MSFT buys remnants of NOK - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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MSFT buys remnants of NOK

Only two years after Nokia's bet-the-farm gamble on Microsoft, Windows Phone remains a non-player in the smartphone market and Nokia's handset division lies in ruins.

Today, MSFT will buy the remains of NOK's devices division and repatriate Stephen Elop back into Microsoft, his mission completed.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/...es-in-72b-deal
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 08:10 AM
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It's now obvious why Elop trashed Nokia. It was so Microsoft could buy it. There's no other reason for the decisions he made and running it into the ground. Many companies have learned the hard way that partnering with Microsoft is a bad idea. Nokia is just the latest casualty.

I haven't lost my mind. It's around here...somewhere...
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 08:12 AM
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And now Elop has been named as a candidate to replace Ballmer (as if anyone didn't see this coming once the buyout was announced).

http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/03/microlop/

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 12:02 PM
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To be fair, Nokia was pretty screwed in the smartphone market prior to Elop's arrival.

All they had was Symbian, and a couple of "next gen" projects that were going nowhere. What makes anyone think that MeeGo would have been more competitive against Android compared to Windows Phone?
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 01:42 PM
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MeeGo and its predecessor Maemo were a picture perfect reflection of the Linux community: complicated, confusing and chaotic. And all this was already in place long before Microsoft came on board.

And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure Microsoft got a decent deal out of this. Their saving grace is that they purchased a phone manufacturer whose hardware is pretty much as solid and as reliable as Microsoft's own hardware offerings i.e. keyboards and mice.

Then again, there is the X-Box's "Ring of Death"...
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Next steps are fairly easy to predict...most manufacturing operations will quickly be shut down since hardware is not a core competency for MSFT. This will execute within twelve months so they can claim a tax benefit by writing down the intangible assests. The entire transaction will quickly fade into obscurity such that one cannot see what the money actually did, and Ballmer has squandered another few billion dollars. The clown show continues.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 05:43 PM
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Although I am not overly optimistic about Windows Phone I have to think that this helps solidify third place for WP.

@99semaj - MS has been trying to get into more hardware in the last year or so with the Surface and Surface Pro and there was lots of talk about them making their own phone. And they do make the Xbox, Mice and Keyboards (as much as anyone actually "makes" hardware these days).
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 09:41 PM
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Just seems to me no one wants to get into an OS with limited apps. They need a way to make Android apps run on a Windows Phone. Is that remotely possible?
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 09:46 PM
 
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Why would MS spend $7.2 billion to buy a company that is producing nothing but Windows phones anyway?

It seems to me they should have spent that money building apps for the phones or maybe negotiating with a wireless company to sell subsidized Windows phones in order to boost marketshare.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 10:57 PM
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Nokia would have been better off simply making Android phones instead of partnering with Microsoft. They had already mastered installing Linux on a phone with the N900.
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99semaj
most manufacturing operations will quickly be shut down since hardware is not a core competency for MSFT.
So, you're saying that hardware will never be a core competency of Microsoft? Even if they buy companies whose core competency is hardware, and even if they put lots of capital into the initiative?

That's like saying since the first version of Apple maps sucked, future versions can't be good because mapping isn't Apple's core competency, even if they were to pour money into acquiring companies/talent.

I disagree.

Myself, I have no idea whether or not this will play out well for Microsoft, but I see no reason to dismiss them at this point given the big war-chest of money at their disposal.

Microsoft's biggest problem is that it looks like Android has already won the smartphone platform war (and it looks like Google has figured out how to solve the fragmentation problem). I think there is a pretty strong chance that everything else (including iOS) will be relegated to a small niche, and Android will have the same success in mobile that Microsoft has on the desktop.

I'm not really pleased by this turn of events (i.e. Android rapidly dominating) but I guess that is more healthy than a single player like Apple dominating the market. Mainly because Android can be forked any time, so Google doesn't have the same control over the Android ecosystem that Microsoft has over the PC ecosystem.

My preference would be a strong 3-way race between mobile phone platforms, with a market share split of something like 30/30/30/10 (10 being the "other" platforms like Blackberry).

I guess what this demonstrates to us is the "power of free", as we watch Android steamroll everything else.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 11:31 PM
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I may be wrong but I don't see Android as having totally won the battle yet. Apple continues to be far more profitable and still seems to have a better app and content ecosystem. But they are losing ground every day on these fronts - I guess we will see more in a week.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-03, 11:43 PM
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By losing the platform war what I mean is that because at the current trajectory the Android ecosystem will soon be so much larger, developers will start turning their attention to Android first and iOS or Windows Phone only if they have spare time.

At least the above is true for smartphones. iOS still has a very healthy lead for tablet optimized software.
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-04, 12:42 AM
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As a future developer, I'm already more interested in supporting Android than either iOS or Windows Phone simply because I don't have to submit Android apps to an arbitrary approval committee.

Plus, the Android development tools are free and readily available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. The other two phone OSes require you to work within the confines of their respective platforms, and nothing else.

That's why I think Nokia missed the boat when they paired up with Microsoft a couple of years ago instead of switching to Android. Back then, I wasn't an Android convert, but I could already see the platform was making steady progress.

It's sad. I used to like Nokia. In fact, I still have three of their phones. Unfortunately, my N900's SIM card holder started to separate from the main board, and my $20 1650 only works in Europe. But my quad band Nokia 6500 Slide still works, and serves as my backup phone. I've even copied its clock and calendar ringtones to my other phones.

Goodbye, Nokia. It was nice knowing you.
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 2013-09-04, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois Caron
As a future developer, I'm already more interested in supporting Android than either iOS or Windows Phone simply because I don't have to submit Android apps to an arbitrary approval committee.
Wrong. Android apps have a approval process just like iOS and Windows Phone apps. In fact, there was (is?) a Android security flaw with their signing where you can put two files of the same name into a signed apk - and the Android installer would do the hash check against the first file but install the 2nd file. This is a huge problem because it allowed people to create signed packages and slip some malware into the package.

The *only* defense for most non-Nexus devices is for their users to only get their software from Google Play (i.e. don't download your packages directly from random websites) and to depend on Google through the application submission/approval process that you don't think Google has to block packages that attempt this exploit.

On another topic, if I were to play the "what would I do" game, here is a reasonable plan for the new Microsoft CEO to win some market share for Android.

First, we need to acknowledge that Android handset makers are highly price sensitive. The current money that Microsoft makes from Windows Phone sales is probably less than 100M, which is a tiny sum for a company like Microsoft. If Microsoft thinks that owning the phone platform is critical for their future success as a company, here is what I think their best shot at making this happen is.

Currently, every Android handset maker except Motorola pays Microsoft $5-$10 per handset sold (I'm not sure what the exact figure is because those numbers are secret, and mostly rumored). Microsoft could simply tell them that each Android handset would continue to cost $5-$10 for the patent licenses, but to make a Windows Phone handset the software license would be free.

Again, as the price of handsets drop (there are a lot of $100 smartphones being sold), the $5-$10 starts to really make a difference to the market, and I think this move would really get the attention of handset makers, even if they would be competing with Microsoft since they will be selling Lumia devices now..
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