Microsoft decided not to take the long holiday weekend off, ironing out a deal to buy Nokia’s devices and services division for upwards of $5 billion. The acquisition makes sense due to the tight relationship the two companies have had over the Windows Phone 8 platform during the past two years. Though smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC have released Windows Phone 8 smartphones over the past year, Nokia has consistently dominated Windows Phone sales with its lineup of Lumia smartphones.
The acquisition also fits perfectly into Microsoft’s recent narrative of transition to a devices and services company. Now that Microsoft has its very own mobile hardware company, speculation is centering on the future of the Windows Phone 8 OS itself.
DigiTimes today reported that the Windows Phone OS is “likely” to become a closed platform, used only by Microsoft itself. The report cites unnamed “industry sources” as saying smartphone manufacturers will shy away from the OS to avoid competing with Microsoft on its own turf.
The report speculates that this shift will mean an even greater dependence on Android by smartphone manufacturers. In addition, the move could mean a greater focus on the development of competing smartphone operating systems, such as Firefox OS or the Samsung-led Tizen project.