Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) in a controversial move has acquired Nokia (NYSE:NOK). Not sure if this is to secure a tenuous toehold in mobile devices using Windows or is it a way to source a new CEO. For $7.2 billion it better be to work the Windows toe hold, because you can get lots of excellent CEO’s for less than $7.2 Billion.
The acquisition comes lockstep with Ballmer’s retirement announcement so there must be a plan. Microsoft is solving Nokia’s capital shortage problem. Microsoft is relying on Nokia old Mojo coming back. Maybe they got it and maybe they don’t. Stand by for product announcements and see what they roll out.
Microsoft and Nokia were first movers and disrupters. They clawed out a strong market share and went to sleep comfortable in the status as world-class dominator. They weren’t watching and competitors started to eat their lunch. Nokia missed a few turns on the road and found themselves in the ditch.
The major flaw that everyone keeps shrieking about will be the lack of apps for a Windows-based product. Some claim developers are too beleaguered trying to cope with Apple and Android applications. This is wrong. Developers will go where the money is. Microsoft has $61 Billion in cash and growing.
Here is how Microsoft will need to throw their money around to develop the right set of trends.
- Bonus developers for creating Windows Driven Apps. Most will develop apps if the Windows Smartphone develops more traction.
- Develop apps exclusive to Windows which will drive sales of Windows Smartphones and cause some abandonment of Apple and Android. Microsoft is still strong in enterprise applications. There’s lots of stuff that is App ready which should be exploited quickly.
- Enterprise apps will drive multiple unit sales. Not the ones and twos at retail kiosks. Microsoft is not dry of app ideas just unexploited.
The exclusivity will the way Microsoft/Nokia screw with Apple and Android. Watch for lawsuits. but in the ensuing years market positions will be established.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.