Those who have been following the romance between Microsoft and Nokia might have been wondering where the relationship is headed. Today, Microsoft has assured the public of the continuing process, which it expects to finally clear all hurdles by next month.
It came as a shock probably to no one when Microsoft announced its bid to purchase Nokia, or to be exact, its Device and Services Business last September. Given how the two have been closely working together, with former Microsoft employee Stephen Elop holding the reigns at Nokia, such a move was inevitable. And with Steve Ballmer's resignation, it was also natural to expect Elop to be considered for Microsoft's top spot.
While things didn't go so smoothly for Elop, with Microsoft naming Satya Nadella as the new CEO, the acquisition of Nokia's mobile business still pushes through. The deal has already received the thumbs up from the US Department of Justice but it is yet to go through approval in other markets as well. In its update, Microsoft says that regulatory authorities in 15 markets have also already given their approval and they are just waiting for some final markets, the exact number of whom was not disclosed.
This acquisition is expected to give Microsoft an advantage in the smartphone market, developing its own smartphone handsets as well as the Windows Phone OS that runs on it. Whether it will be enough to push the platform substantially closer to rivals iOS and Android is yet to be proven. There are also worries that Microsoft's preference for its own devices will put other manufacturers shipping Windows Phone handsets at a disadvantage.
For his part, Elop will still be holding a crucial role within Microsoft. He will heading Microsoft's Devices and Studios Group, which, once the Nokia acquisition is completed, is practically a translation of his former position at Nokia. Except now he will also be holding the fate of Microsoft's Surface tablets and Xbox consoles in his hands as well. If all things run smoothly, Microsoft expects the deal to finally close by April this year.