After last year’s announcement that they had acquired Nokia for $7.9 billion, Microsoft has confirmed that both the handset company’s shareholders and regulatory agencies have approved the deal.
In the past, the results of Microsoft’s mobile efforts have been mixed. The Windows Phone has its share of supporters, but the brand has never made a real dent in a market that is dominated by Apple and Android devices.
Now, they hope to completely change the mobile landscape with their acquisition of Nokia, placing them in the running as a massive provider of low and medium range mobile handsets and services.
As Microsoft, we will continue to produce, sell and support the phones and devices you have come to love, including our award-winning Lumia and Asha ranges, feature phones and the Nokia X family of devices, the official statement read.
The hardware engineering and design talent that produced world-leading devices under Nokia ownership will continue to set the mark for new mobile experiences and innovation.
For the moment, Nokia will be running as a separate entity. The move to integrate the brand fully into Microsoft’s mobile department will take time. Especially with the many changes made at the company, with a new CEO and the restructuring done by former head Steve Ballmer just before his sudden retirement.
In the meantime, the development of handsets is sure to continue, and the way this will impact the mobile market will be profound. Nokia is one of the most prevalent and popular makers of devices in the world. Their reach is long, and with the force of Microsoft providing greater innovation in a modern era of mobile design, the two combined could be a powerful competitor for currently established giants.
The opportunity for Microsoft to be both a devices and services company, so that it can deliver the complete proposition to its consumers, is at the heart of this, Stephen Elop, Nokia turned Microsoft VP, said of the partnership. But it is about more than just mobile sales, it is about technological integration.
The vast majority of people do not have, nor will they ever have a personal computer. They haven’t been exposed to Windows or Office, or anything like that, and in their lives it’s unlikely that they will. And yet through the mobile phone business we have an opportunity to introduce what we like to call the next billion people, the next billion people to connect to the Internet, to Microsoft, because they’ll have an opportunity perhaps to have a first Skype experience, or a first experience with Bing, as an example. And so there are literally billions of people who can be exposed to Microsoft for the very first time.
Further details are to be released next week.