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The acquisition of Nokia: Steve Ballmer’s last hurrah?
This article is part of the MicroScope issue of October 2013
Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's handset business has - in a way - been on the cards since 2011. "There are some that say Stephen Elop was on a secret mission ever since he joined [Nokia] to get this to happen," said Context's Jeremy Davies. "Of course that's gossip, but the move can be seen as inevitable." The partnership between the two firms, described at the time in MicroScope as akin to "the last two single people at the party getting together" resulted in the critically-acclaimed Lumia lines and although as it turned out it was Samsung's Android phones that drove the market, it's probably fair to say that Microsoft and Nokia have established between them a credible force in smartphone devices. The fact that Microsoft Windows Mobile OS is now bigger than market-creator BlackBerry would seem to bear that out, and in his email to employees explaining the transition, Ballmer said that Nokia Windows Phones were now the fastest growing smartphones on the market. That may be literally true, but for the sake of a good soundbite ...
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Alex Scroxton looks at early reaction to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, and asks if it will cement Steve Ballmer’s legacy as the man who turned Microsoft into a devices and services company