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Nokia sales exec confirms plans to unify the Windows Phone and Lumia branding

Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop
Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Nokia Conversations sat down to speak with Nokia's EVP for sales and marketing, Chris Weber. Going into some detail about what changes are happening at Nokia since Microsoft announced the purchase. So if you've got a few burning questions on your mind about what's going to happen with the new partnership, be sure to head on past the break for some snippets.

Chris Weber

Nokia's Chris Weber from a Windows Phone Central interview

Is Nokia as we know it today vanishing? Not at all. Weber explains that while Microsoft has put forward the deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services division, it won't be fully confirmed until 2014. From now until then, it's business as usual at the Finish manufacturer. "I can promise you, we have some fantastic stuff in the pipeline."

We've previously covered the deal in detail, including the part where the brains behind the design, manufacturing and support for Nokia Windows Phones would migrate to Microsoft. The Nokia brand as a whole isn't going anywhere either. It's worth noting that Microsoft has only purchased a part of the company. Location services, mapping, networking and more will remain part of Nokia.

A handful of bonuses the deal would bring were highlighted, should the team eventually move to Microsoft. These include the ability to better increase awareness and growth of Windows Phone as a platform, as well as Asha and feature hardware. Faster innovation would be possible with closer ties to Redmond and the full backing of the technology giant. It all sounds like a bright future.

Lumia 520

An interesting part of the interview with Weber is how branding will be addressed. We've looked at unified branding recently, and how Microsoft would effectively own both "Lumia" and "Asha." 

"Microsoft intends to buy the right to use the Nokia brand on its phones for ten years. There’s a commitment now that this will happen for the Asha and feature phones business going forward [...] On smartphones, it’s more complicated and we’ll be seeking to create a unified brand across Lumia and other Windows based devices. But we’re still a long way from when that decision has to be made."

How Nokia and Microsoft would work to unify the two branding would be interesting to see. Weber also included "other Windows based devices," meaning we could possibly see future products by other OEM partners included in the unified brand. Lumia branding is strong, as shown in previous reports, but the deal between the two companies has not yet been confirmed, so we can all begin speculating on what could happen.

Check out the full interview over on Nokia Conversations, using the link below.

Source: Nokia; thanks, Zeaneal, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Woot!
  • Long live Nokia :P
  • Yes, Nokia is dead (according to the naysayers). Long live Nokia!
  • Why noo ??
  • Oh sorry never mind I didn't read the article
  • Love this, you just summed up half of the posts on Google Plus surrounding all of this.
  • :)))
  • Wait, people are posting stuff on Google Plus?  That's news to me.
  • lol
  • Maybe no because if I'm reading the other OEM part correctly that could mean HTC and Samsung Lumia phones.  No to that.  Let each companies name their own devices.
  • Yeah, I like Samsung's Ativ line (though Samsung sux)
  • And the name Ativ sucks too
  • HAHA Yeah that name is terrible!  I don't know what they were thinking!  Thwy could've went with Galaxy W or something.  Galaxy sounds cool.  Ativ...........
  • Ativ is pretty nice... And galaxy is a brand of plastic, why would they name their phones like that?
  • I would have preferred Samsung branded their phone Odyssey, would've made more sense =[
  • They are aiming for their own "Nexus" brand I suppose. No problem as long as we know which Lumia iteration is made by which company.
  • Kind of a misleading title. Makes it sound like it'll be called a Lumia Phone.
  • For all we know, it could be. It's not misleading because that is their words. Read the article and quote.
  • I seriously hope it means they are considering dropping the name "Windows" phone. It carries all the baggage (negative) from Windows PCs which is something we don't need.
  • Totally agree.
    If they call it Lumia OS then it won't "look" so wierd if you put it on a 7-10" tablet.
    I think even a luddite would wonder why a "Phone" OS was on a tablet (whereas the name iOS obfuscates the confusion).
  • All android and Apple tablets have a phone os on them. Doesn't seem to hurt their sales or cause confusion. However, that doesn't matter since windows 8 is used for tablets and not  the WP os. If they choose to change the name to Lumia OS it would be fine with me.
  • I hate to say it but it really does. It's weird when people ask me can it get viruses. o_O
  • well.. you should look for more educated poeple that didnt sleep under a stone the last 10 years
  • I did read the article. It says they'll create a unifying brand. That to me implies something completely different.
  • By definition, that's not unifying, that's coming up with something new. That's scrapping "Windows Phone", scrapping "Nokia" and scrapping "Lumia".  There's zero evidence that is going to happen. Regardless, you said out title was misleading: Title: "Nokia sales exec confirms plans to unify the Windows Phone and Lumia branding" Quote: "...create a unified brand across Lumia and other Windows based devices" Lumias fall under "Windows based devices".
  • Well Nokia isn't licensed for the Lumia smartphones, it's only for the Asha line, so I don't think that will be a problem. I don't know what they'll do, but the quote implies something different than the article title.
  • No, it doesn't. Agree to disagree. 
  • "...Lumias fall under "Windows based devices..."
    Goodbye to the brand lumia? Hello to the brand "Surface"??? Maybe a Surface Phone???
  • That'll be $549.99 sound good? =P
  • "Unified brand" could also mean the use of the name "Surface" for all products by Microsoft: Surface Pro, Surface (RT), and Surface Phone.
  • I'm rather reading this as using a unified branding for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. So this is more likely to be about Surface Pro, Surface RT and Surface Phone 920. I'm not seeing them apply the Lumia branding to HTC devices.
  • They couldn't apply them to HTC's not theirs to do so. It's for the Lumia line of phones, they won't be called "Nokia Lumia Windows Phones" after the deal is completed.
  • Usually you're right Daniel, but I'll have to go with what it seems a few people have brought up. I think what that quote means is that Microsoft wants to expand the Lumia brand by applying it to other Windows devices, such as RT tablets and the like, similar to how Samsung has a large line of Galaxy branded products.
  • I completely understand you. But then what happens to the Surface brand? It is clear that Lumia has more mind share that Surface. Orrr wait, I think you meant to say that they would have Lumia and Surface challenge each other side by side? Surface coming from Microsoft's hardware engineers and Lumia coming from Microsofts/Nokias engineers? That could be interesting and very cool to have this competition within one roof. Orrr, will Microsoft really just throw away a marketing campaign only about a year old? hmm im curious for what 2014 will bring. For now I am enjoying all these leaks haha.
  • Best idea I think I've seen would make it Lumia for phones, Surface for tablets. Xbox for console. Hard to imagine the HTC Lumia 8X though, isn't it? ;)
  • I agree. Chris Weber's comment could also mean the use of Surface for the Lumia smartphones.
  • I wouldn't mind owning a "Surface Phone" that ran the "Lumia OS". I think that this would be a lot easier to say, and a lot catchier than "Windows Phone" that has a very bad connotation for a lot of consumers thanks to Windows Mobile confusion.
  • Basically they did buy Nokia, not sure why they make it sound like they didnt by saying they just bought the mobile phone division haha! What else do they do?!  Couldnt they just say, yes they did buy us.
  • Mapping (Nokia bought Navteq), networking (lot of cell carrier backend stuff), and as they said location, which would tie in with mapping I think. Obviously smaller and less of a public brand, but more focused as a provider of data and technology.
  • They did not buy Nokia, I suggest you have a look at annual reports to see how big Nokia is. Mobile phones is only a (small) part of the company. In fact the parts that remain will be much more profitable on their own. For Nokia as a company this is a very good thing.
  • The network infrastructure business is actually very profitable. The mapping business less so. Without the low margin mobile phone division and the overhead associated with it, the company will actually be very profitable. That is why the stock increased over 30% on the news. This is actually a win win for both companies. Nokia becomes profitable and Microsoft is able to acquire Nokia's manufacturing capabilities for a fairly low price. The only negative would happen if Microsoft transformation into a hardware company fails.
  • See, its this kind of narrow-minded thinking that permeates the internet...use the space to get some new ideas, broaden your mind! ;)
  • Xbox or X should be the branding
  • No it shouldn't. It should be rebranded Lumia OS and drop the Windows name. People think of slow, buggy, viruses, crappy, when they hear "Windows". Drop the name and bring the niche apps and Lumia OS can succeed.
  • There should be less emphasis on the OS, just call it "fill in the blank" phone; I suggested x-phone or something of the like
  • I agree about de-emphasizing the os. No one refers to ios or android when telling someone about their phone. However, x-phone isn't a great name. You want it associated with the xbox brand. I don't think people would automaticlly get that the x refers to the xbox unless they use the same logo.
  • This isn't a Xbox OS though so it makes even less sense to call it Xbox phone or something,like that. It has Xbox features that's all. Should we call it Office Phone/OS? No right?
  • Xbox and Office are MS' most successful in terms of profit and brand recognition, its not that much of a stretch, I think...
  • Sure, all of the youngsters are going to buy a device called the "office phone""... Windowsphone will do just fine.... Because ⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇
  • Lumia❔
  • I work at the airport, and if you see all of the millions of people every month who come through there with PC laptops, VS, MacBooks, you wouldn't think that the general public looks down that much on Windows... People are consciously choosing PC over mac every day for personal use,, not just because their work issues them those devices... If you're forming that opinion based on what you read in forums, and comment sections, online,,, well, the average consumer isn't making those comments.... It's not about the name it's about awareness,, because we're talking about sheep here, and they will by whatever is popular and familiar. They don't care who makes it, or what it's called, they just want the peace of mind that many others are buying it because that's how they gauge how good a product is... When you think average consumer think people who could give a rats ass about reading up on, or researching, the latest technology... That is not anyone who has a Phone Arena, Cnet, WPC, Computer World, Endgadget, or PocketNow account.... Lol❕
  • This is an extremely sensible post
  • Lets not forget price; you can get Windows laptops for pretty cheap with decent quality ranging from $399-$1000+; Apple does not have this variable of a price range
  • You're exactly right❕.. But, I didn't want to mention price as one of my points because that can perceived as settling... But, yeah price is a good one because like PC/Mac you can get much more WP for your money than what Apple offers with the iPhone..
  • +925.
  • Thank you!!
  • Dropping the Windows name goes against unifying the OS with Windows RT/8/8.1/9/etc. Why work towards a consistent experience with Windows and then drop the name? That makes no sense.
  • I don't generally, but then again people like you and I know better don't we..? ;)
  • I would like Asha name for low range phones and Lumia name for medium-high range phones.
  • Then that's what you shall have, my son... Because that's the way it's gonna be❗
  • Nokia name must remain on handsets! They should brand it "Nokia -by Microsoft" with "by Micrsoft" in ity bity writing. 
  • +820
  • lol
  • Or just leave the names as they are and concentrate on upgrading the OS to perfection, we are now used to these names. changing names would confuse many, 
  • +925
  • Maybe MicroKia will do :-)
  • Newkia!
  • Hey,, that's my term❗
  • The micro Kia is a 2 door coup from the Korean auto maker and Newkia is a joke Co. intent on making former Nokia expats release an Android phone =P
  • Well as long as they dont name it NoWin phone.
  • Windows Lumia sounds nice
  • Sorry. Nokia Lumia.
  • Nokia Lumia FTW
  • I agree, it avoids any confusion with Windows 8 as well. Heck, merge WP8 and RT into Windows Lumia and that sounds great
  • That's not to bad, not bad at all❗... I can see that being considered by Microkia..
  • Nokia powered by Microsoft
  • Sounds about right
  • That is something I was thinking how Intel brands their chip on PC.
  • Powered by Nokia
  • I really think that Lumia will be the new name. It's the closest you can get to writing NOKIA and have it not look completely jumbled (yay 5 letter words both ending in -IA). presumably Windows Phone will still live on, just as iOS and Android are names, but it'll probably be shuttered into something else for simplicity sake (maybe even permanently called WP?).
  • Seriously, the only thing that is going to change will be that instead of Nokia being stamped at the top of the front of the device it will say Lumia, and somewhere on every Lumia smartphone it will say Microsoft,, probably very small.. Other OEMs will carry on business as usual with no change..
  • They should call it Bob
  • Nope, Clippy
  • Not Mike? As in Microsoft =P
  • Couple of interesting things in the article:
    - First notice how the way he speaks about the deal is so different from the way other Nokia spokesmen spoke when MS announced their plans.
    He now emphasizes that the deal DIDN'T happened yet and won't happen for some time and even then it's not even certain it will. I would really like to see the sales charts of Nokia devices since the intentions of MS were announced to see if what I suspect is true, though.
    - Notice also how he says that, unlike what Balmer sort of said, it's not clear anymore that the "Nokia" branding will disappear from the smartphones. They're looking for options but it's not a certainty anymore. Which means they probably already realized how stupid it would be to acquire the brand and not use it.
    As for "unifying a brand", there's no reason why they should need to drop the "Nokia" brand from it. Other OEM's will NOT allow Microsoft to decide the names of their phones, so that's that. They won't turn Samsung or HTC's phones into "Samsung Lumia" or "HTC Lumia" (though this last one actually sounds nice).
    So the branding will be exclusively to Microsoft's hardware.
    I still think "Nokia Windows" would be the best option, even if sacrificing the "Lumia" part. The "Nokia" branding has more weight than the "Lumia" brand. So they could even, theoretically, replace the "Lumia" with "Nokia". And yes. They can because they'll also be getting the rights to use the Nokia brand, despite the half of Nokia that is meant to remain autonomous (which won't remain, really, because their services will be focused on WP anyway since it's very difficult for them to expand to other mobile OS given the power of Google there).
    Either way, I'll be waiting to see what happens and praying to all the Gods and Saints that this deal sinks. Until then I'll keep enjoying my L920 and watching what new devices the true, pure Nokia will be releasing, while keeping an eye on Sony.
  • There was nothing said that wasn't already known. The deal isn't final until the shareholder's vote on it. So, Nokia will keep making phones until then. It was known that the Nokia brand would continue on feature phones. On Smartphones, he saying they are looking to create a unified brand. My take is that unifying brand won't include the Nokia name. I suppose Microsoft could license the name for smartphones as well, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen because Microsoft still has a couple oem partners to worry about. Quite frankly, they shouldn't emphasize the os at all. Branding the hardware is more important if Microsoft wants to be a hardware manufacturer. Do ever see a Mac commercial that says OSX is installed or a Samsung Galaxy commercial that talks about android? There shouldn't be anymore windows phone commercials. It should be commercials strictly for Lumia, surface phone, or whatever brand name they chose. People are aware of brands, not the os. The os is there just to make everything work.
  • Gosh, you're such an elitist...tell me you're Republican too. lol =P
  • Oh no a Dem! Better hide my wallet and guns ;)
  • "Nokia Windows" make sense to me. A Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone would simply become "Nokia Windows 920".  
  • Frankly, Windows Phone as a brand meant nothing till Nokia came along, Microsoft shouldn't fool themselves that their own branding is attractive to consumers, as aptly demonstrated by the poor sales of WP7 handsets before the first Nokia handsets, and of course the Surface tablets.
  • +1. Unlike android which you can easily choose between manufacturers, for windows phone it will be a very tough decision to pick a Samsung or HTC devices over Nokia.
  • Its actually very easy decision choosing ATIV S. Samsung top end devices are ... Top notch. Shame that they don't care about WP. Not sure what MS can do to 'interest' them and other firms.
  • Maybe only for U.S but anywhere else it's tough luck to find some one using Windows phone with brands other than Nokia.
  • It meant nothing to other people. I got a WP7 device because I liked, and still like, the OS not because of the device it was on. And that goes for the others who bought them as well. I've also seen other people fall in love with the OS and not the phone even now. Nokia helped a lot, but the OS alone(when it gets all worked out, and we finally get some basic phone functionallity that's missing) could be enough to drive people over.
  • Says you, buddy...I got the HD7 as soon as I had the money! The main reason I started to buy Lumia was to support Nokia on their move to Windows Phone exclusively and stuck with them because of the FEW choices T-Mobile gave me, they quickly became the most attractive, reliable and they still needed the support. They've taken care of me and I'm very happy about that, but it was only because they were not basically opposing Microsoft with their decisions since it was their only option. It was a joint success, regardless of what the media keeps saying.
  • I prefer to have the Lumia branding on the front while Nokia Microsoft at the back of the device, in place of carl zeiss branding
  • The Carl Zeiss branding is there because it's a respected brand within the photography world, and with Nokia phones focusing heavily in the imaging capabilities, it would be silly to use Carl Zeiss lenses and NOT publicize them.  
  • All the comments about other OEM being forced to use Lumia made me laugh. An 8X will still be an HTC 8X.
    Even Android does nothing to brand their OEMs devces, with the exeption of the Nexus. Motorola is still motorola as well. Part of what I read into the above is Microsoft has the use of not only Lumia but also Nokia on those handsets, at least for Asha. As they noted, the smartphones offer a more challenging problem.
    Likely this is the smallest thing they must tackle, but the hardest of the bunch! LOL
    Not sure I like the name Bob. How about Diane?
  • As far as the quality of comments is concerned,, it seems like WPC has made a turn for the worse since the big announcement was made... Some of these guys are getting on my last set of nerves.. They are either still bitching about the Nokia name, being over speculative, coming up with ideas that would never work, and sometimes just plain not making sense whatsoever at all... They all seem to have a "weird" name for some reason... Have you noticed this❔
  • People buy the Nokia name - keep it.
  • Lumia W1, next version Lumia W2 cheaper versions Lumia N1 etc.
  • Interesting read... I'm excited to see what happens in the future as a result of all of this. I can already picture the incredible new phones that will be out as a result!
  • They could call it wiPhone like iPhone.
  • "But we’re still a long way from when that decision has to be made."
    2014 isn't that long from now... And I sincerely hope this doesn't mean there will be a stopage in phone releases in the meantime...  I'm still afraid big ole MSFT will slow things down just due to their nature.
  • Maybe, just maybe, the name that eventually is adopted may offer a segwe to a future purchase. MS only acquired those parts of Nokia that we see discussed here. Nokia still exist as a company doing other things; maps; etc.
    I can see MS buying the rest of Nokia down the road and meld the entire company into the MS umbrella.
    This is why I mentioned the possibility of this venture retaining the Nokia name. Doesn't seem sensible to me to have two separate companies operating in the future with the same name.
    Just a different thought to discuss.
  • I think Microsoft should use the Nokia brand for more time to come. It's a strong brand in numerous country and we haven't to forget how many people tried Windows Phone just for Nokia's brand.
    Maybe in USA is different. Over there MS should use a different new brand name.
    I hope Nokia will not vanish...
    Microsoft should buy the whole company and leave Nokia as is.
  • ^ this.
  • I have been bored with all of this....Nokia 's brand it's here to stay.
  • Nokia never die
  • I didnt see anyone mention "Windows Lumia"... That way you dont have the "I bought a Windows Phone Phone" issue, and it unifies the brand for ALL windows phones. HTC would have the "Windows Lumia 8X" for instance... Welp that is my guess...
  • They should name the high end and middle tier phones lumia and low end asha
  • Say my name.
    Say my name!
  • I hate to burst everyones bubble, but I doubt they keep Nokia or Lumia branding. 
    HTC has their name, Samsung has theirs and Nokia had theirs. Nokia doesn't make phones anymore. They now belong to microsoft so why would you name a phone after a company name?
    I'm guessing it will be a completely new name to advertize the sale like a merger and bank on that. 
    Microsoft isn't going to hide their own name. They want people to know who is making windows, or Xbox or a cell phone. 
    I'm hoping they stick to "Lumia". Which would then be "Microsoft Lumia". Like Microsoft Windows, Xbox etc etc..
  • I'm going to miss the Nokia branding, but it's all the same. Same people, same great service just they wont be called Nokia anymore. 
    It's like the road warriors joing the 4 horsemen and they are now called the horsemen.
  • Branding matters---the entire advertising/Madison Avenue industry is built upon that concept---and in certain developing, and developed regions, Nokia branding is pretty effective.
    Fact of the matter is, if Microsoft tries to sell 'Windows Lumia' devices without any Nokia branding, it'll be extremely challenging.
  • many interpretations of these articles surrounding Microsoft's proposal to buy the Nokia phone division. Guess people think "there has to be more to what they are saying" or " it can't be that simple!"...and some just plain don't read all the articles pertaining to the subject before making random statements and assumptions...even in some cases basically telling Daniel Rubino "sorry, I think your wrong". Wow people...
    As for me...not to worried about any of this....
  • How about LumiOs ?
  • Here's an idea: why doesn't Microsoft sell all rights to Windows Phone to Nokia? The world would be a better place.
  • They will do it in a couple of years.
  • Wait...what?!
  • Oh, there may be devices in the pipeline, but they're all essentially Osborned.
    They'll be released, and you'll see a press release saying all the right things, but you won't see these alleged devices in any serious numbers, and no one will make much of an effort to sell them.
    For all intents and purposes, the next *relevant* devices are the ones to come out in a year or so down the line, under the purported Microsoft Windows Lumia brand.
  • NOKIA! No Lumia or Surface. NOKIA!
  • If Microsoft keeps Nokis right under the earphone grill and places Microsoft on the back or right next to PureView Zeiss under the camera I would absolutely love them!!
  • Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Lumia :p
  • Microsoft should buy the right to use the Nokia brand on Smartphones ffs. People buy Lumia cause its made by Nokia.  They trust the brand. This will make a complete mess. 
  • Microsoft bought the Lumia name along with their purchase of Nokia, so they can do whatever they want with it.
  • I still prefer Lumia. All my friends they know abt that name even they dont play around with WindowsPhone. The presence is stronger n it gives it a soul of it's own.
    I mean if iPhone is running iOS, Galaxy S is running Android, why can't we keep the Lumia that runs WindowsPhone? Ya...i do have a problem with their OS using the word "Phone" in it as it will be redundant of a Lumia or WATEVER Phone running a WindowsPHONE OS. If it's me i'll change or shorten the OS name (Maybe just WP?), NOT the phone's name.
  • Remember Nokia 1100? People buy this monochrome phone in 2005 when color display phones everywhere because its a NOKIA. 250 millions sold. NOKIA = durable, stable, dependable, connecting people :)
  • Long Live Nokia ... Will make sure my next phone is Nokia (in the next 6 to 8 months)
    Plz guys launch a great 5" pureview phone with updated