While you were sleeping, Microsoft was making big moves. Perhaps spurred by the seeming success of the Moto X, Microsoft has announced it aims to acquire Nokia, the largest producer of Windows Phone devices. Microsoft is set to shell out $4.99 billion (3.79 billion euros) for the company and $2.18 billion (1.65 billion euros) for Nokia’s menagerie of patents.
CEO Steve Ballmer made the following announcement at press time:
It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services.Steve BallmerMicrosoft
Approximately 32,000 Nokia employees will come over with the newly acquired company, as will rights to Nokia’s Asha line of feature phones. Microsoft hopes that the acquisition will not only drive growth for Windows Phone, but protect its future. The tech company admits that a more impressive lineup is necessary if the company hopes to compete with the likes of Apple and Google in the smartphone arena. Microsoft hopes to boost its smartphone share to 15 percent (more than four times what it has now) by 2018. As it stands, approval of the merger is expected by the end of 2014.