Since the news broke last night that Microsoft is going to buy Nokia’s cellular-handset business and license its patents for $7.16 billion everyone is awash with in theories as to what it means.
And pundits have had a field day. The opinions run the gamut, such as: This is a good deal for Microsoft, but a bad one for Nokia; it is a good deal for Nokia, but a bad one for Microsoft; this will be a threat to Google/Motorola, Apple and Samsung (take your pick); or it won’t threaten anyone; and HTC is being hurt by this.
The reactions sound just like many of these same pundits had about the announced resignation of CEO Steve Ballmer from Microsoft, which will occur in a year. There were a plethora of opinions on that announcement too, but mostly on the negative side.
What one can say for certainty is that for this deal to work for Microsoft it has to quickly, with a sense of urgency, combine the top engineers and designers of both companies to introduce new, different and cutting-edge mobile products. Introducing “just as good” products after an acquisition of this type with the market maturing quickly is not good enough.
Regardless what you think of the deal, for someone who is a lame duck CEO, Ballmer sure surprised a lot of people with this acquisition, don’t you think?