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Microsoft has just announced that they are purchasing Nokia’s devices and services divisions. Nokia has been the main manufacturer of Windows Phone 8 devices, and it looks like Microsoft will be using this acquisition to further merge their software and hardware engineering and design.

In a joint statement from (outgoing) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the two executives stated, “Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio.”

This is not a complete takeover, as Nokia will still be its own entity with its own patent portfolio. However, Microsoft will be granted a “10-year license” to Nokia’s patents.

The purchase is expected to close the first quarter of 2014 and will net Nokia EUR 5.44 billion (~$7.1 billion).

Some interesting tidbits from the announcement:

  • “At closing, approximately 32,000 people are expected to transfer to Microsoft, including 4,700 people in Finland and 18,300 employees directly involved in manufacturing, assembly and packaging of products worldwide.”
  • “Microsoft is acquiring Nokia’s Smart Devices business unit, including the Lumia brand and products.”