Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s Devices and Services division

Steve Ballmer & Stephen Elop in a joint blog post on Technet:

Building on this successful partnership, we announced some important news today: an agreement for Microsoft to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, to deliver more choices, faster innovation, and even more exciting devices and services to our customers.

Absolutely huge news. Even though this has been a de-facto relationship since Nokia adopted their Windows Phone-only approach, it still comes as a shock. This surely must mark Stephen Elop as the natural choice for taking over as CEO of Microsoft when Steve Ballmer retires later this year. The Verge reports the deal is worth US$7.2 billion in total.

Microsoft built the Surface tablets, now they’re officially a handset maker — they continue marching toward becoming a completely vertically-oriented company. Makes me wonder if they’re thinking about buying a PC company too — that would officially complete the trifecta.

Also, say goodbye to any other Windows Phone handset makers. There’s no chance in hell other companies will want to compete directly with Microsoft’s hardware on their own platform.

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