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Nokia’s phone division will officially be part of Microsoft by the end of the week.
Over six months since the deal was initially announced, Microsoft said today that its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business will close on Friday, April 25.
While Microsoft hasn’t stated officially what it will call its new unit, a leaked memo unearthed by Nokia Power User this weekend points to an obvious moniker: Microsoft Mobile. That doesn’t quite have the hip ring of “Xbox,” but it brings to mind the old “Windows Mobile” brand from a decade ago.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of legal affairs, notes that the final terms of the Microsoft/Nokia deal have changed since it was first announced. Microsoft will now manage the Nokia.com domain and social sites for the next year; it’s hiring 21 employees who were developing mobile phones at Nokia’s Chief Technology Office in China; and Microsoft is no longer acquiring Nokia’s Korean factory.
The real question now is if owning Nokia will actually help Microsoft solidify its mobile presence. Windows Phone has taken a while to mature over the past few years, while iOS and Android have evolved tremendously in the same time. And even though Nokia has steadily crafted the best Windows Phone devices over the past few years, it’s been limited by the platform’s slow growth.