Microsoft Buys Nokia: Checkmates itself?

An analysis on why Microsoft might have made its own Windows 8 mobile platform incredibly unpopular for OEMs after it has acquired Nokia.

In the game of chess, a player makes a move thinking about the 5 moves ahead. A move can be defensive or offensive. It can also assure mutual destruction and keep things status quo. If Microsoft was playing a game of chess it just might have checkmated itself with its acquisition of Nokia.

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What Microsoft does not get from Nokia!

Microsoft has bought the only company committed to the Windows platform. This means this purchase will not add more devices running on Windows but just more integration.

Why will an OEM spend money and time investing in a platform when the company has its own manufacturing line up.

This is how Samsung will look at having Windows OS on its phones. It will look at every dollar it gives to Microsoft, as giving a dollar to its competition Nokia.

Microsoft just might have made the Windows platform incredibly unattractive to smartphone manufacturers.

Microsoft is not Google

Some online chatter compared Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia with Google buying Motorola. Motorola could be on one level compared to Nokia as a fallen giant of the mobile phone manufacturing industry, there is not way Microsoft compares well with Google.

When Google bought Motorola, it had a very successful OS in Android. Android was the most popular OS running on smartphones around the world.

Even though Samsung and HTC might feel threatened about Motorola being a Google entity now, it still will think ten times over before leaving a popular platform like Android. Leaving the Android eco-system for any OEM will have a price attached to it. Microsoft’s Windows eco-system is nowhere close to being like Android.

Microsoft itself has many issues to resolve internally. Their current CEO is quitting soon and a successor is still not selected. They are yet to figure out a way to get some sort of foothold in the tablet market (Nokia itself hardly figures in the tablet market).

At this stage it looks like Microsoft just might have become very desperate and bought Nokia. And a desperate move is seldom a very good chess move.

What are your views on Microsoft acquiring Nokia? Do drop in your comments.

Trivia: Pratiek Parekh made an educated guess about Microsoft wanting to buy Nokia 2 years ago on our blog. Hear more about it here.


Ravi September 4, 2013

I guess, considering Nokia’s future it’s a fairly decent move by the owners. Actually, Nokia is facing shortage of cash, since the decline of it’s Symbian market share. And in the coming year, things could become even worse, when it’s feature phone segment start sinking on its worst.

Along with Microsoft, they’ll have no problem with putting in more cash in order to streamline their production, bringing announced products to the shelves faster and could also acquire more start-ups to include even better features, to their Windows Phones.

In short, it’s an appreciable move by Nokia and Microsoft jointly!

Aditya Kane September 4, 2013

@Ravi: You have a point about the cash shortage but Nokia could actually get on the Android bandwagon and churn better apps on their phones. Nokia Lumia phone are not bad at all but they lack the app ecosystem that Android or iOS has. So Nokia has stagnated in part because of it adopting Windows.

Ravi September 4, 2013

You’re right Aditya, but, as according to an interview Elop had already stated that they had considered Android, as well before choosing Windows Phone as the primary platform. But, they had came up with a conclusion that in the end an OEM will lead Android and so it does (Samsung now leads Android, despite of mind blowing efforts by HTC and even Sony) and it would become harder for Nokia to dominate in an entire ecosystem.

But, overall for me it seem more like a pre-planned strategy, send a CEO, drop Symbian and MeeGo (even thought, N9 was a huge hit), layoffs, adopt Windows Phone and then spin-off handset business and hand it over to Microsoft.

Aditya Kane September 5, 2013

@Ravi: I am not sure if Elop had said this before about OEM leading Android – if he did, he is more in line with outdated thinking at Nokia. The thinking that people like platforms. No, people like phones, that is by BlackBerry suffered at the hands of iPhone and later Samsung running Android. Anyways the post is about how Microsoft is not getting anything of any really valuable. 🙂