So, on Friday the Nokia devices and handset division was officially absorbed into Microsoft’s corporate structure and folded into Microsoft’s Devices Group. This officially marks the end of Nokia as an independent handset maker and completes the acquisition that Microsoft had made when they bought the handset division from Nokia (now NSN). It seems as though many of Nokia’s employees will be joining Microsoft today as Microsoft employees, however, the company will only be taking on approximately 25,000 employees from Nokia as they are still going to be leaving a few factories with Nokia due to legal limitations. Elop participated in a Q&A today as the new EVP of Microsoft’s Devices Group and answered a lot of users’ questions about past Nokia devices and decisions, even though some believe he was placed inside Nokia to make the company an affordable acquisition target for Microsoft.
Elop started Friday with an open letter about his new position inside Microsoft and the momentum of Nokia and the brand as a whole, while saying very little to nothing about the future. Nokia also explains that they will continue to maintain the Nokia websites as both a company and as a brand moving forward so that it appears that Microsoft will continue to allow the Nokia brand name to continue to live on for now (thank god). Even though as a phone company Nokia is effectively no longer a company but a brand of Microsoft’s Devices Group. Stephen Elop even said himself during the Q&A that:
Microsoft Mobile Oy is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger. It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers.
The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand.
Microsoft also launched a new commercial with the latest Nokia devices showing how colorful they are (as if we didn’t already know?) and how they bring color into our lives and wrapping up the ad with a Microsoft logo rather than a Nokia one. Nokia’s branding was incredibly weak in this commercial, but they make it quite clear that Microsoft is the one that’s in charge now.
In fact, Elop and Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s new CEO) spent some quality time together with their Lumia devices and talking about the new division and leadership. In a fairly detailed posting, Microsoft explained exactly what changes would be coming to Nokia and Microsoft as a result of the acquisition. This is where we learned about the 25,000 employee roll over as well as the continued operation of some of the factories by Nokia while Microsoft takes over the others. After all, as some of you may not know, Nokia manufactures most of their own devices unlike most handset makers that use 3rd party manufacturers/assemblers like Foxconn or Flextronics.
Also, as part of the agreement, Microsoft will honor all of Nokia’s warranties and policies meaning that no customers have to worry about a loss of coverage as a result of the acquisition. In fact, if you bought a Nokia Lumia phone from Microsoft’s Store like we did, then your warranty situation just got a little more simple if you bought an accidental policy. Even though realistically nothing changes since you are still dealing directly with Microsoft. It will be interesting, however, to see if Microsoft changes how they treat Nokia devices in their stores than they have in the past, even though Nokia’s devices have been pretty prominent in the front of most stores. Perhaps Microsoft will start pushing more of their customers towards Windows Phones now that they actually make a lot more money off the devices than they did in the past…