Well, it finally happened. Microsoft has officially purchased Nokia’s Devices and Services Unit. Many people have speculated this very thing would happen ever since the two companies teamed up several years ago. Microsoft now has their very own manufacturer to make even more Microsoft-branded hardware.
Microsoft purchased the unit for $7.2 billion (which is actually less than they paid for Skype). This move is all about making sure Nokia is here to stay in the Windows ecosystem. This deal locks up Nokia as a permanent partner, and gives Microsoft access to more hardware. It’s safe to say that the fabled “Surface Phone” has a better chance than ever to be created.
Another major aspect of this deal is the reordering at Nokia. Stephen Elop is stepping down as CEO, and becoming executive VP of devices and services. When the deal closes he will return to Microsoft to lead an expanded devices team. Elop will work under Ballmer, and Julie Larson-Green will work under Elop as the head of the existing devices team.
The deal will go official in the first quarter of 2014. Until then, and probably for some time after, it will be business as usual from Nokia. Think about how long it has taken Motorola to release a true “Google phone.” There was never much doubt before, but now we can definitively say Nokia is stuck with Windows Phone. Lumia 5 Lyfe, yo.