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Steve Ballmer, Stephen Elop

Microsoft and Nokia have been working together as a Windows Phone team ever since they formed a "strategic partnership" in early 2011, but according to a new report, the two companies very nearly became much more than that. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal claim that Microsoft and Nokia were recently involved in "advanced discussions" about a deal that would see Microsoft buy Nokia's device business.

According to the tipsters, Microsoft and Nokia made "significant progress" on a potential deal and were close to reaching an oral agreement. The talks are said to have taken place in London as recently as this month. However, the discussions have reportedly hit a snag as of late, with one source adding that the two firms are unlikely to start up the talks again. Microsoft allegedly walked away from the potential deal due to its price and Nokia's standing behind Apple and Samsung in the mobile industry.

Microsoft and Nokia have been close partners ever since early 2011, but a straight-up Microsoft purchase of Nokia's devices division would've been huge news for the mobile industry. Not only would the deal involve the sale of a part of a major manufacturer, but it'd also mean that Microsoft would be getting more involved in Windows Phone hardware. It'd definitely be interesting to see what kind of products a Microsoft-owned Nokia would churn out, but that could also have the potential to drive off some other Windows Phone device makers (even though Nokia is responsible for a majority of the existing hardware). What do you all make of this rumor? Do you think it'd be a good idea for Microsoft to buy Nokia's phone business?

Via The Wall Street Journal


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