Microsoft board originally pushed back against Nokia deal, almost included HERE Maps

Now that Steve Ballmer has left the Captain’s chair at Microsoft and Satya Nadella is settling in, he is apparently faced with a bit of a clean-up due to what was a rather messy past few years. The recent restructuring with the senior leadership team is Nadella’s first sweep with the broom.

The rest is not so simple to manage, namely the acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services. Last summer, when Steve Ballmer was trying to put together the deal to buy Nokia, it originally included HERE Maps. The complexity of that issue was not the problem. The arguing was over something much simpler.

Should Microsoft be in the hardware business?

It seems like a question worth debating over, but the company was already in the hardware business. All over the place you can buy Microsoft branded accessories for your PC. There is also Xbox and how can anyone forget the current crown jewel that is Surface? Yes, Surface was a letdown in the grand scheme, Xbox is a winner, and the rest of the goodies are not significant in comparison, but no one can say Microsoft was not in the hardware business already.

When it came to the Nokia deal, Bill Gates and Satya Nadella initially were against it. Nadella would later change his mind, but Gates apparently continued to resist the notion that Microsoft should get into the mobile device business. That was a hard blow for Ballmer to overcome seeing as the two have been friends since before 1980. “At November’s shareholder meeting, General Counsel Brad Smith had to persuade them to take the stage together.”

At this stage in the game, the damage is more or less done. Tony Bates’ and Tami Reller’s departure is but some of the fallout that is likely to come out of Microsoft in the coming months. While Ballmer had achieved his wish to get into the handset business, enough drama had transpired that it had some directors wondering if he should still lead the company.  Coupled with Gates' lack of support on the matter hastened Ballmer's decision to leave.

The direction for Microsoft is still set however, and Satya Nadella now agrees with the move, “Nokia brings mobile-first depth across hardware, software, design, global supply chain expertise and deep understanding and connections across the mobile market. This is the right move for Microsoft.”

sources: Bloomberg BusinessWeek via WPCentral

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27 Comments

1. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Microsoft should not buy Nokia. Its going to be messy for both. OEMS would not support a software company that is competing with them in the hardware.

11. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

Had Microsoft not buy Nokia, does other OEMs like HTC and Samsung lend great support to Windows Phone? No. HTC's most recent WP8 are HTC 8X and 8S ; Samsung's are Ativ S and maybe Ativ S neo. So, your point wasn't that concrete either. Period.

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Ask Acer, HP, Dell why they don't produce WP8 phone.

14. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

And Sony as well. Because they simply do not think WP8 is worth their investment yet. So the wisest thing for them to do, is to adopt the more popular open source Android, and wait and see whether WP will develop to their liking.

15. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

If surface pro sell like the way nokia sell wp. Would you think the OEMS will live long enough to tell their tales. Business rule number one never compete with your principal supplier, in this case Microsoft that provide both the software and hardware to end users.

17. papss unregistered

Sony is in financial trouble. Its all about money but nice try

18. papss unregistered

Do any of those three sell any amount of phones to care?

20. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I had a HP winmo 6.5 phone used to be my favorite phone. In fact its more capable than the current wp 8 phone. At least there a file manager, that support bluetooth file transferred. Anyway I don't think you own a winmo phone so its hard for you to imagine.

21. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

They give a token effort to WPx probably just to get an android tax discount from MS, that's it.

13. Mrmark

Posts: 400; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

As long as they continue to let Nokia do its own thing independently and provide the nice updates that make Nokia more of a deal than the other WP ... Who cares ! That's why I haven't got a windows phone for Sprint ... Its not the specs for me but more so how Nokia has added so much more to Windows with its exclusion updates . I am definitely hoping this is WP year to do extraordinary with its results.

2. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

"Should Microsoft be in the hardware business?" No. Considering that they want others to adopt its OS, entering the mobile space is a bad decision. Is it possible at all, for Microsoft to forget the idea of acquring Nokia, at this point? Wish Bill gates was still the CEO. He was getting things correct, all along.

8. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

But, but apple making billions on shiny hardware! Must follow their business methods!

3. Naruto_Uzumaki

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 22, 2013

yes, It's unavoidable

4. Antonyjoseph

Posts: 217; Member since: Apr 06, 2013

Even after acquiring Nokia, MS should have let them continue seperately without merging them with MS. Something along the lines of what Tata Motors of India did with the Jaguar Landrover acquisition.

6. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

thats right. right now jag continues to be awsome. not affected by tata. and thats good for both. but in this case microsoft will ruin nokia. i was hoping to see android or firefox or tizen on a nokia. a high end one.

19. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Ruin it for you maybe.. But, a high end Lumia running WP8.1-0xxxx is hardly ruining anything... There's still more Android devices to choose from.. .................. This is actually terrific for consumers because now there's quality, and competitive, choices from iOS, Android, and WP... Looking at the big picture, setting brand loyalty, and bias aside,, how is that a bad thing? By you guys not supporting the idea of WP, and selfishly wishing Nokia was all about Android, you're suggesting that they take away choice from the consumer... .................... Android is great, but not everyone wants Android... And, a lot of people would probably enjoy WP more than Android but they just don't know it yet... Now, that's Microsoft's fault.. I'll admit that.. But, the third option is solid whether some of you want to admit it or not..

22. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

I love how everyone wants a highend Nokia Android phone but ignore Sony. I think Sony and Nokia phones are up to par with each other. I'd get a Nokia Windows phone as soon as microsoft allows me to use unsigned code on it.

26. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Perfect!... Yes! Sony is awesome!!!

23. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

No, I don't support WP nor do I support Android on a Nokia device. Nokia devices have been established for having their own proprietary operating systems such as S40, Symbian, and Maemo / MeeGo line. If anything I would have loved for Nokia to have continued providing all of these current devices with MeeGo that was fully developed and accepted on the Nokia N9. Point being, I would have loved if Elop hadn't killed Nokia's OSs which were more popular than the stupid WP that had no support and functionality when adopted by Nokia.

25. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Well, now the stupid WP has support and functionality... So, we can all be happy and move on!!!:-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-)

5. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

I've been using a Microsoft mouse for several years now, works great. I think people are having a hard time over the mobile portion because it's Nokia that was purchased. Had it been a company that was barely known, I doubt many would have any issues with it. The other issue is it's no secret Nokia got preferential treatment from MS, something Google refused to do with Motorola. IMO, they should have gone the Motorola way and kept Nokia separate instead of making them part of the main MS family.

7. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

microsofts hardware quality is excellent. but it seems they can not make a move in mobile segment. years ago they failed with winmo with every oem behind them except nokia and now the story is repeating with wp but with every oem except nokia.

24. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I use a cheap Chinese mouse that I bought for 2 EUR. Works like a charm, even after 4 years.

27. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

And after adding in shipping and handling costs for where I live, that would be close to going to the local store and buying a mouse from MS.

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

It is what it is. Barring China sinking the deal, the cake is baked. I guess if things go south for MS on the Devices and Services division acquisition, they can always sell the division to Lenovo to combine with Motorola. The resulting company can be called Lenokorola.

10. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I just said Lenokorola out loud like 5 times in a row...kinda just rolls off the tongue.

16. Antonyjoseph

Posts: 217; Member since: Apr 06, 2013

Lenokorola ...sounds like a medical name for some disease.

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