Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s Devices and Services unit for $7.2 billion, in a move which sees the Redmond computing giant control the Finnish firm’s range of Lumia phones.
The deal is expected to close in Q1 of 2014 and will see a total of 32,000 workers transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, with this figure including 18,300 that are “directly involved in manufacturing”.
Stephen Elop, Nokia’s now-former CEO and also previously of Microsoft, is also stepping aside to move to Microsoft’s Devices division, leaving Risto Siilasmaa as interim CEO of Nokia. One other notable change will see Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia’s executive VP of design and a key figure behind the Lumia range, leave the company in November
Microsoft’s own outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer described the deal was a “big, bold step forward” in an interview with the BBC and said that the acquisition would help the software giant transform from one that “was known for software and PCs, to a company that focuses on devices and services.”
Neither Microsoft or Nokia have spelled out how the partnership will work when it comes to products, although Terry Myerson, the EVP of operating systems at Microsoft, has blogged that Nokia will – in a similar way to Google’s relationship with Motorola – still be treated the same as any other Windows Phone 8 vendor.
Nokia will continue to make networking equipment and hold patents.