Microsoft is trying to move beyond its desktop software-centric business model and recast itself as a devices and services company. To that end, one of its biggest moves has been the $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services business announced Sept. 3. The acquisition has won approval from Nokia shareholders and the European Commission and is expected to close in early 2014.
Microsoft sees Nokia as a way to turn around its lagging position in the mobile phone business. The Windows Phone mobile OS has low single-digit market share against Apple's iOS and Google’s Android software. And on the handset side, the Microsoft Kin was an outright failure.
Nokia and Microsoft already had a tight relationship after the two companies struck an alliance in February 2011 to develop a mobile device ecosystem around Microsoft Windows Phone software -- an investment that reportedly cost Microsoft billions. But Microsoft, apparently, concluded that just wasn't enough.