Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) News: Logical Candidate, Stephen Elop’s Boosted Chances & Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Editor’s Note:  Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)

Microsoft buys Nokia mobile business to challenge Apple and Google (The Telegraph)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has bought Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s struggling mobile phone business for €5.44bn (£4.61bn) in an effort to “accelerate” its challenge to the dominance of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). The deal will see Nokia’s current chief executive, Stephen Elop, join Microsoft and makes him favourite to replace Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last month. Labrokes said he was now 4/6 favourite to take the role, with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Sheryl Sandberg 7/1 and former Microsoft executive Steve Sinofsky 12/1.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Giving Apple Inc. (AAPL) a Run for its ‘Patent Money’

Microsoft and Nokia Send a Weak Signal (The Wall Street Journal)
Steve Ballmer couldn’t leave his successor without a smartphone strategy. That is the real reason he had to buy a chunk of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) retiring chief executive also brings in a logical candidate to replace himself. But the deal is also essentially an admission of Microsoft’s weakness. In buying Nokia’s devices and services segment for $7.2 billion, Microsoft joins Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google as smartphone software makers who also design their own hardware.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been in the computing business for nearly four decades. For a time, it utterly dominated that business as a company that essentially sold software. But over the past several years, personal computing has evolved in a way that Microsoft had not entirely anticipated. Personal computing became very personal, moving from desktops to pockets, from keyboards and mice to sheets of glass, and from hard drives to clouds. The way that Microsoft traditionally sold its software to most consumers—by licensing it to computer builders, who then sold their wares running Windows to normal people—has fundamentally not worked in this new world. Though its Windows and Office divisions continue to make tens of billions of dollars a year, its market share (and its mind share) of phones, tablets, and search is a fraction of its leading competitors, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). It is lagging, and the future is not promising for laggards.

Elop Rejoining Microsoft Lifts Odds of Succeeding Ballmer (Bloomberg)
Stephen Elop, already an odds-makers’ favorite to take over as Microsoft Corporation’s next leader, just boosted his chances by helping orchestrate the $7.2 billion deal that makes him a senior executive at the software maker he once helped run. The 49-year-old Canadian, who has been chief executive officer at Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) for three years, will move back to Microsoft as it buys the Finnish company’s mobile-phone unit. The one-time head of the software maker’s business division returns with experience competing head-on in mobile devices against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Devs: Microsoft wants your apps for Windows Phone and Xbox One (and Windows tablets and PCs) (IT World)
So Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is buying Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). There was a lot of talk about this deal on the tech blogs yesterday, but one that stood out to me was over at Gamasutra. When asked how Microsoft is going to lure developers over to support the Windows Phone platform, Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson said the plan was to create an environment where apps can be released across all Microsoft platforms (Windows Phone, Windows tablets, Xbox One and of course PC) easily. Devs should be able to do this via HTML5 or native apps. (Honestly I’m not sure what that question has to do with the Nokia acquisition since it’s about Windows Phone as a platform rather than the hardware, but I’m still glad someone asked.)

Microsoft is effectively bailing out Nokia (CNBC)