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Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business looks like it will be the billion dollar plan that pushes Windows Phone into the big leagues.
In an email to staff Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has described the move as “a bold step into the future” and the “next big phase of the transformation we announced on July 11.”This ‘transformation’, turning Microsoft into a ‘devices and services’ company, is key to the company's continuing survival, and would be impossible without Nokia.
However, this approach is not without its downsides.
For a start it puts Microsoft in direct competition with other manufacturers, and despite assurances from the company that they still want to “enable the innovations of our hardware partners to shine through on the Windows platform”, this is likely to mean that Windows Phone 8 will be shunned by other phone-makers.
Here are four reasons why the acquisition had to happen: Recent industry figures have shown Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 posting its highest ever market share (8.3 per cent across five major European markets: UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), allowing the mobile OS to leapfrog Black Berry (they outsell them in 34 countries) and become the third-most popular globally.
This means that Windows Phone only holds 3.7 per cent of the global market – a tiny figure compared to Android (who currently have a 65 to 80 per cent share depending on which data you use) but still a significant amount of growth considering the entrenched ecosystems Microsoft are in competition with.