A Little Intrigue Behind the Microsoft-Nokia Deal
"Nokia on Sunday hinted that Microsoft essentially won a bidding war against Google to supply software to the world's largest handset maker and that the software giant agreed to pay "billions" of dollars for the privilege."
It seems like Microsoft and Nokia's Windows Phone deal was based on more than just a technology coordination effort. Much more. Computerworld has written an article that suggests new Nokia CEO Stephen Elop admitted as much on the eve of the Mobile World Congress which started today. According to Computerworld:
"He referred to a slide that Nokia displayed last week that showed marketing resources and other investments flowing from Microsoft to Nokia as part of the deal. While speculation has had that number in the millions or tens of millions of dollars, the figure is actually much higher than that, he said. "In fact the value transferred to Nokia is measured in B's not M's," he said."
The more we learn about the deal the less of a surprise it is, I suppose. For one thing, Microsoft has some very deep pockets that would allow an investment of this size to jumpstart the development of an ecosystem around Windows Phone 7. What is intriguing, though, is the idea that Google was considering coming to the table as well, and that Nokia preferred the idea of a larger multi-player marketplace, rather than an Apple-Android duopoly.
It seems to me there must be still more to this story. Wouldn't Nokia have benefited from a cosy-relationship and position with Google? Did Nokia think the Windows Phone 7 story was so compelling that it swayed it over to the Microsoft side? Seems hard to imagine. We can only speculate at this point and wait for more of the story to unfold. What do you think is going on here? Did Nokia simply respond to the highest bidder, or is there something more to this related to the Microsoft lineage of CEO Elop?