Microsoft have just acquired Nokia and will launch its own brand of mobile phones abandoning the Nokia brand.
I must admit that I am following what Microsoft does with interest. I have previously written that unless they pull a rabbit out of the hat soon they will go into steep decline. Their failure to get a foothold the mobile market and the decreasing PC market means a rapidly shrinking market for their operating system which is their main product. While they have other major products such as their Office suite these piggyback on the success of their operating system. Without Windows they become just another application provider competing in an increasingly competitive market place.
Can Microsoft turn things around? It certainly has the capital to do it. The acquisition of Nokia could well be the rabbit out of the that they need. They have been unable to convince major mobile phone manufactures to use their OS so now they are adapting a variation of the old adage “if you can’t beat them then join them” . They are buying ready made infrastructure for the manufacture and distribution of a mobile phone to compete directly in the market place.
Just a few yeas ago I doubt Microsoft could have acquired Nokia who at that time was the number one mobile phone company in the world and seemed invincible. Nokia failed to successfully adapt to the new smart phone market and has been supplanted from the top by Android (spear headed by Samsung). They did launch their own smart phone OS called Symbian but it was plagued with bugs and eventually scrapped. They finally announced they would use Windows but it was too late to save them.
I see this acquisition as a move in the right direction but I do have reservations about the decision to abandon the Nokia brand name. I would have thought it would still have considerable value in the market place. The brand name never fell into disrepute. It just faded away due to not providing the consumer with what they wanted at the time. I am sure that most people still associate the brand with reliable quality mobile phones. Switching to the Microsoft branding requires establishing a new association with Microsoft as a producer of mobile phones. Perhaps they have a brilliant marketing campaign in mind that will leverage the Nokia pedigree along with the known Microsoft brand.
IMicrosoft have never really been innovators like Apple and Google. t will be interesting to see what they come up with both in terms of marketing and the actual product.