Russian rumor: Microsoft to buy Nokia for $30bn
Elop conspiracy theories thicken
Today's unsubstantiated but intriguing rumor: Microsoft will buy Nokia's mobile division – smartphones, feature phones, plain-vanilla phones – for $30bn, and the deal will be completed this year because "обе компании очень сильно торопятся."
That last phrase is Russian for "both companies are very much in a hurry," and comes from the personal blog (English translation) of Eldar Murtazin, the publisher of Mobile-Review and the source of the rumor.
Murtazin's blog post, by the way, doesn't mention the $30bn figure – that detail comes from SoftSailor, which doesn't point to their specific source.
Murtazin has had his run-ins with Nokia in the past, including one highly publicized squabble in which the Finnish phonemaker sicced Russian authorities on him to get back as-yet-unreleased Nokia property.
Neither has Murtazin curried favor with Nokia with such articles as "Nokia: the destruction of a great company" (in Russian or English), so it would be easy to brush this rumor off as an attempt to merely aggravate Nokia.
But Murtazin has a decent record of accurately predicting other moves by the company, such as that they were looking to replace former CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, which they did last September, replacing him with Microsoftie Stephen Elop.
Last December, he also said that Nokia would offer "an entire line of Windows Phone devices" – and we all know how that turned out: this February, Elop announced that Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its smartphone operating system.
Murtazin also predicted that Nokia would kill off the Ovi brand that it
uses used for its online store. Guess what happened this morning?
Murtazin isn't the only Nokia observer to speculate about a possible Microsoft purchase of the phonemaker after Elop's move from Redmond to Espoo, but to our knowledge he's the first to put a time stamp on it.
And speaking of time-specific predictions, Murtazin has also said that Elop would resign from Nokia at the end of next year.
If, however, Murtazin's latest prediction is correct and Microsoft buys Nokia this year, perhaps Elop – mission accomplished – won't have to wait that long to be welcomed back to Redmond. ®
"The majority of folk like a cohesive computational experience that just works"
And mashing two companies that have both had the chance to produce precisely that, but failed, is going to work how, exactly?
re: There's a shock...
the reason MIcrosoft has been able to drive companies into the ground before purchasing/settling cheaply later is because they could pilfer their technology and embed it into Windows thereby netting them lots of customers and the other company gets none.
They can't leverage Windows in this way with the phone and therefore they can't wait to kill Nokia's customer base. It's very much like the Hotmail deal. They need the customers to let the PR folks loose with numbers showing how great they are. If they'd run off all the Hotmail customers, they'd be starting with zero and it would have taken years to show Outlook and then Exchange had so many customers to the detriment of Lotus Notes. Nokia has one of the top channel distribution networks for their phones and also lots of users but the user base is falling fast. They need the distribution channels intact and they need the user base.
If Nokia market share wasn't falling so fast, I wouldn't think twice that this story was bogus. But seeing the recent numbers means that Microsoft and Nokia need to work faster or there'll be little left of Nokia by the timeframe originally laid out. A full blown purchase might move the Microsoftification of Nokia along much faster.
Being smart vendor
"If the current Windows Phone 7 manufacturers were smart, they tell MS, cease talks or we walk today."
IF they were really smart, they would walk away today, without telling MS anything! All of them already do also Android phones, so it would not be a big problem for them. On the other hand, staying aboard WP7 is now a risk, because of Nokia's role as the anointed hardware supplier, or possibly as integral part of MS. Other WP7 vendors will be second-class citizens - on a burning platform.