Microsoft and Nokia announced today that Nokia’s Devices & Services business—the part of the company that builds all Nokia’s phones (both smart and otherwise)—is changing hands. Microsoft is paying €5.44 billion ($7.17 billion) for the struggling Nokia division. The deal, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
In the transaction, all of Nokia’s device business, including design, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and support, becomes a part of Microsoft. This includes 32,000 staff, of which 4,700 are in Finland.
So Apple makes both the OS and hardware for their iPhones. Google purchased Motorola so now makes both the OS and hardware for their phones, and now Microsoft purchases Nokia’s phones divisions which uses Microsoft’s OS.
What you are seeing here is walled gardens springing up all over. I think Apple has proven repeatedly that if you control both the OS and the hardware, you get a better overall experience. The problem as I see it, is it will become more and more likely that you will start to see exclusive content and apps for each platform now. You are already starting to see it with online streaming video. It seems everyone wants a piece of that, but they are ending up with only a piece. According to my theory of Disaggregation, the big aggregations of content should be breaking up. We will then go through a time where it will be less convenient to access what we want to see online. Then, the various players will start to make alliances with each other and begin to bundle things together again.
For educators, today’s news means that there will be three distinct ecosystems existing in a BYOD classroom. In interests of sanity, it would be a good idea if we can come up with an open standard for content that can work on any platform. Oh wait, we did. It’s called the Web.
I have serious doubts as to if this purchase will work out for Microsoft. I read a disturbing piece about how Microsoft evaluates it’s employees. It’s called Stack-Rank and it horrible. If you want more details check out this good article. After reading that, I now understand how Windows 8 happened. lol
This decade is a transition from the physical based world to the Internet based world. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.