According to Nokia, the final price was a little higher than anticipated, but the upshot is that Microsoft now owns “substantially all” of Nokia’s Devices & Services business.
Nokia already makes and sells more smartphones running Windows Phone software than any other company. Now Microsoft has more control over the hardware that most people use to run the company’s mobile phone software.
The entity formerly known as Nokia’s Devices & Services division is now expected to be called Microsoft Mobile.
There were a few regulatory roadbumps tot he deal. Nokia is retaining ownership of a manufacturing facility in India due to tax issues. But the company has an agreement to manufacture devices for Microsoft from that facility. There’s also a Korean plant which will be shut down rather than transferred to Microsoft.
Former Nokia CE Stephen Elop is moving to a leadership role at Microsoft. But he says that just because the Windows software maker now runs Nokia’s phone business doesn’t mean that the company is turning its back on Nokia’s non-Windows phones.
That’s not a promise that we’ll see new phones from Microsoft Mobile that don’t run Windows software. But hopefully existing customers will get a few years of support for their devices.
What’s less clear is whether Microsoft will be able to convince rival companies such as HTC and Samsung to continue producing Windows Phone devices that will compete directly with Microsoft’s own devices. While the company’s Surface line of Windows tablets doesn’t seem to have kept other companies from cranking out Windows tablets of their own, Microsoft doesn’t dominate the Windows tablet space the way it now dominates the Windows Phone market.