It took them long enough but now it's finally come to pass. Microsoft will purchase Nokia for a hefty sum of 5.4 billion Euros.
That's not exactly spare change for Microsoft and for that amount they're not getting Nokia as a whole. What Microsoft is getting is just Nokia’s Devices & Services business, including the Mobile Phones and Smart Devices business units that handle the Asha and Lumia lines respectively. As far as branding goes, what we know from the release is that Microsoft will license the Asha brand out to Nokia so the Nokia Asha branding will still be retained. However as far as the Lumia brand goes, there hasn't been any details yet and we might possibly see a Microsoft branded Lumia once the whole purchase has been settled.
Apart from the phones, Microsoft will also be licensing Nokia's HERE mapping service for four years so we might be seeing tighter integration of the service into Microsoft's Bing Maps. As it is, Microsoft is already using Nokia Backend services for Traffic and Geocoding, so with HERE being integrated in, we could see some improvement in Bing Maps.
The news release also mentioned that Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia will be stepping down and taking a position as Nokia Executive Vice President of Devices & Services. As the deal nears completion around the first quarter of 2014, Elop and a bunch of other Nokia execs will be transferring over to Microsoft.
Expect more details of the announcement in coming months and we're pretty sure that Microsoft has its own plans for the already decent Lumia line. So stay tuned here for more.
[Source: Microsoft Press]