Microsoft to close Nokia acquisition Friday

Microsoft is now in the smartphone business, with models for both Windows Phone and Android

Microsoft will be in the smartphone manufacturing business as of this Friday, the day it expects to close the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business.

Microsoft has successfully completed all the legal and regulatory hurdles of purchasing the division of the Finnish telecommunications equipment provider, according to a blog entry posted Monday by Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs.

Microsoft originally announced the US$7.2 billion deal last September.

Microsoft's acquisition of the Nokia business unit should help introduce the Windows Phone operating system to a wider base of users, through Nokia's Lumia line of smartphones running the OS.

The deal also means that Microsoft is, at least for the time being, a purveyor of Nokia X Android-based phones.

The part of Nokia Microsoft didn't buy, the Nokia Solutions and Networks, will remain operational as a stand-alone business, focusing on telecommunications core infrastructure technologies and services.

Smith pointed out a number of adjustments that have been made to the original agreement.

Originally, all the employees in Nokia's Chief Technology Office would stay with Nokia; now 21 employees of that unit in China working on mobile phones will join Microsoft instead.

Also, Microsoft will not assume control of Nokia's Korean manufacturing facility, as originally planned.

Microsoft will manage the Nokia.com domain and social media sites for up to a year.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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