Microsoft made a major play for its mobile future this week, announcing the wholesale purchase of Finnish hardware partner Nokia's devices and services business unit for nearly $5 billion. The American firm will also pay $2.2 billion to license Nokia's patents and mapping services.
"For Nokia, this is an important moment of reinvention, and from a position of financial strength, we can build our next chapter," Nokia interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa stated.
The patent portfolio Microsoft now gains access to is comprised of approximately 10,000 separate families organizing 30,000 awards and applications. What's more, according to CNET, two-thirds of those intellectual assets will reportedly remain in force for at least another decade.
The two companies initially established a partnership in February 2011 to unite the Windows Phone platform with Nokia's Lumia series smartphones. According to The Verge, this latest transaction seems to be inspired by Microsoft's interest in Nokia's low-end Asha brand - which could help Windows Phone gain critical traction in developing countries. As for Nokia, the deal provides a welcome influx of capital as the firm looks to plot a new course of action for its remaining networking equipment and mapping services divisions.