back to article Microsoft - do you really think you can take on Google with Nokia?

Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phones business – which outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer has since described as a way for Redmond "to accelerate" – appears to be an attempt to add another weapon to its anti-Google arsenal. Ballmer is quoted as saying: "By the early part of this year it was clear to me that perhaps acquisition would …

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  1. arctic_haze Silver badge

    "It's nuts for Ballmer to have announced his pending resignation at this time."

    Didn't he clearly state in his farewell letter that this timing was not his choice?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

      Quite simply, they need to make products that CONSUMERS want. Right now their strategy is to force feed consumers what MICROSOFT wants consumers to want.

      Until they understand that they can't polish the Windows Phone, Surface Xbox and Windows 8 turds to be any brighter, and that they need to reboot, nothing is going to change, no amount of acquisitions, no amount of changing of CEOs, no amount of press bribery.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

        But Android is absolute dross in comparison and that sells. Google are on about major release 6? And it's still slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable to Malware.

        Microsoft definitely have the better foundation in the Windows Phone OS. They just need to match the features and the app store....

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

          > But Android is absolute dross

          Keep on telling yourself that. Doesn't make it any more true. Won't help you compete in the market.

          YOU are the perfect illustration of why Microsoft is in the toilet right now.

          1. HMB

            Re: Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

            >> But Android is absolute dross

            > YOU are the perfect illustration of why Microsoft is in the toilet right now.

            Children, children!!

            Both of you are right. I've always bought Nexus phones and I've watched Android get better and better and then, after around 4.1.2, worse and worse. It's like Google don't understand what "testing" is.

            Android is a great OS that is nice to use, up until Google changes something in a way you didn't like or "updates" your phone to introduce bugs into it while also adding a good feature. Google are going off the rails slowly and they're making Microsoft's job of competing an easier one.

            Microsoft on the other hand have great ideas in theory but just don't understand how to temper them with exactly what people want. My friend's WinPho voice recognition does a lot better than my Nexus' quite frankly laughable performance. However, I really want a phone that has more than freaking brightly coloured squares of solid colour for a user interface.

            I guess we should all be grateful there is competition in the market place. For me, Google is pushing me (a long term customer) away and both Apple and Microsoft are intriguing me. Come on Apple, release a phone with a screen with 4.5 inches or a smidge more.

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

          Many people said the same thing about DOS and Windows back in the early days. And thy were right.

          It doesn't matter. Android has critical mass, Windows Phone does not. It doesn't matter how good Windows Phone, Blackberry OS for that matter is, they are not going anywhere.

        3. Schultz
          Happy

          "Android is [...] slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable to Malware."

          But the hardware gets better by the day (who cares about inefficient), there are third party apps for everything (choose the least buggy or vulnerable if you care about it).

          Smartphones are a new product, just like personal computers were in the late 80s -- and look who won that battle. The slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable MS Windows. It gave users what they wanted: an affordable, flexible system that does whatever the user wants it to do. Anybody think there is a lesson to be learned?

          1. The First Dave
            Holmes

            Re: "Android is [...] slow, inefficient, bloated, laggy, buggy, insecure and vulnerable to Malware."

            @Schultz:

            Of course there is a lesson to be learned, but your analogy with Windows is flawed - the number one reason people bought, and still buy Windows is compatibility, and that currently counts AGAINST microsoft.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft will never be able to challenge Google.

          I use an iphone and an android phone. So I'm neither ifan or fandroid and I still think you're wrong.

          Slow? - Not on an N4 no, £139 phone.

          Inefficient - Compared to what? Where is a comparison of a windows mobile and android running on the same hardware and being shown to consume what, more ram? more energy, more disk space? What is it inefficent in it's use of?

          Insecure - Newsflash, they all are.

          Only for Windows Mobile, not all versions (shall we go back to CE and see what's still vulnerable?)

          http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-26/product_id-9709/Microsoft-Windows-Mobile.html

          For all versions of android

          http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-1224/product_id-19997/Google-Android.html

          (Coulnd't find one for 4.3 android alone)

          IOS - All versions

          http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search-results?query=apple+ios

          Malware - Newsflash they all are.

          How about upgradeable?

          Ios - all of them (all the phones have been able to upgrade for about 2 years after release to the latest OS)

          Android - some of them. - Nexus devices yes, lots of others no.

          Windows Mobile - Since we're talking about Nokia here, first Lumia phone...nope not upgradeable.

          Lumia 510 Lumia 610 Lumia 710 Lumia 800 Lumia 900

          Last one release September 2012, so less than a year ago, can I upgrade to Windows 8 Mobile..nope

          So if for example your Windows mobile phone that's less than a year old wants to do.

          Update 8.0.10327.77 or 8.0.10328.78*

          Google accounts. Windows Phone 8 now supports the CardDAV and CalDAV protocols that allow people to sync Google contacts and calendar information when they get new phones. (Existing phones that are synchronised to a Google account prior to 31 December 2013 will continue to sync as before.)

          Nope, you can't do that, it's Windows 8 mobile only.

          To be fair, that's the way Nokia has always done it, don't bother to release new software to fix bugs, unless we're going to get sued or we promised a carrier.

          So they are in good company with microsoft and all their mobile devices. WinCE upgrades anyone?

          Personally, I'd rather have a blackberry than a windows mobile for exactly the reasons above, oh and the fact that nobody wants to develop apps for it, or if they do, it's when ios and android have already had it for a year.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Business is nuts...

      ...I can no longer predict what may or may not happen, so much so, that I reckon that this deal will allow MS to finally bolster their presence in the phone market that they will become #2. Phones are now mini computers so it makes complete sense for MS to be directly in this space and not relying on 3rd parties to get it right. They got it right with the Xbox so there is a reasonable chance they will get it right with their new Lumia phone unit.

      1. danny_0x98

        Re: Business is nuts...

        I think you miss the subtleties. Microsoft needs profit and profit growth from mobile to replace profits declining as pc sales flatten.

        If Microsoft does well with its phones, are other phone makers going to jump on the Microsoft Phone platform or are they and Google going to continue to press ahead with Android, which, other than the Microsoft ip tax allows Android makers to start with a lower bill of goods.

        Microsoft will be converting its license fees from Nokia into an internal transfer, i.e., a net wash, and their play is to make Windows Phone the clear, undeniable standout in interface so as to justify a higher profit margin on their phones. Otherwise, it's a spec and price war, and Android has the head start.

        Why am I not putting Apple into this mix? Because Microsoft sells operating systems and any one who could choose a Windows variant has no access to an Apple os, but can license an Android (or Linux) os.

        Did you notice that Nokia is keeping some of its business? After the deal clears, Microsoft will be a customer of Nokia-prime, but Nokia-prime, other than desktops and maybe servers, will not be a customer of Microsoft.

        Meanwhile, Nokia had been having difficulties selling phones profitably. Microsoft now owns those difficulties. Redmond knows better than Finland on how to turn it around?

        I was joking that the headline could have been written "Nokia Ditches Dying Business, Fires and Outplaces CEO."

        Number 2? Samsung, Microsoft (formerly Nokia), Apple, all the other Android makers, all the other Windows Phone makers, if any. I don't see that. Do you think that Nokia was holding back and didn't really want to sell smartphones powered by Windows? That would seem insane to me. If so, Microsoft overpaid for a business and is retaining the wrong people if it's a company that was held back by its sandbagging.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Business is nuts...

          You make some very good points, however, it's now a matter of MS survival to get this right and given a new CEO, unless it's the Eloper, they have a good chance of making great headway.

          We are all moving to tablets, phablets and phones and I can understand what MS envisioned when they conceived Win 8. Yes they executed poorly in terms of trying to drag existing users forcefully into this new world and imposing upon them Win 8 GUI in their Win 7 / XP world.

          Looking forward MS may well just repeat the mistakes of the past but they do have some notable successes and they could get it right.

          To get it right I think they need to ditch MS and Windows branding and just focus on Lumia and Asha because far too many consumers have been burnt by bad MS experiences on the desktop and consciously or sub-consciously will avoid the MS brand.

          Fundamentally my earlier point is that business is completely unpredictable, who would have thought at the time that Apple on the ropes would fight back and indeed score some huge winners? Clearly Bill Gates did because he saw something in Jobs and Apple and saved their ar$e$ financially.

          1. Ian 55

            Re: Business is nuts...

            We are not "all moving to tablets and phones". I have a tablet, and it's good for reading in bed or playing games while travelling. I have a smartphone and it's good for being able to look stuff up while out and about.

            The actual work - and stuff like this - gets done on a PC because it is vastly more powerful than either, with a much better screen, proper keyboard and trackball.

    3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Perhaps this is Ballmer's spanner in the works.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer needs to appoint the new boss this week. But given the Nokia vote isn't until November 19th he can't appoint Elop yet (unless Elop resigns of course).

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

    I mean directly and deliberately, rather than just because nobody else wants it... with full control over the hardware like Apple do?

    Despite the shoddy BBC news coverage which makes it sound like Nokia hasn't moved into smartphones yet, WP is slowly gaining ground and is at least credible. MS don't need to own the market, just hold a non-negligible share of it, 10-20% perhaps.

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    2. Shagbag
      Boffin

      Shoddy BBC News coverage?

      Never!

      Those BBC tech journalists are shit hot and like their finance journalists, they have their 'fingers on the pulse'.

      For those whose native language is not English: I am being sarcastic, ie. BBC tech and finance journalists are narcissistic retards.

    3. ShelLuser
      Windows

      @JDX

      I most certainly hope not, but I guess Microsoft are crazy enough to do just that. It would most certainly do them a lot more bad that good in my opinion.

      Personally I actually like the Windows Phone (I own a WP7.5 device) but I never liked the weird looks of the Nokia devices. So I ended up with my favourite brand when it comes to cellphones: Samsung.

      But if they would stop allowing others to make Windows Phones too then I'll most certainly won't be buying one anymore.

      1. silent_count

        Re: @JDX

        @ShelLuser

        I'm curious to see if anyone (aside from MS) will be game to continue making WinPhones. MS has a well earned reputation of hobbling anyone who dares to complete on (what MS sees as) their turf.

        1. DF118

          Re: Re: @JDX

          If I was them I'd use some of the increased margins on Nokia devices to fund a little largesse to the WinPho OEMs. After all Android isn't making real money for anyone but Samsung and Microsoft, so dangling a decent margin at device manufacturers* might be enough to move WP up a gear.

          * Of course they will be well aware of MS's penchant for stomping the competition, but as long as Google remains the primary target I'd be willing to bet the device manufacturers will go along for the ride. MS can't afford to burn its WP OEMs right now, and won't be in a position to for many years to come if ever.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: @JDX

            What WP OEMs... Isn't the only one left Nokia?

    4. Mark .

      Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

      I dare not even read the BBC coverage to see how terrible it is - I remember for years how they completely ignored the number one smartphone platform Symbian, instead raving on about iphones the entire time. As someone else notes in these comments, it's a sad day for Europe too (I believe Nokia was Europe's number one technology company, and Symbian was of course a Europe-developed OS), but it's hard to blame Microsoft when the European media would rather celebrate only US tech all this time.

      Interesting question that you ask - the flipside is, I was wondering if the Nokia software like maps would be made available to other WP phones.

      I agree about market share - Apple were doing fine for years with iphone on just 5-10% (not to mention that translated to a smaller number back then in absolute numbers), and still do fine with Mac OS at 6%, after all. http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/news/item/18284_Kantar_data_shows_Windows_Phon.php shows that it is growing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

        @Mark. You know that Kantar is just wild speculation, like the old panels they bought, right? A sample size of 3000 worldwide, already known for their disconnection with the biggest public when they were called Nelson or IBOPE, doesn't have much credibility...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

          Oh, it seems that the truth offended some crybabies... Keep downvoting, it won't change the fact that Kantar is just a panel, has no real numbers just projections made from a very small sample, and that its numbers have as much credibility as the ratings the panels that compose it published before.

          If you have any real information, then post it and correct the wikipedia article. Downvoting because you don't like the facts won't change them.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

      WP likely already hit 10% in the UK, It was at about 9% a couple of months ago...

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

        Yes but the UK is only one market. You want 10% of the US or Chinese market too :)

    6. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Will WindowsPhone become Nokia-only?

      I expect Window Phone will soon be Nokia only.

      - No one else wanted it when it was Nokia, now when it's MS-Nokia to compete with.

      - MS want to be Apple.

      I think bigger question is what will MS do with the cheap Nokia phones?

  4. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Finger on the trigger

    All of the Microsoft smart mobile device and services weaponry appears to be aimed at the Google target – apparently with Elop's finger on the trigger, with an outgoing CEO to guide him.

    Poised and ready to shoot himself in the foot by pissing off the (few) other OEMs who haven't fled from WinPhone? You'd think given how things have actually one in the real world, they might have learnt something from the Surface and how OEMs love having their supplier also as their competitor...

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Finger on the trigger

      > how OEMs love having their supplier also as their competitor

      Ah yes, you mean like how Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc. stopped using Android when Google bought Motorola ... two years ago ... ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finger on the trigger

        "Ah yes, you mean like how Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc. stopped using Android when Google bought Motorola ... two years ago ... ?"

        That is slightly different, as they could fork Android if Google were to play hard ball with them. Also there is little (no?) cost in terms of license fees AFIK, so it is not the same as Windows phone where OEMs pay out to MS but "Nokia" in effect will not.

        Still, I bet there were (maybe still are) uneasy about preferential treatment for new stuff.

        1. BrownishMonstr

          Re: Finger on the trigger

          Regarding Android, the OS doesn't cost money for them to integrate it, but integrating Google Play and other Apps does.

          I doubt they'll leave as they might be paying MS for royalty fees to use android and might get a deal on licensing WP.

        2. h3

          Re: Finger on the trigger

          Having the Gapps costs $5 afaik for Android. (Plus Paying Microsoft for patents) probably makes it more expensive.

        3. LDS Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Finger on the trigger

          An Android fork would mean to put a lot of resources in developing it, which would offset the advantage of just customizing a free OS developed by someone else.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: Finger on the trigger

            @LDS - google Xiaomi and MIUI. Seems like it pays, to fork android and develop it.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: Finger on the trigger

              Great fork, still based on Android 2 <G> And of course used by major Android vendors....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: Finger on the trigger

        "Ah yes, you mean like how Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc. stopped using Android when Google bought Motorola ... two years ago ... ?"

        Like one said already, totally different. All the OEMs were well established with Android offers. I think the reasoning at Google was simple: if Samsung(from times to times they threaten with other routes, I wonder why...:-) ) and many of the other Android partners abandon ship, Google would have an hardware manufacturer at the backyard to keep things going on. Right now, with Motorola they have a place to play with different paths and create prototypes. If the OEMs can't differentiate their Windows phone offers (UI) and Nokia mastering the black art of miniaturization of cameras on mobile phones, what's left?

        I will repeat myself again because the "DIFFERENTIATION" argument its used often and more after Elop used it. It's uter crap.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Some Apples and some Oranges

    •We have Bing, Microsoft's search engine, going up against Google's own search tech.

    OK, 1 Point goes to Google for a far better product.

    •We have Azure going up against the Google cloud.

    Can't comment, don't use either

    •We have Microsoft's SkyDrive product going up against Google's cloud storage.

    Skydrive is more in competition with Dropbox than it is with Google. ( no points given out)

    •We have the Windows family of operating systems – PCs, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones – going up against Google's Android device software.

    Completely different markets, I can't do with Android what i can do with MS OS's. Google do not have a desktop operating systems. ( at least not one that we can use in the office).

    1 Point to MS.

    •We have the Internet Explorer browser going up against Chrome.

    Neither side wins. The browser market doesn't bring new users; they are merely entry points into other products/usages.

    •We have Microsoft Office going up against Google Docs, etc.

    No comparison - MS wins hands done...

    Yesterday's purchase adds two new weapons.

    •Microsoft's Nokia Lumia phones, which will now be pitted against Google's Motorola units.

    Google don't need to build their own phone, others do it for them.

    1 Point to Google.

    •Microsoft is licensing Nokia's really decent mobile mapping services, which will be competition for Google maps.

    Fail again for MS, late to market and expensive. Googl's mapping products are mature, free (relatively) and omni-available.

    Google = 3 points.

    MS = 2 points.

    MS are trying to hard to expand into markets which are too difficult for them to master.

    In a sense Google provides what we want, MS provides what we need. 2 very different approaches which are extremely difficult to compare.

    Winning is just an ephemeral side-effect of being temporarily successful.

    1. dogged

      Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

      •Microsoft is licensing Nokia's really decent mobile mapping services, which will be competition for Google maps.

      Fail again for MS, late to market and expensive. Googl's mapping products are mature, free (relatively) and omni-available.

      So are Nokia's. HERE Maps is available on iOS and Android as well as WP.

      So maybe 3 each.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

        Can't judge on other platforms, but Here maps on iOS is crap. I was really disappointed after hearing about how good it is on Nokia phones. Partially this judgement is due to the user interface being crap. Apple maps (which have significantly improved, with the best yet to come on iOS 7 which I have in beta) is significantly better. The biggest problem for Apple maps was simple but a large one, the indexing and aliasing of place names / points of interest was crap. It's still not as good as Google maps, but it is probably now about as good as Google maps was just before Apple maps was released (for the UK at least - can't comment for elsewhere). Even when struggling with the Interface and trying to ignore the negative feel it brings Here maps place names and points of interest seemed to be no better than Apple maps.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

        HERE works I suppose, but it runs in a browser. I hope one of the first things the old Nokia does (which still has the rights to their maps) is come out with a proper map app for Android and iOS, similar to their Symbian and WP apps.

        I'd pay for it because it runs rings around Google Maps or frankly anything else on Android.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Megaphone

      I basically agree with practically everything you say.

      I would just like to point out that Microsoft is in a much worse situation than Google, because Google doesn't really care what platform you use its products with, whereas Microsoft is currently in the process of cannibalizing its Office product to set its presence in "the cloud".

      That's all fine and dandy, but even if MS does manage to cloudify Office, sooner or later it will have to open it up to other platforms, meaning it will have enormous market pressure to make its Office 365 available to Android platforms.

      That day MS Windows is dead as a dodo. Not because its Windows, but because people don't use PCs all that much at home anymore. Home computing is with tablets and smartphones because they are simple to use. PCs are the tech specialists tool, the platform for heavy computing (programming, CAD, video editing etc).

      I'm not saying PCs will disappear, nor am I saying Microsoft will, just that until today, people only had PCs to surf the web, go on YouTube and write their emails/tweets/sms. Now they have many more choices, most of which are a lot easier to come to grips with. So, IMHO, MS is inevitably going to lose this war against Google, whatever happens.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        You all forgot there's always a server side....

        Maybe people will use less PCs - but all the services they run on their phone or tablets often need a server backend on the other side. And Microsoft is no longer on the desktop only, it has a strong server offering as well. Sure, there's Linux also, but MS server OS are getting more and more capable and powerful (see 2012), while Google makes money reselling user data - how long it work is still yet to see... one day someone will awake and understand that internet advertising is useless...

        1. PJI
          Headmaster

          AARGHH - "Less ..."

          Sorry, it hurts too much to ignore: "less PCs". Perhaps not a native English speaker?

          FEWER PCs.

          PCs are countable, one, two... many PCs/men/women/cars/pints of beer. So a mini holds fewer people than a bus. A pint glass holds less beer than a litre glass. Fewer PCs are being sold this year than last year. Last year's models are less powerful.

          So, a pint glass holds LESS beer than a litre glass. But only a FEW pubs in England sell beer by the litre.

          Get the idea?

          Would you be so careless with your computer code? Actually, looking at the quality of most code, that is a foolish question, except where the compiler can stop you. Now tell the C compiler to be less fussy and old fashioned, see what it says. More care: fewer mistakes. It is easy, really, if you know what counting is.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: You all forgot there's always a server side....

          Poor boys, keep on playing with your phones, while the adults write software on the server side and earn $$$$$$.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        rubbish

        Home computing is not done on PCs "all that much"?

        I happen to work in this sector and I can tell you for a FACT, they ARE very much used and "tablets and smartphones" are mainly used as "sitting in front of the TV want to check my emails but can't be bothered to boot up the PC". Anything that involves any amount of writing / working, you'll find people in front of their PCs...or Macs, or uhm Linux boxes.

      3. Mark .

        Whilst Google may well be in a better situation, I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning. Google are pushing people into their cloud products far more so than MS. And MS's products, including Office, are cross-platform too (I have One Note and Sky Drive for my Android phone, no different to WP; they've released for Macs for years).

        "Home computing is with tablets and smartphones because they are simple to use."

        Some people may prefer tablets, but as much as I love my Nexus 7, I still prefer using a laptop. Simpler to use with its keyboard, touchpad and larger screen. And I like just laying it on my lap, rather than have to hold it. And typing on a touchscreen is unbearable. Whilst a few people may use phones at all, I don't find it better. I think the biggest advantage tablets will have for their prevalence is having a far lower cost than laptops. But despite being around for years, we've yet to see the death of laptops - if everyone preferred them, why aren't they already using them, in place of laptops rather than in addition?

        For all the people I know buying phones and tablets, they seem to be getting these gadgets as additional devices.

        "I'm not saying PCs will disappear, nor am I saying Microsoft will, just that until today, people only had PCs to surf the web, go on YouTube and write their emails/tweets/sms."

        People used PCs to write SMSs?

        Also remember though, up until the mid-2000s, people weren't doing things like Facebook, Youtube etc at all. There was actually only a relatively small window of time where both people were buying technology to do these things, and when laptops and desktops were the only choice.

        So yes, we may find the market size drops a bit - perhaps as much as say 50% of the set of people who only use a computer to browse Facebook/Youtube no longer need a PC. But you'll still have the people who prefer laptops; and you'll also have all the reasons that existed before the mid-2000s for why people had PCs - such as for word processing, printing, games (not all of which translate well to tablets), working from home. I find it odd that on forums where people seem to hate the idea that Windows 8 "only works with tablets" (even though it isn't true), also seems to have the prevalent view that laptops are dead, and we should be doing everything with small phones and tablets.

        Also the laptops vs tablet argument is starting to become irrelevant, with tablets that are convertibles and full blown PCs. Did we have these debates about the death of the desktop, because laptops were appearing?

        Long term I think Android will be far more prevalent than anything else, because it will be more suited for an increasing number of devices that become computerised (TVs, cars, home appliances, etc). But even though my British Gas boiler now connects to my wifi network, that doesn't mean I'm going to throw my laptop away to do computing on the boiler or fridge-freezer.

        I'd also add that Apple would have more to lose if people switch from laptops to tablets, as the strongest market for Macs is in the ultra-portable segment, competing directly with tablets.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft is monetising it's Office products I think you mean. Changing them (quite successfully) to a subscription model.

        Office 365 is ALREADY available for other OSs. And Microsoft share of PC OSs is still at over 92%....

      5. Shagger

        Google doesn't really care what platform you use its products with...

        They cared when Microsoft released a YouTube app to use their products on Windows Phone...

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Google doesn't really care what platform you use its products with...

          It only cares the platform you use runs its Javascript code. That's why it doesn't like native apps it didn't write, how can it gather any data it founds, otherwise?

    3. h3

      Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

      I think Nokia's Maps are better than Googles for the most part.

      You can use them completely offline for a start.

      And it always knows the side of the road the house is on and stops you near it.

      (So does Navigon on Android but it is not cheap).

      1. h3

        Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

        And the Web version of Bing maps has Ordinance Survey which are hands down the best maps for the UK.

        Another thing the WP7 keyboard can be operated 100% perfectly no matter how hammered you are.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

        I have used google Maps on android phones for navigation and Here maps on Nokia Lumias and I can honestly tell you (and I LOVE google maps) that Nokia's Here maps are better.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

      You are wrong about maps. Google Maps is pretty poor, at least as an in-car navigational device, considering their massive investment. In fact I stopped using Tom Tom in favour of Ovi/Nokia maps.

      1. alan buxey

        Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

        I moved to Waze about 6 months back and havent looked back (no navigation puns intended). its just a pity that all of these 'upstarts' arent as good as Nokia Maps regarding the simple download/install of a foreign country to avoid any roaming charges!

    5. John-IT-Guru

      Re: Some Apples and some Oranges

      MS provides what we need?

      Amazing brain washing job!

      Need or locked down into?

      LOCKED DOWN INTO is the reality.

      So you enjoy living in a prison you pay for?

      Interesting.

      I escaped the Redmond lockdown in 2001 with Linux.

      I've been a free man ever since!

  6. DJO Silver badge

    Smart phone from dumb people

    Yet another tactic from Uncle Fester that's doomed to fail, you'd think that the time he spent at the top of one of the biggest companies would have taught him something but this is Uncle Fester the arrogancemeister so I suppose not.

    The way to dominate a market is not by reacting to competitors but by producing the best (or the most popular - popular & best are not synonyms) product, if you put all your focus into reaction you'll always be at least one step behind.

    So Microsoft, don't try to beat Google at their own game but step up your own, make Windows 9 a game changing market leader, listen to what the users actually want and not what you think they should want.

    But realistically the Microsoft brand is tarnished and I really think there is an incredible amount of work needed to make them even slightly fashionable, perhaps they should concentrate on their core business products and leave the domestic & leisure markets to those who know what they are doing, perhaps MS could invest in such companies as a silent partner, reaping the profit without any effort as for them a billion here or there is a pretty trivial fiscal risk.

    1. dogged
      Stop

      Re: Smart phone from dumb people

      But what El Reg's legion of script-reading support-drones want is Windows 7.

      There is no money to be made from Windows 7.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart phone from dumb people

      Eadon is that you?

    3. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Smart phone from dumb people

      Or get your marketing department to "create" a market in which you can be number one - like unique towns in Britain: the only town which has ... (then a long list of attributes) two public conveniences in the town square.

      None of the ancient US software makers seemed to have properly integrated their services they have acquired, I think Apps on a phone are a red herring they typically only provide a "port hole" to one service - Android SDK does have the concept of providing a service to be used by many screen interfaces. MS Office applications played together poorly, obviously written by different (competing) teams, although I accept Excel was about fast calculation and not text layout like Word - there goals were different - is this the US psyche jocks competing and not sharing and helping each other?

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Smart phone from dumb people

        "Excel was about fast calculation and not text layout like Word"

        In theory, yes. In practice, most people are using Excel as a layout tool. MS figured it out quite well.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smart phone from dumb people

      > The way to dominate a market is not by reacting to competitors but by producing the best (or the most popular - popular & best are not synonyms) product

      'Best' products *never* win in the software industry. Somewhere out there there is a parallel universe where best products do win and I want to live there.

      1. Belardi

        Re: Smart phone from dumb people

        If we were in that world, we'd be using Amiga computers. MS & PC would have died out in the 80s... mostly, with MS being a software programming company.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

    It only got licences to Nokia's patent portfolio and didn't get to buy it, so it's old game of feck you over with bullshit patents isn't on the cards for them here.

    Another issue here is just what are other makers of W8 tablets and phones going to make of this ? I think the it just may end up being a Nokia only show.

    Personally I hope MS get burnt here as any company who's (soon to be ex) CEO describes FOSS as a cancer is a real insult to cancer patients. Imagine some day in the future Ballmer gets cancer and the Linux powered Radiotherapy machine saves his life. Maybe then he just might choose his metaphors better such as "This is a real threat to our cosy monopoly and may seriously lower the price of computing for the masses".

    I hope Elop gets the CEO's job and falls flat on his arse as just rewards for doing MS's dirty work for them and canning the excellent Meego. If I were an institutional investor I would be asking some hard questions about Elop's actions at Nokia and just how much of a proxy he was.

    1. Mark .

      Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

      And then there was the guy who said he wanted to destroy the most successful version of Linux, using software patents to do so - look what happened to him...

      1. dogged

        Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

        He went with homeopathy and, like all who have a genuine illness and go with homeopathy, died.

        This (faith in homeopathy) would imply that he was an idiot. Or that maybe through long immersion in marketing, he had become susceptible to it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

      Another crucial thing they didn't get - the Nokia brand name, oops.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

      You really want a world without MS? Imagine it properly, not with your rose tinted spectacles.

      While Ballmer's cancer remark was in poor taste, YOU actually manage to stoop lower by trying to wish it on a person. Listen, a lesson to use for the rest of you life - and I won't even charge you for it - HATE takes energy. If you don't like someone, fine. If they are not worth your time, why are they worth wasting your energy on?

      Instead of hating Ballmer or anyone else, why not put that energy into doing something NICE for someone or maybe even doing BETTER than Ballmer?

      You liked Meego? Do you lament all the lovely extinct animals? This is evolution and whether you like it or not, it WILL carry on regardless of your opinion which matters not one jot to the behemoth of progress.

      This is like complaining that they stopped making your favourite flavour of Angel Delight and wishing a pox upon their houses. Grow.......up.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: One Crucial Thing MS Didn't Get

        > You really want a world without MS? Imagine it properly, not with your rose tinted spectacles.

        Sure. There has never been a time that I have not viewed the Microsoft alternative of something as inferior and undesirable. It's only their monopoly lock on desktop PCs that ever allowed them to shove their crap down people's throats. As soon as you give people a chance to pick something else they will.

        The failure of Windows on phones and tablets and phones is a clear demonstration of this. So is the limited success of Windows in the server room.

        Allow people a choice and they will choose something else.

        > HATE takes energy

        I more pity Microsoft these days. There are less impotent threats to worry about these days.

  8. sabroni Silver badge

    no one has beaten it at anything significant yet.

    Google+ is beating Facebook? Or facebook is insignificant?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "facebook is insignificant?"

      That is a deeper question than the number of users and/or revenue!

      1. dogged

        Re: "facebook is insignificant?"

        It is, I agree.

        But Google+ is also pretty insignificant (except in terms of annoying Google users). Perhaps that's where the equation lies on this one.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Facebook is not insignificant, but only Facebook has managed to monetize Facebook.

      So, from a business point of view, Facebook is neither a threat nor a competitor for Microsoft.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no one has beaten it at anything significant yet.

      Google+ is beating Facebook? Or facebook is insignificant?

      More like Fakebook users are insignificant!

  9. Mark .

    "Since Google has become the business juggernaut it is today, no one has beaten it at anything significant yet."

    Although MS doesn't lose on all the comparisons - ChromeOS is a long way to taking on Windows's 91% share; and how do Office and Google Docs compare?

    I mean, I think it is interesting to note that things are lining up with lots of common products between MS and Google, but whilst MS lose hopelessly on some (e.g., Search), they are ahead on others. Clearly, MS does beat Google on desktop/laptop OS market share.

    Not that it has to matter for us. I use Windows and Android; I use One Note and Sky Drive on my Android devices, and Chrome and Google search, maps on Windows. Just don't try to lock me into one company (or "ecosystem", as the marketing types would say).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will Google...

    Get in a bidding war for Nokia or their patents?

    Maybe they will just make sure MS pays a lot more for Nokia?

    Google overpaid for Motorola and they might make MS overpay for Nokia, just for the fun of it!

    1. Big_Ted
      Facepalm

      Re: Will Google...

      Don't you just love it when AC's post without reading the article etc.

      MS are buying Nokias phone making business.

      Nokia are keeping the patents, Maps and all other business.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackberry next ?

      Except that Nokia is more or less free to start up a new smartphone division. They are about to find themselves with a lot of cash. Microsoft hasn't bought Nokia - lock, stock and barrel. They've made a business deal with Nokia, to take over a large part of their current phone division and to allow themselves to produce these phones and others of the same branding (this includes licensing the patents for said phones).

      I hear something about 2015 and Nokia not using their own brand for smartphones till then, which is why I say "more or less free" - but I am not sure how this works exactly.

      Either way - with Nokia's experience 1½-2 years might be exactly what they need in order to come out with a superb smart-phone to change the game completely.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Blackberry next ?

          Microsoft still made record revenue though!

          They might loose a few battles, but my money is on them eventually wining the OS and ecosystem war....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blackberry next ?

        The agreement prevents Nokia from making any sort of Phone for 2 years.

        By that time the OS and ecosystem battle will be mostly over imo - and Microsoft will likely already be 1st or 2nd largest player...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackberry next ?

      Yes, sad, but...is it not better that Nokia SURVIVES and perhaps even THRIVES?

      If Nokia hadn't sat on its hands all these years when they were no1 in mobile phones, they wouldn't have been in this position, which I hasten to add, has been a LOT better with windows phone!

      RIM or Blackberry or whatever they are calling themselves have done the same and watch them scoot down the nearest plughole unless someone buys them.

      Apple's empire (like the Roman) has reached it's biggest, it will now shrink, and what THEY must do is defend its borders in a smaller niche. The 5C is another gambit, treading the ground Jobs forbade.

      This will ultimately, be a GOOD thing for Nokia / MS / us. Three choices are better than TWO choices.

      1. John-IT-Guru

        Re: Blackberry next ?

        3rd choice? Really?

        Maybe if you want to buy a Reboot-A-Phone virus trap I guess then it is a 3rd choice.

        But the World has already voted with their wallets NOT to buy anything made by MicroKlunk.

  12. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    Also in the news...

    Hedge Funds who hoped to make a killing by short-selling Nokia have been heavily hit. Figures are indicating that they've probably lost in the region of $640m with Discovery Capital Management LLC being the biggest casualty.

    1. dogged

      Re: Also in the news...

      Good. Also, fuck 'em.

  13. john devoy

    Nokia basically is wp8

    Nokia is the only windows phone maker that takes the market seriously, a few others released products then sat twiddling their thumbs; I'd like to see the windows phone platform go Nokia only so development speed can increase and updates can be pushed out globally on the same date the way Apple does it, at the moment updates trickle out over ridiculously long periods.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Nokia basically is wp8

      A nice idea, but the reason Apple can do this is because they were customer centric (give the customer what they want before they even know they want it), and they were retail consumer focused (ie not business).

      MS are now trying to play in too many markets, they still have an enterprise software bias, and they never, ever listen to customers. You think that'll change anytime soon?

      I'm afraid this is just normal big company M&A - an onanistic activity indulged in by the boards of companies who want a diversion from problems in the core business that require hard work and pain. I know, my employers went on an ill judged European acquisition spree that required multi billion write downs, left the company hugely indebted, and forcing it to sell some of the good businesses it did have, and throw tens of thousands of employees out the door, and left us with a whole range of rag-bag assets in markets where we had neither scale nor purpose. Meanwhile the core business festered for a decade whilst these shenanigans played out, and is now under all out attack from various quarters, and the board still don't know what to do about it.

      We'll hear the usual management consultant bullshit about "synergies" and growth. But they always say that. In blunt terms, what will MS be able to do that Nokia's management weren't? Both had unfavoured phone OSs, both had respectable cash piles to support development, both were dependant upon past glories. As the lower end Chinese handset makers show, anybody can knock out a basically competent handset in hardware. What does Nokia bring to the MS party?

      Lets face it, all the manufacturing has (or will) end up in China, all the software development will be done in the states, and they won't need many Finn's to specify future phones, inevitably based on something like LG or Sharp touchscreen, Qualcomm and ARM baseband processors, Hynix memory modules, TI and CSR chips for the extra functionality, LG battery, ST Micro accelerometer & compass, and somebody else's camera.

      The really remarkable thing is why MS didn't specify their own phone and have somebody else make it, just as Apple have done. No multi-billion assets at risk, can be quietly trialled under another name whilst you practice, and you have access to your OEM's expertise in phone making. Apple aren't the only virtual manufacturer, ARM, CSR, Imagination Technologies have all made a success of this on the inside of the phone. But all the people actually assembling phones are suffering the same fate as the PC assemblers, fighting over wafer thin margins and often making a loss because there's no barriers to entry in this market. And failing to learn the lessons of their own success, MS are buying into exactly the wrong part of the value chain, and doing it at the wrong time.

      1. dogged
        Headmaster

        Finn's?

        See me after class.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finn's?

          What a bunch of Knuts!

  14. J J Carter Silver badge

    Sergey Brin's shenanigans with the ladies suggests he's not 100% focussed on Google. First crack in the Chocolate Factory dam?

  15. James 51 Silver badge

    The title is too long.

    "Since Google has become the business juggernaut it is today, no one has beaten it at anything significant yet."

    Does social networking count?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The title is too long.

      "anything significant" = Only the stuff Google is good at.

      If we count stuff that Google doesn't do so well as significant, then someone would've beaten them and the circular logic would fail!

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: The title is too long.

      My impression is that Facebook got there first (after whipping a few earlier ones) and Google are playing catchup, just as MS is with phones. MS success in phones probably will parallel, more or less, Google's in social networking.

      1. Eguro
        Joke

        Re: The title is too long.

        So you're saying it'll be short, ugly and used only by MS employees?

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: My impression is that Facebook got there first

        First after MySpace? That'd be second then.

  16. Anonymous Dutch Coward
    Mushroom

    Ballmer's oracular statements

    "By the early part of this year it was clear to me that perhaps acquisition would be a way to accelerate."

    So it was clear to you that something may potentially lead to something else.... or in other words: "it was clear to me that acquisition could also decelerate [insert whatever it is]".

    Very insightful.

    As to what is being accelerated... well, I'd rather not speculate.

    "I called [Nokia board of directors chairman] Risto [Siilasmaa] right after the first of the year sometime in January, early February. "

    The first WHAT of the year? Public beheading of underperforming VPs? Bonfire? What?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Ballmer's oracular statements

      I can fill in one of the blanks for your. Ballmer was talking about accelerating Windows Phone's momentum. As the WP's market share is falling, Ballmer expects the purchase of Nokia to accelerate that decline. I have every confidence in Elop's ability to release a new phone that is less successful than Lumia. If he and Ballmer work at it together, they might even do worse than Kin.

      Microsoft has been spending a billion a year to get into the mobile market. I think the budget just got increased to ten billion per year. The next flop is going to be spectacular.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real patent threat is from Nokia

    If nokia no longer make phone sthere is no reason for them not to try and extract the maximum value from everyone who still does make phones. The phone manufacturers cannot use there own patents in defence because Nokia no longer makes phones. This could get very nasty and may be part of the plan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Real patent threat is from Nokia

      If Elop is "coming home" to MS, then that could hardly be his plan, could it? It would only make sense if he was staying at Nokia and felt some inner need to shaft MS for some alleged wrong back in his past.

      Who knows, I haven't read the details yet, but it seems ELOP has unloaded what he fucked up in an effort to cover his incompetence. He found an equally moronic patsy in Ballmer and now 7B will get flushed down the toilet and 30,000 people will be looking for a new job.

  18. Wanda Lust

    Here's an idea

    Announce a product, launch it, then make sure there's adequate availability. Google's really piss poor at this, it's just tiresome now.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It can be done

    After all, Nokia itself is evidence that the obvious market leader can throw it all away by being complacent.

  20. LDS Silver badge

    It is not true Google was never beaten is something significant: Facebook and Skype

    Google was defeated in at least two significative areas:

    - Social networking: its Orkut and Google+ never had the users MySpace had first or Facebook later.

    - Messaging: Google Talk and whatever where never a player against MS Messenger and Skype. Insisting on running everything inside a browser made its messaging services awkward to use compared to small, unintrusive, easy and fast native applications.

    Even if Blogger is widely used, WordPress is probably ahead of it now. Same for Flickr.

    Thereby it is not true Google can't be defeated. It has a huge advantage in Internet searches because collecting data and sharpening the algorithm is something that requires time. But Android is more or less a bunch of free software cobbled together. Microsoft can still catch up with the proper resources and deliver a better integrated mobile OS - as iOS is.

    After all WP 8 has truly UI designed for mobile - not the "Windows 3.1 Program Manager" - like other OSes offer, good for "app collectors" only. Sure WP8 still miss many features, has rough edges - but MS is big enough to close the gap quickly. After all Android too had to close the gap with iOS.

  21. rcorrect

    I can't get over how many billions Microsoft spends playing catch up but really it doesn't seem like it is happening. If/when Apple loses enough momentum I will be curious to see what their strategy is. Hopefully not a repeat of the 90's.

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Tons of BullShit do not Mask Truth when Altering Reality Virtually .... IT Creates an Almighty Stink

    Also the EU completely missed the CLOUD ... We are in EU crying about NSA snooping but there is no European alternative at the same scale as Amazon, Google, Azure, Icloud or Facebook… :-( …. Porco Rosso Posted Tuesday 3rd September 2013 13:38 GMT

    That is probably certainly in no doubt, Porco Rosso, but which GCHQ runs everything everywhere from Europe and the virtual space with command and control of media tales with intelligent sails/smarter literal ships trailing astute active bait?

    You think reality just happens as if by magic all by itself and is not made to happen to order to satisfy a whim and maintain a contrived situation and virtual realities? Oh please, get with the program and pogroms and start thinking. You do yourself a disservice in such a bankrupt state of mind.

    But you are not wrong to mention that the CLOUD is where IT is at and where all the fat cats are hanging about ……. expecting to exploit and profit as usual from crumbs from their masters' tables. Things and personnel in positions of heavy influence have changed though and nothing is at it was before, no matter what one be told and led to believe.

    PS ..... check out the last few minutes of series 2 episode 2 of "The Newsroom ..... The Genoa Tip" .... for a hint at who is into sarin gas use as a chemical weapon against hostiles?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish MS well. We really need some decent competition to the tired iFolly and spyware Android.

    It's only a matter of time before they [MS] become fashonable again as people get sick of the same old offerings from Apple and the horrendous bastard child android.

    Bring on the change!(c)

  24. poopypants

    This is strange

    Whatever modest success WP 8 phones have achieved in the smartphone market has been in no small part due to the excellent hardware designs and respected brand name of Nokia.

    If I understand this announcement correctly, future phones will no longer have the Nokia brand name, nor will the hardware be designed by Nokia. It may be designed by some of the same employees, but then again maybe they won't want to work under the infamous Redmond stack ranking scheme. Someone* could well make them a better offer.

    *Nokia in the meantime is free to spend the next 15 months quietly working on anything - including presumably a killer Android phone using their unique camera and microphone technology.

    (Unless they have agreed not to do that - surely MS have this covered. Right?)

    All very interesting. And a bit strange.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: This is strange

      MS bought the rights to use the Nokia brand, thereby I guess it will stays on its phones for some time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is strange

        No they didn't. They can only use the Nokia brand on existing handsets. Not new ones.

  25. DrXym Silver badge

    It must be a comfort for Microsoft employees

    To know the frontrunner for CEO is a guy who laid off entire team of employees, shitcanned promising products, bet the farm of a lame duck operating system, systematically ran the company into the ground, and ultimately sold off the withered husk to Microsoft, primarily for its patents and maps.

    This is clearly the man to lead Microsoft! Just don't have the misfortune to be in a division he takes a dislike to.

  26. mahasamatman
    FAIL

    I miss Eadon

    That's all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I miss Eadon

      Eadon moment : Boo hiss! Microsoft are evil! Ballmer is the anti-christ / dancing monkey boy! Put linux on everything! rant rant rave rave.Down with this sort of thing!

      And rest........

  27. zb

    Mutual support

    They remind me of two drunks leaning against each other each needing the support to stop falling over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mutual support

      do they also hold each other's dicks while pissing?

  28. Robert Forsyth

    Why is Nokia a brand?

    A brand name is to indicate a level of quality in the branded product; branded bread did not contain saw dust.

    If you "borrow" the brand name, but not the design and manufacture, what does the brand stand for?

    The Nokia brand, in phones, stood for robust, value for money, but competent products - admittedly they had MS style cock-ups on the software sometimes.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Why is Nokia a brand?

      At its best Nokia stood for good industrial design integrated with good software. At their best they fulfilled this with some very successful handsets although they also produced a lot of duds too.

      The biggest problem had was when they moved to Windows Phone they lost all ability to customize the user experience. All they could do was throw in some extra apps and that was about the extent of their customisation. It meant a Nokia phone running Windows Phone was largely indistinct from a Samsung, HTC or LG phone running the same.

      Nokia definitely needed a corporate reorg and to go on a diet but I think their long term future would have been far better served by adopting android. They could have customised it any way they liked, even throwing a Symbian runtime on there it hey wanted while still benefitting from a huge ecosystem of apps. They'd probably selling as many phones as HTC or Samsung right now if they had gone down that route.

  29. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    The best thing Microsoft could do is bring back Clippy and put him on £5 Nokia feature phones...

    "I see you're trying to make a phone call - would you like any help with that?"

  30. Belardi

    Microsoft... burn baby burn...

    She has jump the shark

  31. MattEvansC3

    You've missed a weapon...

    ...US Filing Number 09/094177.

    This is potentially Microsoft's biggest weapon and the most under-speculated aspect of the Nokia buyout.

    US Filing Number 09/094177 is the official name for the patent Nokia was using to block both the VP8 and VP9 codecs and which now belongs to Microsoft.

    Google need access to that patent otherwise its codecs and its plans to be sole custodian of the WebRTC codec of choice are dead in the water. That means h.265 will have little opposition and become the defecto web video codec for the HTML5 future. This could be disastrous for Google as they've invested a lot of time, effort and money in VP8 and VP9 but not just that they've been pushing everyone other than themselves and Apple into HTML5 based apps for YouTube. If Google is forced to use H.265 as part of HTML5 and patents preventing it from using VP8/9 then the licensing fees are going to take a huge chunk out of Google's operating profits.

    This gives Microsoft leverage, they could push for parity with Apple for Google Apps, they could licence it at over the odds (its not a FRAND patent) or continue down Nokia's route and flat out refuse to licence it to Google.

  32. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I hate to say I told you so.

    Actually, no. I'm quite happy to. As, it seems, are a lot of other commentards here and all over the 'net.

  33. John-IT-Guru

    Microsoft can say goodbye to all its OEM's forever now

    The Nokia buyout is a nail the size of a 747 into the Microsoft coffin.

    Why?

    Because the majority of Microsoft's Windows licenses come from its OEM's.

    Now that Microsoft is now fully in the hardware business, i.e. tablets and phones,

    its OEM's are going to jump ship before Microsoft's next move which will be to buy Dell

    and go head to head with the balance of their OEM's product lines.

    I predict Microsoft's OEM's will find a Linux OS to put on their pc's and laptops.

    Perhaps Google Chrome which is definitely a candidate, just add more software apps

    like Libre Office and Windows 8 is toast!

    Mobile users have already proved they don't want or need WindoZe 8.

    Microsoft is like a chicken running around with its head cut off!

    Amazing stupidity!

  34. Atonnis

    Woh...

    'But still, it's nuts for Ballmer to have announced his pending resignation at this time.'

    No. It will keep Microsoft in the news once the intial furor over the XBO dies down, and the upcoming few months of Apple-fever that is going to follow their 10/9 announcement(s). That is what they're bothered about.

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