back to article Microsoft 'paid Nokia $1bn' for WinPho 7 deal

Nokia's jaw-dropping decision to adopt Windows Phone 7 as its handset operating system was juiced by an equally jaw-dropping payout from Microsoft of over $1bn, according to a report citing people with knowledge of the deal. Bloomberg reports that Redmond will ship that $1bn to Espoo, Finland, in support of Nokia's efforts to …

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  1. Heff
    WTF?

    What the hell?

    Who's running the show over there? Back in the day Nokia was the go-to, and now... just, wtf. buying symbian with incompetance, the whole Ovi portal debacle, and now this? they really have caught Microsoft fever. are they going to launch a search engine next?

    1bill in capitol and god knows what in bribes for execs; losing 25% of your share value over a single decision? good look spinning that one for the board of shareholders, jumpin _jesus_.

    1. Lewis Mettler
      Stop

      no search engine for Nokia

      No search engine for Nokia, Microsoft will not let it.

      Nokia will be marginalized by Microsoft, told what to do and restricted at every turn.

      All Nokia can do now is make handsets. And it can not even move into the Android space. It would be much better off if it could. But, it is destined to fail along with Microsoft.

    2. Goat Jam
      Gates Horns

      Who's running the show over there?

      Erm, a Microsoft Exec perhaps?

      Microsoft will purchase Nokia outright within 3 years.

  2. Mark Jan

    A One $Billion Turd...

    ...is still a turd.

    1. The Cube

      Yes but

      Apparently in Redmond (or Finland) the fine art of turd polishing is alive and well and at $1bn that is going to be one very shiny steamer...

  3. Mr Floppy
    Linux

    Es poo a'right

    It's full of poo.

    Still love my N900.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mr floppy

      The N900 is a pretty good piece of kit, even if its only a first-generation Linux offering from Nokia. The idea (now canned of course) is that they would produce at least another two more generations of products, each more polished and with more capabilities than the last.

      Its a shame really, I've always used Nokia phones and have never had a phone from another manufacturer. However that comes to the end at my next upgrade (start of 2012) - am currently thinking about getting a Blackberry.

    2. Anton Ivanov
      Terminator

      Do not blame Nokia for all of Espo

      Lovely town (it's been a few decades since I have been there). No point to tar brush it this way.

      In any case, Nokia Smartphone shipments are presently at about 10-15M per year. Assuming it sustains it this ends up over 5 years as a 50% discount on the Win7 license. I do not see Samsung and HTC tolerating that. Especially Samsung. They have a long history of playing hardball with OS and IPR suppliers and they do not hesitate to show someone the door and do it in-house if they feel like it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Now the truth about the deal starts coming out...

    "Two other tidbits in the sources' tattling make more sense, however. One is that as part of the deal, Microsoft will get access to Nokia's patent portfolio, and the other is that Redmond will gain the right to leverage Nokia's Navteq mapping technology to support location-based advertising.

    "

    Everyone thought it was about the OS.

    Clearly there's definitely more to the deal than meets the eye. ;-)

  5. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Smart, if unwelcome

    From the OS perspective, that seemed like a bad move for Nokia at the time. Apparently they got more than initially met the eye. MS is still the big winner here, they bailed out of the trouble that Nokia's massive patent portfolio can bring upon whoever annoys them (see Apple), and they got to dish their OS out to the masses (plus that geolocation thinggie, which is always nice when you try and throw office chairs at Google). That should buy Ballmer some time, his seat was getting quite hot whenever the "i" word was mentionned, as I understand.

    Nokia are not losers either, the traction they lost in the consumer market by not going Linux, they'll probably win back by setting foot in the corporate market (they still lose the last shreds of coolness they might have managed to cling to, but you can't have your cake and not be hungry anymore, too). Right, they lost stock value. Well, they were going to, sooner or later: they were in a dead-end anyway; and they pitted themselves against Apple in a patent dispute that will likely last for the best of a decade (if not more), so MS' support must feel reassuring (sweet, sweet embrace... sorry, I digress).

    But unless Nokia's maket cap. dips so low that MS decides to take them over entirely, I can't see that as anything else than a very temporary alliance. I can already see whoever first feels they don't need it anymore ditch the other as a hot potato (chances are that MS will attempt to bite off a hefty chunk of Nokia's property and run away with it. They kinda have a history).

    I've been wrong before, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      What property does Nokia have?

      > chances are that MS will attempt to bite off a hefty chunk of Nokia's property and run away with it

      MS already got a patent license.

      Nokia doesn't have any copyrights that are worth anything. (They have lots of copyrights to software, but as part of the MS-Nokia tieup they're going to stop using their own software and use MS's software instead. So they obviously think their own software is worthless).

      The Nokia brand (trademark) is worth something, but that will be dealt with by the rise of the OS brands. If I wanted a phone now, I'd look for an Android one, I wouldn't be looking for a particular manufacturer.

      What's left to take?

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        WTF?

        @AC

        Clearly you didn't read the article.

        Or rather if you had read the article you wouldn't understand the significance of the deal.

        Its more than just an OS deal.

        Also, while Win7 takes the front seat, what makes you think that Meego is dead? ;

        1. Paul Shirley

          Meego, the Qt connection

          @Ian McTroll Gumby: "what makes you think that Meego is dead?"

          ...selling the entire Qt software biz Meego relies on was a MASSIVE clue...

        2. asdf
          Flame

          trust me

          >what makes you think that Meego is dead?

          As a slight insider let me tell you Meego off the netbook is garbage. If the OS has to rely mostly on Intel software people I would say permanent life support as opposed to straight up dead. Intel is surprisingly bad in the embedded space these days software and hardware.

      2. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Stop

        Ah, yes. I forgot the title. Silly me. :D

        Nokia have a huge pile of low level patents, related to GSM, antennae and signal processing.

        Basically You would be hard pressed to make a GSM transmitter without stepping over Nokia's patents.

        That is, if I remember correctly.

  6. FordPrefect
    FAIL

    Think Different...

    I keep on seeing that twaddle about nokia being unable to stand out from the crowd with android. This is opposed to Windows Phone 7 where there are very strict rules on the hardware, on the buttons on the phone and on the homepage of the device, meaning that nokia are pretty much forced into producing the same hardware as everyone else, with a slightly different cover and a small tile on the front screen(and I do mean small). I mean with android there are rules about what hardware is required, what buttons must be where and as far as i can tell you can just slap your own UI on it.

    So out of the two OSs basically the only OS where you can stand out from the crowd is android. I hope Nokia enjoy there 1 billion as there market share in 5 years will prolly be somewhere around the size of the employees of microsoft plus the employees of nokia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Not so..

      Nokia will have the ability to stand out from the crowd more than any other WP7-using manufacturer. They will have native code, and they could have a custom interface.

      My bet is that each party will have end-to-end responsibility for their parts of the system, focusing on their strong-points. This will probably mean that the interface doesn't change too much.

      I wouldn't be surprised, however, if WP7 developers end up taking over much of the frontend work for the Maps application (backed by Nokia libraries and web-APIs), with Nokia focusing on the backend and the all-important point of interest databases and maps, and the challenges that they pose and at which Navteq in particular excels. Microsoft has done some amazingly good integration work, and the last thing end users want is an app that doesn't integrate - location based services are too important nowadays to not integrate well. Azure may become a target for backend work in the years to come, as the profile of the developers change.

      I think many many people are devastated that Nokia's all-but-abandoning its Linux ambitions (rumour has it that Meego may appear on mid-range Nokia phones in the future, but it's hard to imagine this succeeding without serious marketing efforts - probably throwing the community a bone), but I think the share price of Nokia would've been hit far harder (and rightly so) if they went the Android route.

    2. RichyS

      Where's the crowd?

      I think the point is that there isn't really a WinPho crowd. And the deal with Nokia pretty much means there won't be.

      All the other WinPho licensees already have Android, and have already invested rather more in Android hardware, so where is their incentive to create WinPho devices and go up against Nokia? Particularly when Nokia have an (apparent) head-start and closer ties with Redmond.

      So, a couple of years from now, Nokia /will/ be the WinPho crowd; and HTC, Samsung, LG, SE and a whole host of cheapo Chinese companies will desperately trying to differentiate in a crowded Andoid marketplace.

      1. Lewis Mettler
        Stop

        making handsets if fine

        Making handsets is fine. But, going with only one OS is a huge mistake.

        Just look at the handset makers out there in the marketplace. Many have Android AND Microsoft. If you are out of the software business it makes no sense at all to focus only upon a loser OS. Even if you are paid a billion to go down.

        Microsoft needs Nokia badly. And that is why they coughed up the money. Nokia might benefit from signing on with Microsoft. But, an exclusive move is suicide.

        Nokia will not be permitted to differentiate from other Microsoft phones. Microsoft has never permitted that. It would be like signing on with Apple. No idependance at all.

        The only handset makers with any degree of freedom or being able to use differentiation will be offering Android.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        @AC re: Not So...

        Seems someone actually understands the significance of the deal.

        Getting down thumbed by the commentards seems to be a good thing these days.

      3. Lewis Mettler

        crowded Android marketplace

        The Android marketplace will be crouded. But, it will also be differentiated.

        As market conditions dictate. Some Android sets will continue to focus upon consumer phones. Some Android sets will focus upon the enterprise. And the Android market as a whole will benefit from the absense of a bunch of idiots trying to control everyone else (Apple, RIM and Microsoft).

        All of the egos in the industry just assume they have the best solution and try to impose it upon everyone else. But, they are idiots.

        Android will dominate simply because it is not being manipulated for the purpose of controlling others.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What the hell

    When I see this "There's going to be joint go-to-market opportunities. And obviously both parties are aligned, and we think this has great long-term financial opportunities." I think of a word beginning with W. Prefixing marketing with `go-to-` is pointless and indeed marketing what - all we know is Opertunities. Then the next sentence it's basicly saying nothing beyond being aligned and Profit. So what's the plan exactly here: Opertunities ?????? Profit.

  8. Captain DaFt
    Welcome

    And so it begins...

    Here's a billion, forget all that silly "Open source" stuff, and let our corp frolic amongst your patents. And while you're at it, sell that silly QT to one of our more trusted partners, Digia.

    http://www.digia.com/C2256FEF0043E9C1/0/405001965

    I wonder who's going to be buying out what's left of Nokia in two years time?

    (The welcome mat, because Nokia's obviously welcomed in their new overlords.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Captain DaFt

      Good thing is, even if Microsoft's rent boys in Digia try to play games with Qt's licensing, because its currently under a GPL (or LGPS - I forget which) license, people who use the toolkit (I'm think of the KDE project) will simply fork it. Digia/MS can't sue them for "patent" violations because of the license.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: playing games with Qt's licensing

        If anyone tries that, then QT gets open-sourced under the BSD license. Then anyone can do whatever they like with it.

        There is a "KDE Free QT Foundation" that was set up for just that purpose. Nokia gave it the right to relicense QT, should Nokia stop developing it.

        1. Captain DaFt

          True that

          QT can fork, it's dual licensed. But the commercial license is now under Microsoft's thumb, and that's where the profits are.

          And with Microsoft able to wave a big patent stick around (Thanks to Nokia letting them into their portfolio.), do you think many businesses are going to switch to the forked version?

  9. swareInTheNews
    Gates Horns

    Who's the winner?

    Well, let's see, that would be guaranteed cash from M$ to Nokia of $1Bn over 5 years, Nokia *might* get to claw back smartphone market share and therefore get new sales revenues on their hardware plus they *might* get some ad revenues versus about 25% loss on share value at about $6Bn, plus loss of the sunk-cost of R&D and net present value in Symbian, MeeGo & other software, maybe $65Bn according to estimates floating around various blogs.

    On the other hand, MS get guaranteed licensing for every Nokia smartphone WP7 OS sold, access to a huge patent portfolio, access to a good mapping/geolocation application and some other pretty good mobile software, no hardware development costs, a smallish share value increase worth maybe $1Bn and maybe future ad revenue, versus said $1Bn to Nokia over 5 years.

    Seems to me to be a pretty damn good deal. For Microsoft. And maybe for Elop depending on how much he got paid...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gates Horns

      Yup...

      As the saying went "Shake hands with Microsoft, better check that your arm is still attached."

      1 billion USD over 5 years may not even be that much. In 5 years, the whole US monetary base might just be worth a cheeseburger with freedom fries on the side.

    2. Avatar of They
      Thumb Down

      Title.

      Ad revenue is dependent on units sold. And that requires them to be sold in the first place. Winpho isn't great, it is locked down and trying to compete with Apple in a race it is 3 years behind. It has no unique selling point of worth and so what exactly is projected as sales? When M$ actually release units sold and in the hands of customers then people could make estimates to profits.

      Until then I can't see them making profits of anything near the money talked about.

      Given the N900 is a show of what Nokia development is, I don't hold out for a winpho phone of worth from Nokia anytime soon and there certainly won't be an iphone killer or something to beat Android until 2012 at least, but by then everyone else will have moved on.

      It really is 2 'also-rans' in the high end smartphone market arguing for the scraps. China does it cheaper, everyone else does it better.

  10. Albert Hall

    Shades of Sendo Corp

    So when the last fork is stuck in the NoWin corpse guess where the patents wind up... take your time.

  11. Dazed and Confused

    Re: Nokia's shares have shed over a quarter of their value

    Well that's because no one wants a Windows7 phone.

    I'm certainly not going to be replacing my E72 with a phone running Windows, $1B must be nice, but no customers isn't going to help them

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    We know what you are...

    ... all we're doing is haggling over the price. I guess if you've got to be a whore, $1B is a nice tidy sum to do it for. Really glad I bought a Motorola Droid over the N900. Really sad my N800 is in a bag.

    Paris because maybe she can give Nokia tips on "the business"

    1. Graham Dawson
      Unhappy

      Eh...

      I'm glad I bought my n900. It was worth it then, it's worth it now. Just a shame there's not going to be any future upgrades.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Short term money grab

    Nokia SHOULD be trying to be as popular and profitable as Apple, i.e., several billion $/year profit. Grabbing $1B like this should be a secondary concern to making the correct strategic decisions. The fact that this money comes into play and is influencing decisions means to me that the executives don't honestly believe in their company's long term viability and instead are blowing smoke up each others' asses and just want to grab a share of that $1B and run.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patents

    I wonder what they mean exactly by "access to Nokia's patents"... Isn't Nokia locked into a patent dispute with Apple, with a decision yet to come from US judges?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Access to Nokia's patents means...

      ...that Nokia and Microsoft can pool their patents into a larger pool, and attack & defend on both the hardware and software fronts. And while there's a large corner of hell reserved for patent trolls, it is such a vital part of the US IP industry (making and breaking companies), that it makes excellent business sense.

      Perhaps more importantly, and this is probably where Microsoft is getting its $1bn worth more than elsewhere, is that Google doesn't get access to Nokia's patent pool. Google's may try to do good and not be a typical patent licensing company (at least to the public eye), but it sure would help them to have more protection from patent disputes.

      Nokia will also gain ad revenue from the deal - so far, they haven't had any real advertising platform.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Isn't...

      ... everyone doing business in the US locked in a patent dispute with everyone else.

    3. foo_bar_baz

      and in

      the UK, Germany and Netherlands.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12010872

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      re: Isn't Nokia locked into a patent dispute with Apple?

      Don't you think Microsoft would like them to /stay/ locked in patent disputes with Apple? MS poured cash into SCO to pump that action for all it was worth ...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Was the $1,000,000,000

    given to Nokia's Shareholders or the Company's Board?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Was the $1,000,000,000

      reported in any earnings figures? Investors seem to be unaware of it, or maybe think the net effect of $1bn combined with a slide in future earnings tied to the new strategy is a negative one. And if it's not on any filing or report, Inspector Knacker of the Helsinki/London/<insert trading location> yard will be interested to learn more about it.

    2. Paul Shirley

      probably mapping service prepayment

      I find the careful avoidance of any claim of hard payments from either Nokia or M$ noteworthy, Elop in particular sticks to 'worth XXX$' to Nokia. We know one huge chunk of 'worth' was reductions in their R&D budget, suicide masquerading as cost cutting.

      One likely possibility is the $1b is a structured minimum licence payment or advance on actual sales, not a straight payment and also likely to have all the legal trickery that brings. We worked out on day1 that Nokia's only actual benefit was the licence revenue M$ replacing its mapping support with Nokia's would generate. The mapping app overlap with Google Maps was blamed for Android not being adopted.

      That licence fee has a downside: companies may prefer to drop WP7 rather than subsidise a direct competitor. If the $1b really is an advance Microsoft could easily come out of this owning Nokia's map tech, if WP7 fails.

  16. clean_state
    Go

    sunny with chance of flying pigs

    Give Nokia and Microsoft some time to execute on this deal. Granted, behemoths like those are not well known for their speed or excellency of execution. And yet, Microsoft has managed to deliver WP7 that is not just a me-too product. It is innovative, well thought-out and feels genuinely different from iOS or Android. So it's pigs flying time and maybe Nokia+Microsoft will manage to give the Apple & Google world some solid competition.

    The assets are there. Microsoft has a solid smartphone OS and even a decent app portfolio. The OS has some bits lacking like multitasking and a real-time kernel to be able to run the phone radio on the same chip as the rest of the phone. However, nothing a couple of of competent software engineers cannot solve. Nokia on the other hand knows how to make phones. They have a massive industrial design and manufactionring operation in place and their brand is not that bad.

    With this deal, Nokia will be the #1 WP7 maker and most probably the only one in the long term and that is just what they need: an genuinely different and innovative operating system that is exclusive to Nokia phones.

    So I do see how this makes sense. If Apple and Google look at the cards Nokia+Microsoft have in their hands, they have reason to be afraid.

    Now the real question is: will Nokia+Microsoft be able to play those cards smartly and win. Oh look, there is a flying pig above the building over there !

  17. JDX Gold badge

    re: Think Different

    >This is opposed to Windows Phone 7 where there are very strict rules

    >on the hardware [...] meaning that nokia are pretty much forced into producing

    >the same hardware as everyone else

    You realise this is wrong? There are strict MINIMUM specs.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    One Billion Reasons Not to buy Microsoft/Nokia Ever again..

    Money well spent? Hardly! its all back scratchers, and pork rind.

    I think I'll stick to suppliers that are likely to provide good value for money, where the money flows in the right directions. and is spent on inovation and development, not 'business deals'.

  19. Joe 19

    If you can't beat 'em...

    Pay them lots of money to push your product.

    Has anyone done a study into the stages of death of a company?

  20. [Yamthief]
    Gates Horns

    The cost of a soul nowadays?

    Approximately $1B.

  21. stim

    WP7

    i'm loving my WP7, by far the best mobile solution out there!

    iphone - how can anything be considered 'cool' when everyone has one is beyond me. And exactly how many farting applications do you want/need?! i consider these human purchasers as sheep. iTunes, with it's lovely 128k (or if you're lucky 256k) music - Apple is spoiling you with high quality products, eh!?

    android - good luck in the future with this slightly too open OS - i'm sure we'll see a ton of malware/viruses spring up, autodiallers and £10 text messages for the user to cope with. The lack of fit and finish of android makes it feel scrappy and not polished. i'm sure the uber-geeks love it as they can make abacus apps and binary counters.

    the 1BN investment from MS to Nokia should give a very good alternative to some of the crap already leading the way...

    1. Juillen 1

      Ok...

      So you like WinPho7. Great for you. I don't, and don't consider it the best platform out there. That's purely subjective, and I never deny people points of view on subjective matters.

      So, how can iPhones be cool when 'everyone has one' (by everyone, I assume you mean a significant segment of mobile phone users, not everyone as in everybody, mobile phone user or not)? How can surfboards be cool when all the surfers have them? Hmm.. Conundrum. Could it be that 'Cool' isn't related to how many people use something? I use mine as a dive log, gas mix aide memoir and weather checker. No fart apps in sight, and it does what I want. I rip my own CDs to whatever quality I like, and don't buy through iTunes. When I first purchased one, I did a spec of what I wanted on a phone, evaluated all the possible candidates, and settled on the iPhone as being a little more of what I wanted than the other candidates. If this approach is being "a sheep", so be it. I call it getting what I want, and what works for me best.

      Android: Weird that most of my non-tech mates use Andriod, and love it (subjective opinion there is that it's highly polished, and well integrated, completely contrary to your opinion). You have an open store, which is subject to this malware, but there again, any 'unmoderated' app store is subject to the same. All phones will likely be subject to malware, with attack being based on the share of the market they've obtained (Android, being successful will be attacked a lot. WinPho, assuming it remains an 'also ran' will not be attacked so much in probability, though it's likely just as vulnerable).

      All in all, you seem to be saying "This is my subjective opinion and speculation, therefore it's fact". It's not.

      1. stim

        i,i,i,i..must follow...

        enjoy your iphone...baaa!

        (i wonder if you've spent more than 5 mins more with any other device, let alone a WP7, since u joined the 'i' club (presume 'i' is for i[am]sheep?!

      2. stim

        surfin'

        (also, i imagine there are many manufacturers of surfboard, some i guess, are considered very cool by the surf board community, others probably not so much...)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't matter.

    "In addition, one of the chatty tipsters noted that the payout was a bribe inducement to keep Nokia from selecting Android as its go-to mobile OS." That just consigns both Nokia and Microsoft to the history books.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forecast

    Today: "We forecast to do $1bn more this year!".

    December 2011: "We met our target and cashed in $1bn more than last year!"

    February 2012: "In view of the exceptional performance achieved in 2011, exec will get $50M bonus payouts".

    April 2012: "We thank our exec board for their incredible performance and give them a massive (but will deserved) golden handshake as they take retirement".

    Cynical? Me? Yeah, maybe just a bit.

  24. Mikel
    FAIL

    The story... It's not true.

    It's not even close to true. And it's not new either - it's been floating about since in the days after this trainwreck the market recoiled in horror. It's been "suggested" and "hinted". But the story is that it's a commitment to engage that level of engineering and marketing resources, not to transfer funds. Not the same thing at all.

    And considering the scale of this mess, not a good value. Consider that according to El Reg's own reportage the announcement wiped over $17 Billion from Nokia's market value in ONE DAY and it has continued to decline in the month since.

    No, not a good deal at all.

  25. Magnus_Pym

    Headline should be...

    Business with market but no money does deal with business with money but no market.

  26. Joe Montana
    Go

    Short term net win for Nokia?

    Although they pay a license per device, sales of windows phone 7 have been so poor that i doubt nokia will ever pay back that $1bn...

    Just take the money and run!

  27. Matt Bucknall

    Nokia? Microsoft?

    No, never heard of them.

  28. JaitcH
    Thumb Down

    Selling out employees for a pot of gold

    I guess this proves Nokia has the morals of American business.

    Dumping all that talent and expertise so they can make the bottom line look better.

    Sad end to Nokia as the innovator and leader in the mobile business.

  29. Wang N Staines

    $1Bn

    That's peanut in the scheme of things.

    The whole deal stinks of an MS inside man doing a favour for his buddies back at HQ.

    MS will recoup that money back from Nokia in no time, plus a nice patent portfolio.

  30. Robert E A Harvey

    WP7- So good they can't give it away

    How much is a WP7 licence? 10 spondulicks? That means Nokia need to sell 100 million WP7 phones for Redmond to break even.

  31. MarkOne
    Black Helicopters

    so which anti competition law(s)

    Does this bribe fall into?

    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-competitive_practices

    But we all know Microsoft and Apple are untouchable, the have enough money and power to buy themselves out of any problem.

  32. Stephen Channell
    Coat

    Makes sense to me!

    I loved my first Nokia phone 15 years ago, when the slim little thing would go a whole day without recharge (when a Motorola brick needed two big batteries). It was soo much better than any other phone, and stole the march of 2G digital handsets. In truth Nokia’s advantage was that they designed a phone for Finland’s geography (dropping signal power in black spots), and as a side effect created power efficient phones that would go all day without recharge.

    Nokia’s not this great market visionary company; it’s an Engineering company that produced some great products at the right time. Nokia would not have created the iPhone because (as a phone) it is not as good as the ones in the Museum.

    Today’s “smart-phone” business is not about “phones”, it is about shiny gadgets that augment facebook & twitter where a big App store with $1 programs (that will be redundant when html5 goes large) is more important than being able to reliably make a phone call.

    In glitzy app-world, Nokia is better hibernating for five years.. so the MS deal makes sense..

    1. Mark Jan

      But You Need Great Engineering Companies as Well!

      Nokia was visionary. It saw the smartphone market coming, just didn't execute it on it properly.

      I still don't understand how it managed to drop the ball, it had years' on everyone else.

      And Nokia CERTAINLY wouldn't have produced the iPhone4. The one with the antenna on the outside which can't make calls under certain conditions - who other than Apple could have made a phone like that?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: But You Need Great Engineering Companies as Well!

        "And Nokia CERTAINLY wouldn't have produced the iPhone4."

        Dam right, that's why they've ended up in the mess! lol

  33. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      Not just sabotage of EU industry

      It's the Bilderberg club deciding that people shouldn't have an OS that lets them control their own data like MeeGo or Symbian but one where everything must be in the cloud and easily accessible to the world government

      1. Robert E A Harvey
        Big Brother

        Are you suggesting...

        ...That Skynet was developed by Denis Healey?

  34. Ted Treen
    Grenade

    Whatever..

    ...Nokia would/wouldn't have done vis a vis the iPhone is not the point.

    Years of experience in the IT world (well over 30 years) and watching the rise of certain companies make me believe that somehow Nokia has just been stitched up most royally.

    Perhaps the gruesome details won't become apparent for a while, but a pound to a 32k SIMM says they've been conned...

  35. Mark .

    No different to Apple...

    ...over 10 years ago, I remember a certain "bribe" from MS to Apple. Apple seem to have done well out of it, and hopefully Nokia will do. That was for far less than $1 billion, IIRC. To be fair, people moaned about that deal too, as they will do now...

    The news is hardly a surprise - clearly MS have a lot more to gain from this, as someone trying to break into the market, with Nokia being the number one phone and smartphone company.

    And good news about Qt ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/07/nokia_qt_bye/ ):

    Firstly let's not forget what Nokia have done - most importantly, making Qt open source (before it was some odd license, that wasn't available for free use on Windows IIRC).

    They've continued development, supporting desktop platforms, and also adding support for the number one smartphone platform.

    But this move is also good news - with the recent Nokia/MS news, they're passing it to another company, rather than letting it drop (of course being open source, someone could always fork it as a last resort...) This potentially opens the way for other mobile ports, to Android, Blackberry - and even Windows, to keep Qt on Nokia. (Even if Nokia had stuck with Symbian/Meego and Qt, it's unlikely they would have developed Qt for other mobile platforms.)

    "The Nokia brand (trademark) is worth something, but that will be dealt with by the rise of the OS brands. If I wanted a phone now, I'd look for an Android one, I wouldn't be looking for a particular manufacturer."

    Ah, a survey of one anecdote!

    Nokia are still the number one company. And they advertise under the name "Nokia" - they've never advertised terms like "Symbian".

    Meanwhile, the Iphone is advertised by product - how many people go looking for an "IOS phone"?

    Android is a special case, as an OS that runs on many manufacturers' phones, though even there, I'm not sure how many people in the mainstream care about the OS.

    "I hope Nokia enjoy there 1 billion as there market share in 5 years will prolly be somewhere around the size of the employees of microsoft plus the employees of nokia."

    This is the new "Apple are going bust", which we've been hearing for years since *their* deal with MS. People have been saying it for Nokia for years too, yet they still consistently outsell everyone else.

    1. Goat Jam
      FAIL

      No different to Apple?

      "I remember a certain "bribe" from MS to Apple"

      <cough>

      Were apple forced to scrap their own software development enmasse and to replace it with selling Microsoft Windows on Macs under a licence per device arrangement?

      Did Microsoft gain access to apples patent portfolio?

      Did Microsoft simply *give* money to apple, or did they *purchase* a block of non voting shares and then sell them back later?

      No, this is nothing like Microsoft and Apple.

  36. YumDogfood

    Not a member of The Register?

    The FUDy shills are out in force today. *sigh*

  37. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Grenade

    Well done Nokia Execs

    Get paid 1 billion dollars for the right to flog WinPhones then lose 25% of the 30 billion that the company is worth almost overnight.

    Wow - I bet the shareholders are tickled pink over that lovely little deal!

  38. Hans 1
    FAIL

    Ritual Suicide

    Sybase, Novell (twice), and now Nokia ... when will they learn?

  39. Kristian Walsh

    How is this news? .. or even rumour

    Elop did a stand-up press conference the day after the big announcement. There's video of it on YouTube. Quotes off the top of my head (hey, you don't research, why should I have to..):

    Asked a question by a journo: "will there be a net transfer of value from Microsoft to Nokia for this deal. I mean not just licencing discounts, but actual asset value transfers?"

    Elop's reply: "Yes, there's a significant transfer. In the billion range. To clarify, that's billion with a 'b'."

    So, MS paid Nokia at least $1 bn as part of the deal. Confirmed, at the time, from the horse's mouth.

    So, it's not news, cos it's about a month old. And it's hardly rumour, unless there's also a rumour going round that the sky got bright this morning...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: How is this news? .. or even rumour

      "So, it's not news, cos it's about a month old."

      It's news because it isn't about a hand-waving "transfer of value" where everybody can backpedal and claim that no money will actually change hands, and that it's all about support "in kind" or increased opportunities leading to higher revenues, or that Microsoft will lend a division to Nokia to do the work or issue coupons for Windows Phone licences, or whatever "asset value transfers" can be made to mean. It's news because it means that upon closing this deal, an actual cash payment will be made. Which means that Nokia will have to write this up as revenue and/or answer to their shareholders and the market regulators.

  40. Andus McCoatover

    Small word that I bet investors are mulling now...

    Short.

    Nokia drifting on a bobbing, floating, burning oil platform? About €6 now? Short to €3. Make a mint.

    As another commentard used to write: "TO TEH MOON!" (SCO)

    When I read about the $1Bn, then I knew without doubt Elop's job was Embrace, Enhance, Extinguish.

    Even Ollilla endorsed it. He built the bloody company into a worldwide success story to match no other, and now (it seems) he's happy to - in a joint venture, naturally - to have his hand on the 'flush-handle' and watch his child swirl down the pan.

    I think I wrote once here "Ollilla come back, all is forgiven!"

    Not any more.

  41. David Kelly 2

    Lack of Innovation

    Those who can not innovate, outsource.

  42. Luc Le Blanc
    Jobs Horns

    Our daughther is ugly

    but we'll pay you a billion $ to marry her. Now we hope you bring us many grandchildren!

  43. Martin Usher
    Thumb Down

    I'm not sure I can spell "assilimated"...

    ...but that's what's going on. Its effectively a takeover of Nokia by MSFT. The deal was logical; it allows Nokia to dump all that expensive in-house development and MSFT finally gets a major outlet for their otherwise redundant windows phone stuff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      title

      it's assimilated - made similar...

      1. Knochen Brittle
        Grenade

        Know it, Snot

        Nokia employees + shareholders can tell they've been rudely 'ass-silly-mated'

        Their stone-cold vengeance will be to drag M$ down with them to NoWinFone oblivion.

  44. Mark2410
    WTF?

    thats all?

    the way i see it ms has just bought nokia, i can only assume the billion went straight to whatever halfwit board members brought in elop. not that i ever liked nokia phones but it will be a shame to see them go.

    best billion ms may have ever spent though

    1. Mikel

      Re: That's all?

      @Mark2410 best billion ms may have ever spent though

      To be money well spent Microsoft would have to see a net benefit from the spend, and they would actually have to spend it. This is more like the "ecosystem" marketing numbers for Windows Phone, where they net spend is $500B, but that includes makers and carriers sharing some of the burden. And it's a five year deal. Since there's likely no phones at all for the first two years of the deal, it's likely there'll be no Nokia to pay for the last two.

      But there's no benefit to Microsoft here. They get some phone IP. They know no more what to do with that than my toddler does an arc welder. It may as well be 47 tons of soybean husks.

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