get the good stuff. Unfortunately Microsoft is the only Windows Tablet Maker currently putting out the really good Windows tablet stuff.

Mobile is a market MS can't concede to Google. There's to much revenue tied to it. Google bakes in it's services on Android so if Microsoft wants to grow its services in the future, it needs a Mobile playground to do it. Enterprise is lucrative but there are billions of people in the world and 60% to 70% use mobile technology as consumers. Nokia Proved with the Lumia Line that people can be compelled to buy a windows phone if it's different. They may never get to 40% of the market but 15% to 20% keeps their services in a prime position to be relevant. This also keeps their services on the minds of consumers using Android, iOS, and OSX. It's not about being the dominant player M$ has been in the past. Hardware is about making sure you can always show why your products have value and are as good or better than the competition. That's critical to the bottom line.

Microsofts OEM partners ARE creating the devices consumers want. Microsofts problem is that those devices consumers want run Android and not Windows/Windows Phone. There's a reason why Android tablets surpassed the iPad in 2013.
And Nokia proved that they have a strong brand power still, without which Windows Phone would be long dead. Almost no one buys a Lumia because it is a WP and different. They buy it because it's a Nokia phone. If the OS had anything to do with it, Samsung and HTC would sell way more phones.

I'd say that the Android and Apple products are better marketed by their counterparts. Android Tablets don't really compare to a windows tablet in features or usability, but they are better marketed and people have a clear understanding of what they can do with an android Tablet. Apple tablets and Phones have the clearest marketing known to man; It's pretty, it makes you feel good about yourself and you're cooler if you have one, Period, game over! The OEMS have complete control over android. They can make it all about Samsung or LG while Microsoft doesn't give them that comprehensive freedom. The good of that position is that almost all Windows/Windows Phone devices work the same. You're basically picking the best designer or a specific hardware feature you want. The bad is that OEMS don't build the brand following they can with Android. As such, the OEMS save their best designs and features for their Android tablets and phones. They also market what brings the most attention to their company. thus MS based products get whats left in the hardare bin and marketing budget

I bought a Nokia phone because it ran WP. If nokia ran Android, I'd either be with Apple or HTC 8x. There are small majority of smart shoppers out there that look past brand name. They know brand name doesn't always equate to quality.

TBH honest, the reason Android tablets surpassed iPad is the various price points. You can't have an iPad for less than $50, but you can have an Android -tablet.

Exactly. There are tens of models out there, ranging from extremely low specs to high end while on the camps Apple and MS the devices are expensive. I am a MSFT person but couldn't buy a Win tablet in 10" range because it was too damn expensive in comparison to Android. I don't like Android but for my needs I was constrained to buy it (a Lenovo Yoga 10").

Pricing, pricing, pricing.

Have to agree, with tablets in the UK being sold by Supermarkets, Kindle etc, highly subsidised and with those companys apps, which take customers to their products and services, what will people buy. Especially as so many tablets are bought for kids. Pricing becomes even more important in the purchasing decision.

I disagree...I'm currently on my 4th Windows Phone...HD7, Titan, 920, 1520...only because I want Windows Phone...not an HTC or Nokia device...the fact that I have owned two HTC devices and two Nokia devices are only relative to the Windows Phone support that was given in a particular time...both make great hardware...but who is supporting Windows Phone? While HTC made better hardware over Samsung in the beginning of Windows Phone...they were my choice...but both lacked OS support! In came Nokia, going 'all in' on Windows Phone...supporting Windows Phone tremendously...they then became my choice! In the future, I will only buy Windows Phone...whichever company that can marry great hardware with great OS support (as Nokia has done)...has my future business! Long live Windows Phone! On a side note: had HTC done what Nokia did, and forgot about Android, I don't think that they would be struggling against Samsung in Android...and Windows Phone would have a greater penetrated market share...just my opinion!

The reason why Android sells is being leader feature wise, being cheap and being skinable beyond recognition, to allow vendor differentiation. WP is showing no differentiation, no luxury factor. In a world driven by envy, that's a major problem.

BUYING NOKIA WAS A PRIORITY,
WINDOWSPHONE WILL NEVER SURVIVE WITHOUT NOKIA..
why would you create ur own devices when you already have a brand that the whole world knows,and they already have factory setup all over the world for productions,it will speed up all manufacturing and production,not buying Nokia will slow windowsphone growth and will probably see the end of it.. What MSFT should do now is create a Surface phone ride the momentum that they created with SURFACE TABS..then keep producing windowsphone at the same rate like Samsung, shoot kill that Nokia x crap and produce Lumia,saturate the market with Lumia..BOARD MEETING SLOWS EVERYTHING DOWN..NADELLA?? PLEASE!!! MSFT should do what is common sense!!

Microsoft isn't buying Nokia, just their employees. They won't even have access to the Nokia brand to use on Lumia devices.

The name nokia from phones should vanish as that brand has a solid indestructible value. Just let it work under Microsoft that's it and let only handle that. Don't choose him for Xbox. For Xbox we need a crazy CEO who is talented,experienced and fond of big games.

Google was first of all shocked got an attack when it heard MS is buying Nokia. Now to recover from their attack they are trying put some stupid things on Microsoft so that they can waste MS precious time.

MSFT is in a very weird position right now and are flailing somewhat. They purchase Nokia yet, according to the latest from winsupersite.com, they're proceeding with the plan to push OEMs to "dual install" Android or WP8 on devices. The dual install strategy takes MSFT back to a software-only strategy.

If they go dual install then I hope they figure out a way to allow users to install WP8 on existing hardware. I'd like to run WP8 on a Galaxy Note II.

If the part about not wanting the maps division is true, there's some poor decision-making involved.  Licensing is great, but all of this data needs to be consolidated, integrated, and improved.  Not just for the apps to merge (which had better be one of the top priorities after the deal goes through), but because, for example, both have terrible POI information, even in the US.  The deal with Foursquare for this stuff in Cortana is great, but the more they control that data fully, the more they can improve it.

Does this mean Elop still a Trojan horse? Yes, no, whatever? Anyway I think Ballmer did but his flaw was hiring Mark Penn. He brought great products, despite late into the game, but bad and lack of marketing are killing those products.

From some of the post I've read so far, sounds like a doom and gloom for MS's WP. Well, at least I got Apple to go too.

For such an awesome company, Microsoft is oddly organized. They seem to be at odds with each other, which doesn't allow them to define a goal and just seriously attack it from all sides. WP is a perfect example of a device inherently able to offer the best cutting edge services and technologies but for some reason Microsoft hamstrings themselves with long updates, no sense of urgency in bringing to par features or leveraging their research department on new inventive abilities. Instead they concentrate on a race to the bottom with Android. What is produced on the high end is great, but lets be honest, all the heavy lifting, fit and finish and drive to produce a great product is all Nokia. I just pray that Microsoft doesn't screw up and disappoint with Cortana.

Well, nice show MSFT. I just sit here and enjoy my low cost Lumia 525, the only place where windows phone is truly shine.

here maps > bing maps. I'm not sure why he didn't take it. MSFT basically isn't a map player, and therefore its cortana and similar mobile location services will always suck. they need help. badly.

I think one of the biggest advantages of windows phone is also one of its biggest demises- how smooth it runs even on low hardware. i have owned many wp and android devices and while i noticed a big difference going from an HTC ONE S to a Nexus 5, i barely noticed any difference in usabilty between a lumia 920, 925 and 1520 to a Lumia 520.

Of course the 520 screen is somewhat worse and the OS didnt run quite as snappy, but the difference would be only noticeable when you compare the devices side by side. So, while i know that this is in fact a good thing, it somehow takes away that satifaction that you spent a couple hundred dollars more, making a barely usable OS (android) run smoothly.

I am not taking Apple into account, because the psychological dynamics when buying an Iphone are vastly different.

 

There is something I don´t understand... Isn´t bing maps actually here maps? I mean I thought bing maps was just a brand but that the interns are actually here maps or navteq or whatever... I didn´t know Microsoft has its own developed mapping solution

bing maps is what you get at maps.bing.com. bing maps is what you get when you use local scout. bing maps is what you used to get in non nokia phones and pre lumia 920s.

here maps are better than bing in many ways but bing has been catching up. however compared to google maps, which constantly improves, MSFT doesn't give a rat's ass, and nokia doesn't have enough money. If you took nokia's desire with MSFT cash, you could make a google maps killer. However nokia basically exiting means we're done.

Trivia questions:
How many mobile operating systems did Nokia have before deciding to give WP a go?
How many of theme succeeded making a profit and gaining market share impacting Android/Apple?
Was Nokia more prevalent than Navtec and others in the mapping arena?
I can personally tell you that Nokias maps are severely outdated here in the US and I have to use Google maps because of their lackluster maps.

Other sites are taking this topic to a whole other level. Is it likely that Google and Samsung are paying them to twist their words? Just so china can decide to oppose the deal.

What is their reason for not buying Here Maps? Bing Maps, hahahaha :)

Is Ms f*cking aware that there is a world outside of US? Most of the Bing Services, are not supported for non-US countries.

If Nokia would not step in, we were not talking even about Windows Phone, coz that would be already dead!!!

No wonder, why MS is lacking in the mobile aerospace, shame on Bill Gates and others that opposed to Ballmer on the acquisation of Nokia.

Ballmer have done a big favor for Microsoft, with buying Nokia (Nokia's D&S) just for 7.1 billion US dollars. He has done it throught his trojan horse, I guess everyone knows who the he is. They decreased the real value of Nokia's D&S by insisting on non-demanded OS's devices.

If trojan horse wouldn't be there and if nokia would have chosen another strategy like Android OS entirely, then today everything would be different. 

Skype's acquisation was failure, just look at the result. No one except MS fans are not using it. It is far behind the other IM services.

m still confuse about Nokia deal. whats happening there? Can MS can't cancel the deal. I want NOKIA 4ver.

what do you think guys. Is it possible?

To be honest, Microsoft should have bought at least the Nokia brand and rebrand itself as Nokia. Yeah I know it sounds crazy, but just ask anyone what they think about Nokia and then ask what they think about Microsoft, and you will know what I am saying.

Nokia name is strong, people respect it, it's almost a gold standard for quality and reliability. Microsoft is just the opposite in people's mind.

That's funny, because I've never had a problem with my XP, W7, or W8 OS's.  I have, however, had to return my Lumia 928 and Lumia Icon (two returns) after purchase because of HARDWARE problems.

I found this funny too, as the only problem I had with a MS product was the red ring of death with my early 360. But most of people still thinks MS sucks, it's the same for Internet Explorer.

Nokia will be forever remembered as the maker of those indestructible phones from late 90s/early 00s, and I think MS will be forever remembered as a blue screen of death, unfortunately.

Interesting article. Just change the WP interface similar to the other two OS and drop the name WINDOWS and you will have success

You will not get board on windowsphone just change your theme to light. And choose medium sizes of tiles.

Divided feelings... honestly, to me HERE Maps is the most updated, functional part of my Lumia 1020, other than the camera itself.

I basically stopped using Google Maps and my dedicated GPS because of it.

Something that will probably vary depending on where you live, but there was this particular case just few months ago. I was looking for a bank closest to where I live (just moved recently) and decided to use Gmaps because I'm used to it.

So it gave me some directions and there I went.

After reaching the place and scanning the whole area, nothing. I asked people around, no one know where it was. Someone told me it was some 6 blocks away, I walked some more only to find out it wasn't the bank I was looking for.

After almost an hour of trial and error, I decided to go for HERE Maps. Aaaand that was it: first attempt, right on spot.

Provided that I never used Bing maps, so I dunno how it's working where I live (Curitiba- Brazil), but out of everything I tried so far, HERE Maps nails it. Dunno if it was the right or wrong choice for Microsoft to not purchase it if it was even a choice, and dunno how they would've handled it too. But at least for this particular area of Brazil, it works ok.It still kinda lacks content in contrast with Google Maps (number of registered estabilishments, among other things), but at least when it does have it, it's pretty spot on.

Interesting:  so two of the three guys who were opposed to the Nokia deal, and getting into mobile hardware at all, are now in charge of running the company (Nadella and Gates back again, in limited scope, granted).

If anything, this doesn't bode well for the new Nokia division; it may suffer from neglect and wind up siloed or spun off.

lol@ MS board. They think buying nokia is expensive? FB bought whatsapp for 19 bil. pretty sure MS has lot more cash lying around than FB. The board seems to be risk-averse.