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Microsoft Reportedly Rushed Nokia Deal; Is BlackBerry Next Target?

by Brandon Russell | September 3, 2013September 3, 2013 4:00 pm PST


It took six months of negotiations between Microsoft and Nokia before a deal was finalized. According to a new Bloomberg report, dialogue among the two companies was first sparked back in Feb.—at Mobile World Congress—with Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer apparently initiating talks. With the high-profile partnership between Microsoft and Nokia reportedly not working out as expected, Ballmer apparently reacted by offering to acquire Nokia’s handset division outright.

The deal actually took longer than Ballmer had hoped; Nokia’s board reportedly met over 50 times before coming to a consensus. Internally, the deal was codenamed Project Gold Medal, according to sources; many of the negotiations were described as “sprints,” with Nokia and its board allegedly coming to a decision back in July. The acquisition basically means that Microsoft will be in full control of Nokia’s mobile assets.

Separately, Microsoft and Nokia were like two magnets that couldn’t sync up. Nokia managed to release a handful of terrific Windows Phone 8 devices, along with some great software. But Microsoft’s own software didn’t allow Nokia’s brand to flourish the way it could have—whether a prison break over to Android would’ve helped raise Nokia’s market standing is up for debate. Sensing this, Microsoft apparently felt it needed to control both sides.

With Steve Ballmer announcing his intentions to step down within the next twelve months, Microsoft certainly has a lot on its plate. And it could have even more down the road—and that’s excluding the company’s upcoming Xbox One. Bloomberg’s sources claim Microsoft is “keeping an eye on BlackBerry” following comments that the Waterloo company would consider a sale. Microsoft is suddenly gaining some key assets for a mobile assault—and could get even stronger—but that doesn’t automagically equate to success.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.