Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Devices and services business for EUR 5.44 billion licenses Mapping and patents

Holly molly who saw this one coming ? Microsoft has just announced the acquisition of Nokia‘s Devices & Services business alongside licensing it’s mapping an patents portfolio for €5.4Billion in cash today. Many like me have guessed that this may have been the big plan all along since the day Stephen Elop was appointed CEO of the troubled phone maker exactly 3 years ago in one week. After the successful launch of several Nokia Windows Phone devices in the past couple of months and the continued growth of Windows Phone’s market share todays seems to be the right time for Microsoft to start a new chapter by acquiring the best Phone maker in the world and securing the biggest patent portfolio in smart device patents.

Here’s are the principal terms of today’s acquisition deal:

  • Microsoft is spending about EUR 3.79 billion to acquire Nokia’s core cellphone business. Of that EUR 1.65 billion is for Nokia’s devices business
  • Microsoft will pay $2.18 billion to license Nokia’s intellectual property
  • Nokia’s patent portfolio includes some 8,500 design patents ranging from mapping to network/cell technologies with approximately 30,000 utility patents and patent applications, ownership of the Lumia & Asha brands and a ten year license to you the Nokia brand on feature phones. (this means that Microsoft’s Windows Phones will only be branded Lumia and not Nokia..strange I know..)
  • About 32,000 Nokia employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft as part of the deal. Off those 18,300 are “directly involved in manufacturing”
  • 56,000 Nokia employees will remain at the company once the deal has closed
  • Microsoft acquires rights equivalent to ownership for the HERE Mapping apps
  • Nokia will continue to improve these apps for other platforms
  • 4 year- agreement for mapping data and services: Nokia will provide MS with mapping data and services in exchange of annual payments Microsoft will combine Nokia map data with other sources and also make it available to Windows AZURE users with an additional fee.?
  • Microsoft’s gross margin on sales of Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets before the deal: less than $10. Expected to grow to $40 after the deal.
  • Microsoft will build a $250M data center in Finland for consumer purposes (AZURE too?)
  • Finland will become a core base of Microsoft in Europe and also the center of it’s mobile hardware R&D and manufacturing.
  • Stephen Elop will step down and CEO of Nokia and head back to Microsoft as the EVP of Devices a job title that was just recently awarded to Julie Larsson Green which will now basically only handle the upcoming fall hardware launches (XBOX One, Surfaces) and report directly to Elop and Ballmer.
  • Stephen Elop just went from being and external to an internal candidate for the CEO job that Steve Ballmer will leave in the next 12 Months.
  • Nokia’s top designer Marko Ahtisaari will leave the company in November to “pursue entrepreneurial opportunities,”
  • Continue reading Microsoft acquires Nokia’s Devices and services business for EUR 5.44 billion licenses Mapping and patents →

    Windows Phone 7 Mango Beta SDK announced: Available Now

    Along side the Windows Phone 7 Mango comes the launch of the Mango Beta SDK. It’s available now for download and obviously includes most of the features we have heard about during the MIX11 event. Yes, it’s called Windows Phone 7.1.

    First the tools. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for:

    - Background processing

    - New profiler and emulator for testing

    - Use of Silverlight + XNA together

    - Silverlight 4

    - IE9 web browser control

    - Live Tile enhancements: use of back of tiles and ability to update Live Tiles locally
    - Deep linking into apps from notifications and Live Tiles

    - Additional sensors; direct camera access, compass & gyro

    - Fast application switching

    - Networking / sockets for communications

    - Local SQL database for structured storage

    - Access to calendar and contacts for apps

    Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango Beta SDK announced: Available Now →

    All Windows Phone 7 Mango features demoed on video

    Here are all all the new major features introduced in Mango demonstrated in video. Hit the break to watch the new home screen, Groups, Multi-tasking, Local Scout, IE9 Mobile and much more:

    Update: Check out my hands-on preview of Mango here.

    Continue reading All Windows Phone 7 Mango features demoed on video →

    Windows Phone 7 Mango announced: Coming out this autumn

    Microsoft just spilled the beans and posted the official Press release of Windows Phone 7 Mango ahead of the press conference that will start in a few minutes. The goods news is that it’s coming out at this Autumn. Three new OEMs are also now added to the stable: Fujistu, Acer and ZTE. The Beta SDK will be made available in the next 24h hours.

    Everything we have heard about earlier is now confirmed to be included in the OS. This means that Mango does indeed have super neat Windows Live Messenger integration integrated into the messaging app and People hub. Twitter and LinkedIn integration (no word about Facebook chat in the PR though). Text-to-speech and speech-to-text for SMS and Chat. Bing Vision, and Music search are also in there. All in all this is, as expected, a really huge release that is sure to please everybody. Now the big question is: Will most of the services be available in all regions? Stay tuned for more info.


    Full Press Release and Video after the break:

    Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango announced: Coming out this autumn →

    Windows Phone 7 Mango is Windows Phone 7.1 ?

    Here’s something interesting: Windows Phone 7 Mango is actually Windows Phone 7.1 and not Windows Phone 7.5 according to the MSDN online documentation. This can be surprising to some but it is following a certain logic if you look at the current OS build number: 7.0.7392. This essentially means that Mango will be build 7.1.XXXX. Anyway,  this may or may not be a place holder name so I will just suggest that you all wait patiently until the official unveiling later today (and no I won’t post about all the wacky rumors currently circulating… but keep an eye on Twitter).

    Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango is Windows Phone 7.1 ? →

    Windows Phone 7 Mango event Live stream

    Ready for tomorrow’s Windows Phone 7 Mango event ? I’ll be present at the local unveiling here so you can expect hands-on videos and pictures of what is going to be shown a few hours after the whole thing ends. but if you don’t want to miss anything all you’ll have to do is to tune into the live stream that Microsoft is going to provide here and follow me on Twitter where I will live tweet as much as possible during my hands on session (I decided not to take my laptop with me because I’m just a few minutes away from where the event is taking place so my smartphone and DSLR will be enough to correctly cover the whole thing here). Watch the whole recorded webcast after the break:

    Continue reading Windows Phone 7 Mango event Live stream →

    Steve Ballmer teases Windows Phone 7 Mango. Promises new features

    Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer was on stage at the company’s Japan developer conference today to tease tomorrow Windows Phone 7 Mango event and promised that the OS update will include “500 new features”. Just keep in mind that this is just a PR number which is thrown out there to make some buzz. Mango will include over 1500+ APIS thanks to the inclusion of Silverlight 4 in addition to a handful of new improvements and services that we have already heard about in the past few weeks. Don’t let the hype and often totally wacky rumors (which are in full force lately as usual before an event..) get to your head though. Everything will be known tomorrow.
    Continue reading Steve Ballmer teases Windows Phone 7 Mango. Promises new features →

    Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer awarded as a Knight of the Legion of Honor in Paris

    Here’s our non tech related news of the day. Well, it has at least something to do with Microsoft but other that that there’s not much value to it unless you always wanted to hear Steve Ballmer speak in te french. Microsoft’s jovial CEO has been awarded as a Knight of the Legion of Honor in Paris by French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday one day after his MWC keynote in Barcelone. You can watch his accepstance speech in french after the break:

    Continue reading Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer awarded as a Knight of the Legion of Honor in Paris →

    Windows Phone 7 promotional ad demonstrates Windows Live cloud features

    Nothing major here, just a short promotional advert demonstrating the Windows Live enabled cloud syncing features of Windows Phone 7. Let’s hope that we will wee what the reall marketing and advertising campaign will look like once the product is finally launched on Monday. Video after the break:

    Continue reading Windows Phone 7 promotional ad demonstrates Windows Live cloud features →

    Watch the final of the Windows Phone 7 developer event live with Steve Ballmer

    The final of the Windows Phone 7 developer event is about to take place in Paris in a bit more than an hour in the presence of Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer and several other Executives :

    - Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft

    - Pierre Olivier Carles, CEO de Kipost et co-fondateur de Labotec, business angel

    - Jacques Antoine Granjon, Fondateur de

    - Ouriel Ohayon, Co- Fondateur d’AppsFire et Co-fondateur du fonds Isai

    - Marc Simoncini, Fondateur et Président de Meetic et du fonds Jaïna

    - Bruno Vanryb, Fondateur et Président d’Avanquest Software

    - Xavier Niel, Fondateur de Free et vice-président d’Illiad

    - Jean Marie Culpin, Directeur marketing d’Orange entreprises

    You can watch the event streamed live below and probably see me in there ;-)

    Continue reading Watch the final of the Windows Phone 7 developer event live with Steve Ballmer →

    Steve Ballmer talks about mobile, Google, Android, the iPad and the future of PCs

    Steve Ballmerand Ray Ozzie were interviewed today at the D8 conference in Los Angeles. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything new to learn at all but Ballmer had a couple of things to say about Microsoft‘s current situation in the Mobile space and openly admitted that the company fell behind and has to play catch up now. Check out the videos after the break:

    Continue reading Steve Ballmer talks about mobile, Google, Android, the iPad and the future of PCs →

    J. Allard’s goobye letter to the Tribe

    Here’s Microsoft’s J.Allard goodbye letter / mail that he sent out internally a few hours ago. I think that should all take the time to read it because it’s just really good. Thanks to Mary Jo Foley who managed to get her hands on it:

    From: J Allard
    Date: May 25, 2010 8:56:08 AM PDT
    To: “Robert (Robbie) Bach”, Entertainment & Devices Division FTE
    Cc: Senior Leadership Team
    Subject: Decide. Change. Reinvent.


    If you’ve been following along, you probably understand just how difficult it was for me to decide to leave the tribe and explore new territory, but the time has come.

    My passion for our cause combined with my obsessive nature has put many of my other interests on hold for a long time. I don’t know exactly what tomorrow looks like – but if my focus has been 95% MSFT, 5% life until now, I know that the first step is to flip that ratio around. After wrapping some projects up, I will shift to 95% life and 5% MSFT. With that 5% I’ll be working for SteveB on a couple of projects beginning this fall…..

    In response to the curiosity, no chairs were thrown, no ultimatums served, I am not moving to Cupertino or Mountain View, I did not take a courier job and I require no assistance finding the door. I do know that I’m going to help a couple of friends get their startups going (e.g. The Clymb), I’m planning some races (by foot, bike and off-road trucks), and I’m going to put some energy into my passion for design, the arts and philanthropy. For those of you reporting into one of my organizations, I am committed to working through all of the transition issues and assure you that The Tribe remains committed to the work you are doing and our purpose going forward.

    If, at the next juncture, I decide to join a corporate tribe again, this place will definitely top my list. There are a lot of great companies out there doing terrific and meaningful work with better pizza, nicer décor and great implementations of “ls” on the desktops, but The Tribe? No one can touch our talent, our impact or our ambition. We’re the only high-tech company with the track record and self-confidence to reinvent ourselves as we have. If you want to change the world with technology, this is still the best tribe out there.

    Please, put my headcount and that cardkey “invitation” to good use. Find a college student that claims we don’t get it and blogs tirelessly about our lack of agility. Track down an EE that has been focusing on fuel cells and has radical thoughts about power management. Or a social networking whiz who is tired of building little islands that go hot and cold and can’t break the mainstream. Hire a designer who’s given shape to 2 decades of beautiful automobiles and thinks we can sculpt technology to better connect to users. Infuse them with our purpose. Give them the tools. Give them lots of rope. Learn from them. Support where they take you. Invite them to redefine The Tribe.

    Decide. Change. Reinvent.

    source: All About Microsoft

    Robbie Bach and J. Allard are officially leaving Microsoft, Steve Ballmer now in charge of E&D division

    Big shake up in Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division today: President Robbie Bach And Chief Experience Officer J.Allard are officially leaving the company. According to Microsoft, Senior Vice President Don Mattrick will continue to lead the Interactive Entertainment Business and Senior Vice President Andy Lees will continue to lead the Mobile Communications Business. Each will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer effective July 1. Big news here IMO and I got to give props to Steve Ballmer for the bold move. It’s a shame that Allard has to go (he will still assume an advisor role for the company) but Microsoft has to trim down the fat and focus on shipping competitive products in a timely fashion. The fact that Steve Ballmer will be directly involved with E&D signals the start of a new era for Microsoft: A Microsoft that is no longer an IT oriented business but also a consumer company. Read the full Email that Steve Ballmer sent to the trrops and Press release after the break:

    Continue reading Robbie Bach and J. Allard are officially leaving Microsoft, Steve Ballmer now in charge of E&D division →

    Microsoft’s MWC conference will be hosted by Steve Ballmer

    Quick reminder for everybody: The Microsoft Press Event at MWC will be hosted by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer on February 15:

    Steve Ballmer to Host Windows Phone Press Conference at MWC
    Feb. 10, 2010
    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will host a press conference at Mobile World Congress 2010. Watch the live Webcast here on Feb. 15 starting at 6 a.m. PST/3 p.m. CET.
    Media Alert: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to Host Windows Phone Press Conference

    Steve Ballmer to Host Windows Phone Press Conference at MWC

    I’ll be livebloging/tweeting from there at the same time and you will also be able to watch the live webcast provided by Microsoft.

    Steve Ballmer talks Bing and Windows Phones

    In a short interview with CNN’s Jon Fort, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer confirmed that the company is on the verge of announcing some new things in regards to Windows Mobile pretty soon. When asked if it’s a new direction, Steve answered that it’s going to be “new innovation”. MWC can’t come soon enough…

    Source: CNN.Fortune via

    Steve Ballmer quizzed about Windows Mobile

    Microsoft‘s CEO Steve Ballmer got quizzed about Windows Mobile during a shareholder meeting this morning:

    QUESTION: Just a really short question. I’m a rather new shareholder and I would like to know why Microsoft can’t beat, together with Nokia, Apple iPhone, and Google’s Android. What are you going to do about it?

    STEVE BALLMER: Very good question. Small and important fact, we have greater market share than Google’s Android. I remain dedicated to keeping higher market share. We actually have quite a bit higher market share than Google’s Android. It’s a brand new product. Of the smart phone market, which is the way these things are normally would normally be computed, we’d be 10 to 12 percent, Google would be 3 percent, Apple would be about 20 percent or so, Blackberry would be about 25 percent, Nokia would be some place around 45 percent, Just to give relevant share.

    Certainly, our objective is to have the leading position amongst these players in the long term. It’s a competitive game. We have just recently launched the new generation of Windows phones with new software. We’re going to keep investing. I think we have a lot of opportunity to improve our products, and our market position. I think we’re early in the game.

    I think we’re on the right strategy, which is to focus in on the software that goes into phones, as opposed to building phones. I think that will allow us to offer a diversity of Windows phones, just as there’s a diversity of Windows PCs, which is superior to anything you’d see from RIM with the Blackberry, or with Apple. We hope to, over time, see what we can do with Nokia. We have a limited partnership with them to start, where we’re working together on Office Mobility. We spend a lot of time with them very much focused in on that aspect, but not at the Windows level. So, there’s more work to do there.

    Undoubtedly, we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re very focused. We’ve really injected a ton of additional talented Microsoft employees, very good thinkers, very good innovators into that area. And we’ve got our heads down to do our best.

    The answer he gave is similar to what he has been saying the past weeks/months, see here & here. Reorganisation has taken place in the Mobile Communication Business division and everybody is now focused on delivering a good OS.

    You can listen to the whole webcast here

    Source: Microsoft via TechFlash

    Steve Ballmer talks about Zune, Windows Mobile, Courier & Pink

    Steve Ballmer Engadget
    Engadget had a chance to sit down with Microsoft‘s CEO, Steve Ballmer and ask him a couple of interesting questions today during the Engadget Show. Regarding Zune integration into Windows Mobile, Steve confirmed that it will be part of the next version of the mobile OS. What’s not known is exactly which version he was referring too, WM6.5.1 or WM7? When asked about the Courier tablet prototype the CEO tried to dodge the question but finally hinted the a similar device may come out of Redmond (you’ll have to check the whole sequence in video to see what I’m talking about). Finally, Steve confirmed that their won’t be any Microsoft phone and that Procject Pink may be be a service associated with highend/premium phones (build by OEMs with input from Microsoft based on hardware chassis).

    Source: Engadget

    Steve Ballmer on Windows Mobile 7 : “We know we have to kill on that one”

    Well it’s nice (or scary depending on how you look at it) to see Microsoft‘s CEO admiting that Windows Mobile as we know it (6.X) isn’t really what’s hot on the streets right now. According to Steve Ballmer had a “breakfest” with a dozen of CEO’s who questioned him on Windows Mobile:

    The one sparky interchange — no surprise — seems to have been initiated by angel investor (and former Lotus exec) John Landry, who said it seemed to him that Microsoft is still very much focused on desktop computing, and considers all other devices to be peripherals to the PC. Landry waved his iPhone and said he does 80 percent of his work on that device. Ballmer responded by saying that Microsoft was aware that it has to do much better with Windows Mobile 7, its forthcoming mobile operating system (the release of which has been pushed back into 2010). “We know we have to kill on that one,” a meeting attendee recalled Ballmer saying. (I’ve got a call in to Landry, to get his version of the discussion about the iPhone.)

    Twitter entrepreneur Laura Fitton also noted that very few people are developing Twitter apps for Windows Mobile. Ballmer responded by saying Microsoft realizes that the company is engaged in a long campaign to get more developers writing apps for the Windows Mobile OS.

    Remmber, it’s not the first time we hear Ballmer talk like that about Windows Mobile 7. He said something similar during the company’s Venture Capital Summitlast month. Oh and that Laura Fitton gal sure doesn’t know what she is talking about, there is already more than 13 Twittter apps on Windows Mobile (see here), the latest being TouchTwit.

    Source: thanks for the tip Mike

    Steve Ballmer talks about Microsoft’s mobile strategy, Zune software coming to Windows Mobile

    Cnet’s Molly Wood & Ina Fried got a chance to sit down Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer at the Redmond Campus to talk a bit about Microsoft‘s current and future strategy. Topics discussed are today’s economic situation, the Windows 7 launch, apple advertising etc.. When asked about the Microsoft Courier tablet protoype, Steve gave no comment and just said:

    “Oh, there’s definitely a market for computers that you can mark on,” [...]
    “So, I don’t see that market going away, and certainly Apple — I’m sure Apple will bring a unique point of view. They tend to bring unique points of view to things. And yet we’ve got great people doing great stuff, and let’s see what the competition has.”

    When asked about the Zune HD and why there’s no third-party appstore, Steve replied by saying that he sees the Zune HD as a PMP and that the Zune:

    “What is Zune HD? Zune HD is a couple things. Number one, Zune HD is a music player, a nice music service. By the way, the same software will be available on Windows Phones and Windows PCs. You have that today on the PC, you’ll see that in our phone environment as well.”

    I heard that it should be announced during PDC 09 (for WM6.5 phones). Steve also said that The Zune HD hardware is to show Windows Mobile ODMs/OEMs what they can/should do with Windows Phones and that Microsoft is not planning to build a phone anytime soon.

    ” Ballmer said. “At the end of the day, I think the model of a software company partnering with a lot of handset vendors is powerful. It’s powerful relative to what you see from folks like Palm and Blackberry and Apple.”

    Source: Cnet