Windows Mobile Go Home

The mercato is over, and while Vodafone-Verizon clinched a long expected Tottenham-Real Madrid-Garreth-Bale kind of deal, Nokia and Microsoft ended their 1990s rivalry at Intertoto Cup levels.

EUR 3.79 bn for the business units, and EUR 1.65 bn for the patents: that's all Nokia mobiles and their 32,000 employees are worth today. To add insult to injury, the buyer is generous. Microsoft would have dreamed to do just that a decade ago but today, the move sounds like a bitter defeat for two former foes years of decline had already brought close to each other (to the point Nokia's CEO - an aptly named Mr Elop - came from Redmond).

Blackberry should follow soon, but even that won't save Windows Mobile OS. Microsoft will have to leave its incredible shrinking comfort zone, slash royalties, or why not go Home, like Facebook did (a much cheaper mode of diffusion for blue screens).

Of course, the move doesn't disrupt in any way the ecosystem. It only puts more pressure on Steve Ballmer's successor. Google can rest for a little while: these days, neither Apple nor Microsoft seem to have a clue, and software-wise, Samsung remains a gnome. So no major challenges in the short term except themselves, regulators, or a new alternative popping up out of the blue (China could do that, but trust would be an issue).

mot-bile 2013

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