Nokia begins work on first Windows phones, dismisses Microsoft acquisition rumors

By on March 18, 2011, 11:24 AM
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has confirmed that his company has starting working on the first Nokia smartphones powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. At the same time, he has also denied rumors that Microsoft wants to buy Nokia outright. The agreement between Nokia and Microsoft, which was announced last month, still has to be finalized; this will occur sometime in the next couple of months.

"I'm not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business," Elop told Reuters. "To the extent that a partnership has been formed around what they're really interested in, then what would an acquisition bring other than a good year of anti-trust investigation, huge turmoil, delays? We're right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn't be possible. Now what happens is accountability. If someone's not succeeding they need to be helped or they need to be moved along. In my context, that will absolutely be the case. So there's a team in place. It's now a new team of my new leadership, newly minted in terms of their new roles. Now they have to perform."

We've been debating on when Nokia will release its first Windows Phone device; will it be in 2011 or in 2012? Nokia's chairman has said Windows-based Nokia phones will be on sale next year, but Elop has said he is aiming to produce a Windows phone by the end of this year. Nokia's transition from Symbian to Windows Phone is, however, expected to take at least two years.

As we've already underlined before, Windows Phone 7 is not mentioned anywhere in the Nokia-Microsoft announcement: the two companies simply refer to the OS as Windows Phone. It's thus quite possible that Nokia will start by pushing out Windows Phone 8 on its higher-end devices.

User Comments: 7

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Nima304 said:

I'm unsure; surely it would have been easier to buy Nokia with that billion dollars they spent on them?

Emil said:

I don't think so; way too much integration would be required.

Jibberish18 said:

Nokia would have been MUCH more expensive than a cool 1 Billion dollars. In the world of tech giants, $1Bil is really not much. You've got companies like Microsoft spending 1/10th of that just for advertising on their search engine.

What I was going to ask was, is it me or doesn't it seem assinine that failing Nokia would wait until the end of the year to release a Windows 7 phone? What the hell was the point to this entire hooplah if you're going to wait to release a phone when no one cares anymore?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's not as if you can just magically have a working phone to release. There's need to develop it, manufacture it and certify it. Nokia may be able to shave a couple of months doing a generic Windows phone, and it's possible that's the only way it will release one this year, but hopefully that won't be the case.

T77 T77 said:

I personally don't think there's ever going to be any acquisition.I mean its Nokia,it has a separate identity.Such a thing won't work out well with the users..

LookinAround LookinAround, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"I'm not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business," Elop told Reuters.

I don't think that's true.

Nokia owns NAVTEQ, the GPS navigation database and real-time traffic provider. I also believe Microsoft Bing already has a strategic relationship with NAVTEQ. Bing critically relies on NAVTEQ data and imagery if only that Bing can compete with Google maps and Google Streetview.

I think there may be several reasons MS might want to buy Nokia (all of which would help MS compete against Google and Google offerings which challenge the MS market and products)

/* EDIT */

p.s. Also consider how quickly the gps navigation and apps market has grown. And will continue to grow. Seeing as how it seems Google does its own nav data and imagery collection, i would think MS would want to do so too - or own/control the company that does it for them- so not be dependent on a vendor for it

ravisunny2 ravisunny2, TS Ambassador, said:

Nokia might even be looking forward to the acquisition.

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