In a surprise announcement, Microsoft board has decided the company plans to acquire Nokia’s devices & services unit along with patents in a deal worth $7.17 billion.
The giant software has owned few hardware units including Xbox, Surface and Surface Pro tablets, keyboard, mouse, etc.. but the Nokia deal will be the largest hardware unit acquisition. Nokia has been Microsoft partner for its Smartphone running Windows Phone OS. With the deal, Microsoft continues to license its mobile OS to other hardware OEM partners.
The deal marks the last large strategic deal under Steve Ballmer watch, Microsoft CEO announced few weeks ago, his intention to step down of Microsoft CEO position. At the completion of the acquisition, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO will go back to Microsoft and lead an expanded Devices team, reporting directly to Steve Ballmer. Julie Larson-Green will report to Elop and continue to run the Devices and Studios team.