Microsoft chair claims “no regrets” on Nokia deal

Microsoft chair claims “no regrets” on Nokia deal

08 SEP 2015

John Thompson (pictured), chairman of Microsoft, said he has “no regrets” about the computing giant’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business, despite its failure to make a go of the unit in the meantime.

In an interview with Financial Times, he said that if the company had not moved when it did – at a point when Steve Ballmer, former CEO had announced his exit – “we could have found ourselves in a position where Nokia was not available to us”.

“No one ever wants to write-off $7.8 billion. But no one ever wants to…limit the options,” Thompson said.

Microsoft has announced a number of job losses related to the former Nokia Devices and Services unit, as well as write-downs that have more than equalled the price paid for the business.

Satya Nadella, CEO – who has not gone on record as being especially supportive of being in the device making business – has said that the company is moving from having a standalone phone business to a more integrated “first-party device family”.

The Microsoft Devices Group has been integrated with the Operating Systems Group to create the Windows and Devices Group.

The Lumia smartphone business – under Nokia initially and then Microsoft – has had something of a lumpy track-record, with no real evidence of a stable increase in momentum.

In recent quarters, its volume has come from lower-cost devices, with it being some time since a new high-spec Lumia device reached the market.

Under its new structure, the aim is to regain some traction with premium devices, as well as targeting business users – a strategy not dissimilar to Microsoft’s increasingly solid Surface tablet activities.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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