One of the biggest news today was the acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft. Microsoft will acquire Nokia’s devices and services unit and license the company’s mapping services in a deal worth $7.2 billion in a bid to bolster the company’s position in the smartphone market.
Media outlets and journalists around the world has chipped in their thoughts on the acquisition, and here’s their respective reactions:
1. New York Times – Microsoft Gets Nokia Units, and Leader
A big question is whether Microsoft and Nokia will succeed as one company where they have not as close partners. Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft and Nokia have not been as agile separately as they will be jointly, citing how development could be slowed down when intellectual property rights were held by two different companies. “There’s friction,” he said.[…] The plan to buy Nokia is likely to upset the other companies that use Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system on their devices, notably HTC and, to a lesser extent, Samsung. But there is little business there for Microsoft to lose.
Microsoft’s challenge in the smartphone market, with their new shiny acquisition, will be to establish themselves as the third full-time generalist. That means continuing the strategy that is working in Europe, and working hard to lift their US market share above 10% as quickly as possible.
The acquisition not only revolutionises Microsoft’s business, but the effect on the mobile industry is equally ground breaking. This transaction marks a fundamental shift in the technology landscape making it even harder for the smaller niche players in the mobile and connected technology landscape. The arena will be dominated by the three heavy weights Apple, Google and now Microsoft.
The new mobile based technology landscape will soon be vastly different to what we have today. Expect far more integration, with increased interoperability. Applications will run seamlessly across all platforms, and data and services, whilst unique to each brand, will essentially replicate itself in similar ways in order to offer the consumer fairly indistinguishable services. Maps and location along with mail and instant messaging are just a few examples of this convergence of functionality.
Differentiation will remain on the hardware and platform level, with the related services fading into a level of unprecedented commonality. The next few years will bring an explosion of partnerships on the services level along with new form factors driven by the big three platforms.
Microsoft and Nokia are two sides of the same coin and now they are both under the same corporate umbrella. Buying Nokia and adding 32,000 new employees adds a further and deeper layer of complexity to a sprawling Microsoft that is trying to figure out who it is, and what it wants to be in the future. It can’t let go of the legacy past — Windows and Office still print money for the company — but its future path is littered with mines. The company essentially fired (though not in as many words) its chief executive officer.
5. Bernard Leong – Thoughts on Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia
- Microsoft needs to secure distribution: Given that Microsoft cannot be sure if the other OEMs (Lenovo, HTC, Samsung and Asus) could eventually dump Windows Phone OS, they have to ensure that they own a piece of the pie. Nokia remains to be their best option. That means that Blackberry is going to be toasted.
- A new mergers & acquisitions strategy: Here’s a way to do it. First, let one of your top executives to be hired as a CEO to the company which you want to acquire. Then slowly, watch the valuation of the company dropped and build partnerships to ensure that the company is locked in with you. Once it’s affordable and you might want to hire back the top executive back as a possible successor to your company, then acquire the company. Does that mean that Stephen Elop is going to be a strong internal candidate as the new Microsoft CEO? How is Nokia and Microsoft integration going to be? My sense is that they might dump the Nokia brand and go in the Microsoft brand. Well, as someone put it, the “trojan horse” conspiracy theory for Elop to be in Nokia such that it can be acquired by Microsoft does not sound outrageous as compared to a few years ago as some of us have suspected or speculated.
- Elop as new CEO of Microsoft?: As Aaron Levie of Box put it, it will be the best acqu-hire ever. It serves as the new blueprint on how top executives can land their top jobs for the future.
- What will the phones be like?
- How will Microsoft software people and Microsoft hardware people work together?
- What happens to other Windows Phone makers?
- What does it mean for Surface?
- What does this mean for PCs more generally?
- What does this mean to Google and Android?
- What does this mean to Apple?
- Does this end Microsoft’s CEO search?
- Is there any reason to think this will work?
Here’s the Internet reaction towards Nokia’s acquisition by Microsoft – Click To Tweet