Back in February, we were greeted with some major news on the Windows Phone front. An announcement was released that stated Nokia would be adopting the Windows Phone 7 platform and using it alongside their aging Symbian platform. It sent the majority of the mobile world – or at least those who care about Windows Phone 7 or Nokia – up in arms. Half loved the idea, the rest grimaced at the thought of Nokia's attention straying from Symbian.
Well, that seems to only be half of the story now as we heard of yet another rumor between the two companies. Eldar Murtazin is now suggesting that Microsoft is interested in buying Nokia's mobile division. That's from way out in left field, isn't it? I mean, we were blindsided when we heard Nokia was getting in bed with Microsoft. Now this?
It's worth noting that the credibility of this story is questionable. But I wouldn't write it off entirely as Mark Squires commented on it via Twitter today stating, “We typically don’t comment on rumors. But we have to say that Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.”
The UK Communications Director for Nokia claiming a rumor is growing “less accurate” doesn't necessarily debunk it, but it does bring to question the validity of the rumor as a whole. With that in mind, we will go ahead and assume the rumor is true, just for the sake of this article.
The first thought that popped into my head when I read the headline was, “Why would Microsoft want Nokia's mobile division?” But after a minute or two, it dawned on me: vertical integration with top notch hardware.
Windows Phone 7 has been taking stabs at Android for months now – albeit indirectly – by talking and keeping promises of speedy and painless updates. They already have several of Android's main manufacturers making handsets for their platform. Having a few devices with totally vertical integration would give them the ability to more closely monitor what goes on under the hood of the device and push updates more easily.
Not only that, but they would be inheriting one of the best cell phone manufacturers, in terms of hardware, to date. Nokia's devices have often received a lot of praise for their build quality and obviously for their camera quality. Think of it as a Nexus device for Microsoft but with Nokia hardware. Lustrous, isn't it?
While the software isn't exactly up to par yet, having exceptional hardware could get the ball rolling for the slightly boring platform. Having this sort of control over a device could not only give them a leg-up on Android (in terms of stability and hardware quality), but also give them the capacity to take on Apple's timeless iPhone.
Regardless of whether the rumor is true, the Nokia-Microsoft deal is a serious one that will play a major role in the future of Microsoft in the mobile space. Whether Microsoft acquires Nokia's mobile division or not, having the Finnish company in their camp is a win-win.
Either way, it's some serious food for thought. Should Microsoft consider buying Nokia's mobile division? Or should they stick to software and leave making hardware to the veterans?
Image via Computer Active