Microsoft has just announced that they are buying Nokia's Devices and Services unit for a total of 5.44 billion Euros (US$7.2 billion). 3.79 billion Euros (US$5 billion) will be spent on the unit itself, while 1.65 billion Euros (US$2.2 billion) will be spent to license Nokia's patents. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will be stepping aside from his role and leading Microsoft's Devices team as executive VP of devices and services, together with a number of Nokia executives who will also be joining Microsoft.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, and will combine Microsoft's Windows Phone with its largest hardware supporter, providing the company with a fully integrated hardware, software and services powerhouse for Windows on mobile. Without its devices unit, Nokia will focus on its network infrastructure, maps and location-based services, licensing and development. About 32,000 employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have published a joint statement on the official Microsoft blog, calling the move "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", and that "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."
Steve Ballmer has previously announced that he will be stepping down from Microsoft in the next 12 months, with Stephen Elop joining the top leadership within the company, will he be the one to inherit the kingdom? We'll have more for you as this story develops.