Nokia devices group to be renamed Microsoft Mobile – leaked memo

22 Apr 2014

The Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia’s mobile devices arm will be renamed Microsoft Mobile when the deal concludes this Friday, according to a leaked memo.

On Friday, 25 April, Microsoft will formally conclude its US$7.1bn acquisition of Nokia’s hardware division.

A leaked letter to Nokia’s existing Devices and Services business’ supplier base published on the Nokia Power User blog indicates a major rebrand will automatically follow the closing of the deal.

The memo read: “Under the terms of the sale, Microsoft will assume all rights, benefits and obligations of the Nokia Devices and Services business, including Nokia’s agreements with suppliers, customers and partners which pertain to the Devices and Services business. Therefore, the purpose of this letter is to update you that the current terms and conditions that you have with the Devices and Services business will not change.

“Please note that upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy.

“Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices,” the memo read.

The changing shape of Microsoft

The name change highlights Microsoft’s growing ambition in the mobile space and other areas, such as the internet of things.

In recent weeks, new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made sweeping changes at the software giant, announcing Scott Guthrie to lead the Cloud and Enterprise organisation, Phil Spencer to lead Xbox, and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to be head of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices Group.

At its Build developer conference, Microsoft officially unveiled its new Windows Phone 8.1 operating system featuring a whole range of new features, including Cortana, an artificial intelligence (AI) rival to Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

Named after a character in the company’s Xbox franchise Halo, the Cortana software will give users the ability to save information and voice in a notebook-like system and will allow the digital assistant to access information, such as location data, behaviours, personal information, reminders, and contact information.  

Microsoft accounts for around 3.6pc of global market share for smartphone operating systems. With ownership of a mobile manufacturer, a brand, and spanking new mobile OS, Microsoft looks determined to break Android and iOS hegemony over mobile devices.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years