Tópico: [EN] Microsoft compra Nokia
03-09-2013, 09:14 #1
[EN] Microsoft compra Nokia
An open letter from Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop
Microsoft to acquire Nokia Devices & Services, accelerating the Windows ecosystem
Nokia and Microsoft have always dreamed big – we dreamed of putting a computer on every desk, and a mobile phone in every pocket, and we’ve come a long way toward realizing those dreams.
Today marks a moment of reinvention.
Nokia has an identity spanning 150 years of heritage, innovation, excellence, and change which began and will continue in Finland, as well as around the world. From humble beginnings as a paper mill, to manufacturing rubber boots and car tires, and then to mobile phones, reinvention is in Nokia’s blood.
Now Nokia will write its next chapter, focused on enabling mobility through its leadership in networking, mapping & location, and advanced technologies.
For Microsoft as well, today is a bold step into the future, a huge leap forward on our journey of creating a family of devices and services that delight people and empower businesses of all sizes.
Our partnership over the past two and a half years, which combined our respective strengths to build a new global mobile ecosystem, has created incredible results: award-winning phones and amazing services that have made Nokia Windows Phones the fastest-growing smartphones in the world.
Building on this successful partnership, we announced some important news today: an agreement for Microsoft to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, to deliver more choices, faster innovation, and even more exciting devices and services to our customers.
Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio.
With the commitment and resources of Microsoft to take Nokia’s devices and services forward, we can now realize the full potential of the Windows ecosystem, providing the most compelling experiences for people at home, at work and everywhere in between.
We will continue to build the mobile phones you’ve come to love, while investing in the future – new phones and services that combine the best of Microsoft and the best of Nokia.
Nokia and Microsoft are committed to the next chapter.
Together, we will redefine the boundaries of mobility.
Steve & Stephen
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Read more here.
03-09-2013, 09:42 #2
Microsoft to buy Nokia's mobile phone unit
Nokia shares jumped 45% on news of the deal.
The purchase is set to be completed in early 2014, when about 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft.
While Nokia has struggled against competition from Samsung and Apple, Microsoft has been criticised for being slow into the mobile market.
"It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies," Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, said in a statement.
The transaction is subject to approval by Nokia shareholders and regulators.
Microsoft, one of the biggest names in the technology sector, has struggled as consumers have shunned traditional PCs and laptops in favour of smartphones and tablet PCs.
Critics say the firm has been too slow to respond to the booming market for mobile devices. It launched its Surface tablet PCs last year, but sales of the devices have been relatively slow.
Analysts said that the company wanted to make sure that it got its strategy right in the mobile phone market.
"Mobile is an area of tremendous potential but it has been one of weakness for Microsoft," Manoj Menon, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, told the BBC.
"Clearly the number one priority for the company is to get its mobile strategy right. From a strategy point of view, this deal is the perfect step, The only question is how well they can execute this plan."
Ben Wood, an analyst at telecoms consultancy CCS Insight, said: "It's a necessary gamble by Microsoft to break into mobile, but given its complete reliance on Nokia for Windows Phone devices and the competitive position of Apple and Google with rival phone platforms an understandable move.
"It completely reshapes Microsoft's business pushing it firmly into hardware. But it also raises big questions about the sustainability of other firms, including HTC and Blackberry, remaining pure-play phone makers," he added.
Nokia was once a leader in mobile phones, but the firm's sales fell 24% in the three months to the end of June from a year earlier.
It sold 53.7 million mobile phones during the quarter, down 27% on last year.
However, sales of its new Lumia phones, which run a Microsoft operating system, rose during the period.
Mr Menon said that the deal between the two companies would help to bring the "hardware closer to the operating system and achieve a tighter integration".
"This should help Microsoft make a more effective strategy to compete in the mobile sphere," he said.
Microsoft has also agreed a 10-year licensing arrangement with Nokia to use the Nokia brand on current mobile phone products.
Nokia also announced changes to its leadership team as a result of the sale.
Stephen Elop will step down as president and chief executive of Nokia Corporation and resign from the company's board.
The firm said that he would become the executive vice president of the Devices & Services unit, adding that it expected him to "transfer to Microsoft at the anticipated closing" of the deal.
The transfer of Mr Elop to Microsoft comes at a time when the company is looking for a new chief executive.
The current head of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, announced last week that he would be retiring and is expected to leave the company within the next 12 months.
Mr Elop who left Microsoft to join Nokia in 2010, has been cited by some as one of the frontrunners to replace Mr Ballmer.
Nokia said that once the sale is completed, it will concentrate on three key businesses - network equipment manufacturing, mapping and location services, and the development and licensing of technology.
Earlier this year, it agreed to buy Siemens' 50% stake in their joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), which makes telecoms network equipment, for 1.7bn euros.
03-09-2013, 09:49 #3
Microsoft Gets Nokia Units, and Leader
32,000 Nokia employees will join Microsoft as a result of the all-cash deal
Microsoft said it has reached an agreement to acquire the handset and services business of Nokia for about $7.2 billion, in an audacious effort to transform Microsoft’s business for a mobile era that has largely passed it by.
Late Monday night, Microsoft and Nokia said 32,000 Nokia employees will join Microsoft as a result of the all-cash deal, which will turn the Finnish mobile phone pioneer into the engine for Microsoft’s mobile efforts.
Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft executive who was running Nokia until the deal was signed, will rejoin Microsoft after the transaction closes, setting him up as a potential successor for Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive. Mr. Ballmer has said he will retire from the company within 12 months.
“This agreement is really a bold step into the future for Microsoft,” Mr. Ballmer said in an telephone interview from Finland. “We’re excited about the talent capabilities it will bring to Microsoft.”
Nokia was once the mightiest company in the mobile phone business, but it has lost much of its luster as the industry shifted to the era of the smartphone. Samsung and Apple divide nearly all of the profits in the global smartphone business now.
A megadeal between Nokia and Microsoft of the sort announced Monday night is something that pundits and analysts have speculated about for years, after Mr. Elop joined Nokia and signed a pact with Microsoft in Feb. 2011 to standardize on the software company’s Windows Phone operating system.
The fortunes of the two companies in the mobile business have become closely intertwined since that agreement, but it has done little to turn either company into a leader in the mobile business. Windows Phone accounted for only 3.7 percent of smartphone shipments in the second quarter, according to the technology research firm IDC.
Nokia remains the second-largest shipper of mobile phones in the world after Samsung, but that is largely because of lower-end feature phones, from which consumers are moving away. Nokia is no longer among the top five makers of smartphones.
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.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner, says she believes the deal could help the companies respond more quickly to the dynamism of the mobile market. “They need to move faster,” she said.
Large acquisitions are fraught with peril, especially in the technology business, where there are challenges to integrating employees from different backgrounds into a coherent whole.
The Nokia deal echoes Google’s $12.5 billion deal to acquire Motorola Mobility, which gave control of a trove of mobile patents and a handset business that has yet to shine under Google’s ownership.
While Microsoft still has enormous stockpiles of cash from its lucrative software business, there has been widespread speculation about how long Nokia could make it as an independent company, given how the spoils of the industry have gravitated to companies like Apple and Samsung. For Microsoft, there was risk that Nokia could have ended up as an acquisition target for another company, creating uncertainty around the future of their earlier business partnership.
Microsoft will pay about $5 billion for Nokia’s devices and services business and $2.18 billion to license Nokia’s patents. After it sells its high profile handset operations, Nokia will be left with three primary businesses: network infrastructure and services; mapping and location services; and a technology development and licensing unit.
The company will continue to do business as Nokia, licensing the Nokia name to Microsoft for use on its mobile phones for 10 years. “For Nokia today, it’s a moment of reinvention,” Risto Siilasmaa, the chairman of Nokia’s board, said in an interview.
Mr. Siilasmaa also assumed the title of interim chief executive. Since Mr. Elop plans to join Microsoft after the deal is closed, which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2014, he resigned as chief executive and relinquished his Nokia board seat to avoid conflicts of interest. He has become a Nokia executive vice president, reporting to Mr. Siilasmaa.
Mr. Ballmer declined to say whether Mr. Elop, considered a leading contender to be his successor because of his familiarity with Microsoft and the importance of mobile to Microsoft’s future, will be considered for the job. “Our board is running an open succession process, considering internal and external candidates,” he said.
“I think it strengthens his potential for C.E.O.,” said Ms. Milanesi, the Gartner analyst. “It makes perfect sense.”,
Mr. Elop, a native of Canada whose family still lives in the Seattle area, said in an interview that he believes the industry is at a “tipping point” where a third mobile phone ecosystem, based on Windows Phonewill emerge as a more vibrant alternative to the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system.
In a sign of how vital Nokia’s partnership has become to Microsoft, Mr. Ballmer said the first calls he made outside Microsoft to discuss his retirement and succession planning at the company were to Mr. Elop and Mr. Siilasmaa.
Mr. Ballmer said his conversations with Nokia about an acquisition “heated up in the last several months,” but started during a mobile industry conference in Barcelona in late February.
For Microsoft, there is also an attractive financial dimension to the deal. Because Nokia is based in Finland, Microsoft can use a portion of its foreign-held cash to pay for the acquisition, allowing it to avoid hefty taxes it would otherwise pay to bring the cash back to the United States. Microsoft took a similar approach to its $8.5 billion deal to acquire Skype, the largest deal in its history.
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. Mr. Ballmer said that Nokia’s phone currently counts for more than 80 percent of the Windows Phones sold.
03-09-2013, 09:57 #4
Microsoft in $7 Billion Deal for Nokia Cellphone BusinessBy
Microsoft Corp. struck a $7 billion deal to acquire Nokia Corp.'s core cellphone business, a bold move to try to catch up in a fast-growing mobile business that is now dominated by Samsung and Apple .
The deal comes on the heels of announcing the planned retirement of Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. As part of the deal for the devices-and-services business, Microsoft will bring aboard several executives who could be contenders for Mr. Ballmer's job.
The companies said late Monday that Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion to buy "substantially all" of the Nokia business, which includes its smartphone operations. The Redmond, Wash., company will also pay €1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, the companies said, bringing the deal to €5.44 billion, or $7.18 billion.
Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, and several other executives are joining Microsoft as part of the deal. Mr. Elop, a former Microsoft executive, is among the names being circulated as Mr. Ballmer's successor. Microsoft recently announced that Mr. Ballmer will retire from his post within a year, or when the next CEO is chosen.
Nokia was already Microsoft's closest partner in smartphones, with the Finnish company one of the biggest supporters of Microsoft's phone software.
The deal with Nokia is an apparent acknowledgment that Microsoft needs a stronger hand to play in the mobile-phone business, where it is playing catch-up to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Microsoft's lagging position in mobile is one of the most serious threats Mr. Ballmer's successor will need to tackle. The deal also is a recognition by Nokia that it is better to sell off its smartphone business than take on rivals like Apple on its own.
"Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing," the companies said in a joint press statement. Nokia said the deal with Microsoft will improve its financial position and "provide a solid basis for future investment in its continuing businesses."
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Microsoft and Nokia had discussed a sale of Nokia's mobile-phone business but the talks fell apart over the price of the transaction.
The companies said Microsoft is expected to use its stockpile of overseas cash to pay for the Nokia purchase and licensing pact. Microsoft and Nokia said the transaction is expected to close in the first three months of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia shareholders and other conditions.
Microsoft's U.S. market share in smartphones is about 3%, according to comScore.
"For Microsoft, this is a bold step into the future," Mr. Ballmer said in a note to employees. Mr. Ballmer has been reworking Microsoft around what he calls a "devices and services" strategy—a vision of Microsoft not only producing the software underlying many computing devices, but being more responsible for the personal-computers, smartphones and hardware gear on which people and businesses rely.
Mr. Ballmer's strategy, however, has been hamstrung by Microsoft's weak position in smartphones that are reshaping the technology battleground by minting new winners like Apple, Google and Samsung Electronics Co. As once dominant tech companies—including Microsoft and Nokia—have slipped behind the smartphone leaders, their future growth prospects have become clouded.
Nokia's market share and market value have tumbled during the tenure of Mr. Elop, who took over in 2010. Last year, Nokia generated nearly half of its €30.2 billion in revenue from its mobile-phone segment.
03-09-2013, 10:02 #5
Nokia Sells Handset Business To Microsoft At A Shockingly Low Price
It cannot be said that Nokia decision to sell its handset unit to Microsoft is a surprise. But what definitely are surprises are the timing and the price.
Nokia’s glory days of 110 B euro market cap are long gone – yet it’s a visceral shock to see the Devices and Services unit sold under 5.5 B euros. It’s a particularly stunning turn as it seemed that Nokia had finally turned the corner with its Lumia smartphone business literally just months ago. The model that at last helped Nokia to find some volume traction was the Lumia 520, which debuted last spring. Boosted by its sub-$150 price, the Lumia 520 and its sibling models have recently enjoyed substantial momentum in South-East Asia and even at T-Mobile and AT&T T +0.53% in North America. What has given the budget Lumia series a considerable boost this past summer has been the apparent hesitation of key rivals like HTC , BlackBerry and Sony in pursuing the sub-$200 smartphone category.
Why would Nokia opt to sell the handset operations just as the success of the low-end models is returning the smartphone unit to growth track? It is possible that the feature phone sales collapse has turned into such a red rout that Nokia felt it had to push the panic button right now. The Asha range of premium feature phone models had a surprisingly perky year in 2012, but suffered grievously from low-end Android vendor aggression in Africa, Latin America and Asia in the first half of 2013. It could be that the latest wave of $100-130 smartphones from Google’s Asian allies has pushed Nokia’s feature phone business into such a tail spin that immediate measures were necessary. Apple’s new value iPhone may be about to put pressure on Nokia’s high-end Lumia sales.
Nevertheless, the motivation of Stephen Elop will now come under intense scrutiny. Elop came from Microsoft and decided very quickly that Windows was the only hope for Nokia’s smartphone unit, which was still selling more than 24 M units per quarter in early 2011. After he eliminated all alternative operating system options, he has now decided to sell Nokia’s smartphone unit at a notably low price… to Microsoft, the company he will now rejoin.
You don’t need to be a Finn to take a moment to wonder whether Elop’s loyalties have been entirely undivided over the past few years.
03-09-2013, 10:05 #6
First Nine Questions About Microsoft’s Nokia Acquisition
In theory, all the interesting questions about the notion of Microsoft buying Nokia’s phone and services business should have been asked a long time ago. Still, the news that the long-standing rumor is going to become a $7.14 billion reality makes its potential impact far more tangible, which gives the questions a tangible urgency they never had before. This is happening, folks.
A few hours after the news broke, here are some of the things I’m wondering about…
1. What will the phones be like?
Microsoft already makes a good smartphone operating system. Nokia makes nice hardware. And the combination of the two has been quite pleasant. But its impact on the smartphone business, dominated by iPhones and Samsung Galaxy handsets, has been modest. If the phones which the merged operation produces are pretty much like the ones the two companies would have come up with if they’d stayed independent, there’s no reason to think they’d have a radically different profile in the market. Microsoft needs to make phones which large numbers of typical consumers choose over the big players, and that means they can’t just be slightly improved versions of Nokia’s current models.
2. How will Microsoft software people and Microsoft hardware people work together?
On the surface, this acquisition looks very much like Google’s 2012 acquisition of Motorola Mobility – another case of a smartphone operating-system company buying a phone maker while continuing to license its OS to other companies.. Google operates Motorola as a stand-alone division and says that its employees aren’t any more plugged into Google’s Android development than those at Samsung, HTC or other makers of Android devices. In a blog post about the Nokia deal, Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s new operating-system honcho, seems to promise something similar: “We collaborate with our Microsoft hardware teams in the same way we partner with our external hardware partners: we discreetly discuss technical and business opportunities, make shared bets, empower each other to do great work, and then operate closely together to delight our shared customers.” But I hope he’s not saying that the Windows Phone software developers and Windows Phone hardware designers will be siloed off from each other. Aren’t they far more likely to make great phones if they operate as one big team?
3. What happens to other Windows Phone makers?
Even now, pre-merger, Nokia sells close to nine out of ten Windows Phones. That means that the other models — from Samsung, HTC and Huawei — have not been um, blockbusters. Even if Microsoft sincerely wants to continue to work with third-party hardware makers, will they want to collaborate with a Microsoft that’s also competing with them? It might not seem worth the effort.
4. What does this mean for Surface?
Xbox aside, Microsoft’s most newsworthy attempt to put its own software on its own hardware to date has been its Surface tablets. Its poorly-selling Surface tablets. With rumors already flying that Nokia is readying a Windows RT tablet, will Microsoft turn over all of its computing hardware efforts to its ex-Nokia operation, or continue to manage Surface as a stand-alone business?
5. What does this mean for PCs more generally?
Even if Microsoft’s own Windows Phones are a smashing success, they won’t solve all of the company’s problems or clarify every aspect of its future. Actually, it’s even more important that it figure out how to restore the ailing PC industry to health, thereby assuring that its massive profits from licensing Windows don’t dwindle away. Will the company stick with its current strategy, which involves trying to make Windows 8.x palatable, mostly on machines manufactured by other companies, but with a smattering of Microsoft-branded Surface devices? Or will it adopt a strategy more like the one we now know it’s taking with phones, emphasizing Microsoft-branded devices over others, thereby prompting companies such as HP to take Android more seriously? (And hey, is there a chance that Microsoft could end up buying a PC manufacturer?)
6. What does this mean to Google and Android?
In a dense PowerPoint deck on the deal, Microsoft says that it’s doing it, in part, to help it be more competitive with Android. But it seems to me that it’s at least possible that this will help Android, not hurt it. The more time Microsoft spends making its own phones rather than aggressively trying to license Windows Phone to other manufacturers, the less of a real alternative most phone makers have to Android. It could encourage even more industry-wide dependency on Google.
7. What does this mean to Apple?
Probably not a whole lot, initially — Apple‘s arch-rival in the phone business will remain Samsung. But unless BlackBerry pulls off one miraculous turnaround, Microsoft will be the Apple competitor with the most Apple-like approach to the smartphone market — its own software and own services on its own hardware.
8. Does this end Microsoft’s CEO search?
When Steve Ballmer announced his retirement a week and a half ago, he said Microsoft might take a year to find his replacement. But former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who became Nokia’s CEO, is returning to Microsoft to head up its device business, and the Twitterati, at least, seem to be assuming that he’ll be named Microsoft’s CEO. If so, it would be a good idea to make that happen quickly rather than let the search process and general air of uncertainty continue on.
And I have one final, overarching question:
9. Is there any reason to think this will work?
I’m not predicting disaster. It would be fun if it led to a golden age of Windows smartphones, and good for consumers. But I can’t think of any past examples of anything similar happening and turning out well. (Let’s not even bring up HP’s acquisition of Palm. Oops! Just did.) In the tech industry, mergers don’t have a great track record, period. And mergers of companies in weak positions have no history of being game-changers, with one legendary exception: Apple buying Steve Jobs’ NeXT.
Then again, this deal doesn’t necessarily need to change everything to be worth a try. Microsoft has plenty of cash, and the cash it’s paying Nokia consists of overseas profits which it wouldn’t otherwise bring home to the U.S. for tax reasons. Windows Phone is currently a struggling number three in the smartphone platform wars; if it ends up a healthy, competitive number three, Microsoft might be happy it spent the money.
In other words: If the deal ends up looking even modestly successful, it’ll have beaten the historic odds.
Those are my questions so far. Lemme know your thoughts. With Microsoft saying it doesn’t expect to close the transaction until the first quarter of next year, it’s going to be quite a while before there’s any definitive evidence of what the upshot of all this is going to be.