Rumor: Microsoft To Rename Nokia's Device Business 'Microsoft Mobile'
Microsoft's deal to finalize its acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business is set for this Friday, April 25, with the Nokia branch rumored to be renamed "Microsoft Mobile."
According to the Web site Ubergizmo, the Nokia handset and services business will remain headquartered in Finland under the new name Microsoft Mobile Oy. As my friend Mike Elgan pointed out, Oy is the equivalent of LLC or Corp. "It's also Yiddish for 'ouch,' but it's likely Microsoft has the Finnish one in mind," Elgan noted. Microsoft isn't commenting on the report. "We have confirmed the acquisition will be completed on April 25," according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft. "At that time we will begin the work of integration."
Also, before the merger becomes official, the terms of the $7.2 billion deal, announced last summer, have been changed.
Though nothing major, 21 Nokia employees in China who were slated to remain with the company will now join Microsoft. Since it was China that held up the deal last month, perhaps these terms were added to appease all parties? The employees work on mobile phones. Microsoft will also now manage the Nokia.com domain and its social media sites for up to a year and will no longer acquire Nokia's manufacturing facility in Korea.
"The completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration," said Microsoft Chief Counsel Brad Smith in a blog post Monday. "This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones."
Microsoft has a lot riding on that integration. The deal was long championed by former CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently admitted his biggest regret was missing the mobile wave. The deal involved drawn-out negotiations which originally lacked the support of Founder Bill Gates and current CEO Satya Nadella.
It remains to be seen whether acquiring Nokia's devices and services business turns out to be the savior for Windows Phone and Microsoft's tablet ambitions or what ultimately does it in.
Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/21/2014 at 3:28 PM