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Microsoft explains the Nokia deal: The phone is key to everything

Mark Hachman | Sept. 4, 2013
What a difference a few years makes: In a slide deck explaining the deal, Microsoft explains the domino effect that begins with phones.

"My take on the slide overall is highlighting the halo effect and leverage," Reticle Research and former NPD analyst Ross Rubin said via a Twitter message on Monday night. "[It] addresses oversimplifying critics who might say, oh, you're going all in on phones so PCs are dead, right?"

Microsoft certainly isn't ignoring the patent portion of the deal. After all, that's what the conventional wisdom says drove Google's purchase of Motorola. But Microsoft's concerns are far more practical: It just has to sell devices, period.

If phones are what consumers are buying, not PCs, then Microsoft can move to where the puck is. But Microsoft's entertainment (Xbox) business isn't a money-maker; its business and server businesses are. At this point, putting more devices in consumer hands is paramount, regardless of those devices' use cases and form factors. Devices are what consumers are buying, but services are what Microsoft wants to sell. As long as Nokia's phones can run Office in some fashion and connect to a server, Microsoft appears to be happy.

Will Wall Street buy that argument? We'll find out later on Tuesday.


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