Microsoft has officially entered the mobile industry with the acquisition of nearly all of Nokia Devices and Services, which had, at one time, dominated the global mobile phone market. While Microsoft had been using much of Nokia's efforts in their products, the acquisition readies the Seattle-based giant to go full steam into the increasingly competitive smartphone market.
Former Nokia CEO and head of the Devices and Services part of Nokia that will join Microsoft Stephen Elop made public the move in an open letter, saying that the Finnish company's shareholders and all regulatory bodies had approved the deal.
It has been estimated to have cost Microsoft $7.5 billion for the acquisition. But it positions Microsoft to develop within their headquarters and under direct supervision mobile phone technology.
"Six months ago, we announced our plans to bring the best of Microsoft and Nokia Devices and Services business together," wrote Stephen Elop in the letter. "Today is an exciting day as we join the Microsoft family, and take the first, yet important, step in our long-term journey."
Elop himself will become Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group, reporting only to CEO Satya Nadella.
Many industry leaders are wondering whether Microsoft and Nokia, which have long partnered on a number of mobile devices that did not capture the public's attention, will be able to overcome the hurdles that inhibited widespread success in recent years in the industry.
With HTC and Samsung coming on fast with their advanced Android models and as Apple continues to show positive growth, Google is also expected to join the fight with a much cheaper smartphone that could undercut the market as a whole. Microsoft must believe that with this purchase, it is going to be able to curtail the mistakes now that the devices and services portion of Nokia are under only one umbrella.
Microsoft has said that the devices will be the hardware piece of the company's "mobile first and cloud first" approach that has quickly become the new CEO's strategy.
"At our core, we are passionate about building technology that will change the world. From the early vision of Microsoft of placing a PC in every home and on every desk, to Nokia connecting billions of people through mobile devices, we have empowered generations. But we could not have achieved any of this without our fans around the world," Elop writes.