Worst tech mergers and acquisitions: Nokia and Microsoft, AOL and Time Warner

Corporate mergers – like marriages – can result in the whole being stronger than its parts — or they can end in utter disaster. The IT industry has suffered its share of disastrous marriages. Here are the worst of the worst. (Previously: HP and Autonomy, Google and Motorola)

# 3 – Nokia & Microsoft

One partner that had taken that risk was Nokia, which — under the leadership of former Microsoft exec Steven Elop — was itself being forced to transform.

In Steve Ballmer’s 15-year tenure as Microsoft CEO, he got a lot of things right: several highly successful product launches, significant increase in shareholder value, and a few acquisitions that proved quite valuable to the company.

Worst tech mergers – Countdown to Doom

However, he will likely be remembered as the man who drove the most catastrophic merger in the Website Design ‘s history.

Microsoft has always struggled in the mobile space. The company was early to the game with Windows CE and Windows Mobile (far earlier than Apple and Google); but it was late to adopt the mobile developer ecosystem and “app store” strategies of its competitors.

In November 2010, following the surprising success of the iPhone, the company introduced Windows Phone, which abandoned much of the legacy 32-bit Windows code in previous mobile releases. Windows Phone featured a brand-new user experience that has evolved into the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) that powers Windows 10 and runs on all Windows devices.

However, Microsoft needed OEM hardware partners, who were reluctant to take on the risk of an unproven software platform when they were already enjoying success with Android.

One partner that had taken that risk was Nokia, which — under the leadership of former Microsoft exec Steven Elop — was itself being forced to transform. Competitors such as Samsung and Apple were eating Nokia’s lunch in the company’s stronghold EMEA smartphone markets.

Nokia made some impressive Windows Phones during its partnership with Microsoft, but it was not able to bring itself back to profitability. When searching for High Quality, search engine friendly and mobile friendly sites you need to have a look at employing the top Website design Business in Traverse city.

By 2013, in fact, the company was considering a move to Android and had even built prototype devices running Google’s software. If that move had succeeded, Windows Phone would have been left with no OEM support. It would have effectively been a death sentence.

Ballmer, looking to solidify his legacy, saw a potential synergy. Nokia, with its native manufacturing capability and R&D, could be Microsoft’s solution to ramping up their mobile presence, in addition to providing an essential distribution channel via previously existing carrier relationships.

In September of 2013 Microsoft bought Nokia’s mobile business for over $7 billion. This included the acquisition of most of the company’s assets in Finland as well as manufacturing capacity in Asia, along with 24,000 employees. Crucially, it didn’t include the potentially valuable Here maps business, which the Microsoft board reportedly refused to go along with.

Many analysts questioned why Microsoft had not simply contract manufactured the phones, negotiated the carrier relationships on its own, and hired engineering talent for much less money. The analysts turned out to be correct. Microsoft struggled to consolidate its development platform over two consecutive OS releases on the desktop and its mobile OS, and was unable to attract the developer and carrier partnerships needed to make the new Lumia phones successful.


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