Ina Fried

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Microsoft Wants to Keep Licensing Windows Phone to Others, Post-Nokia Deal

While Microsoft will clearly be the largest maker of Windows Phones once its deal to buy Nokia’s device business is complete, the company says it still hopes to license the software to others.


Asa Mathat /

Currently, Nokia is the largest maker of Windows Phones by far, though HTC, Samsung and Huawei also make phones, and others have in the past.

“Today’s announcement doesn’t change that — acquiring Nokia’s Devices group will help make the market for all Windows Phones, from Microsoft or our (device maker) partners,” Microsoft executive VP Terry Myerson said in a blog post.

However, it certainly remains to be seen how interested device makers are in making Windows Phones after Microsoft takes over Nokia’s business. That said, those making Android phones also find themselves now having to compete against a Google-owned Motorola.

Microsoft announced, earlier on Monday, its plans to acquire Nokia’s device unit in a deal worth a total of $7.17 billion (a figure that also includes the money Microsoft is paying to license Nokia’s patents).

The software maker already finds itself competing with its device-maker partners — though to a lesser degree — with its Surface and Surface Pro tablets.

Myerson, who runs the Windows and Windows Phone engineering efforts following Microsoft’s recent reorganization, said the company can both compete with and serve device makers as customers.

“This goes to the core of how I think about my new job running the Operating Systems Group here,” Myerson said. “We have exciting ideas, and so do our OEM partners. Our partners bring innovation, diversity and scale to Windows. I’m always thrilled by the beautiful new device designs our partners are continually bringing to market.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work