Thanks, AnandY; I certainly respect your viewpoint, and recognize MS ought to know what they are getting into and make a sound, rational decision. I hope it works out well for them. One issue which you mentioned was leveraging the Nokia IP to broaden their SW marketability; I agree, that would be beneficial. Tthe caveat I made was that Nokia didn't sell it; rather they only licensed it to MS. I'm wondering if the apron-strings will create any limitations for them. Time will tell.
I differ with the conclusion, Why do are software providers keen to get into the mobile market? I bet it is to further their software market and sales. By purchasing the Nokia IP they will be able to get their software a wider market themselves instead of depending on the mobile phone sellers and users to do so. I think the move is a good one.
I agree with your description of the types of acquisitions. That was really a driving point of the article, that (as you put it) "...a more powerful company buying their way into a market". In the current Smart-Phone market, the choices are really Android-OS phones (by multiple OEMs) and Apple-OS phones (Apple only). A distant third, and lagging more each day, is the Windows-OS phone. I believe this was a primary factor in Microsoft's decision to acquire Nokia, because they were the only OEM entertaining the Windows-OS. It's a funny paradigm-shift if you think about it; Software driving Hardware.
JimT, I think the situation with Motorola is an interesting one. If it had been more of a merger of two smaller, receeding players in the market, they would have moved much faster to cut expenses and merge operations. As it is, Google has massive amounts of cash and can take their time nurturing their acquisition. In fact, they are bringing out lots of interesting new phones. Some of these are assembled in the USA. I think that this will be significant, as people are starting to react to the quality problems of many of the off-shore manufacturers. Frankly, Microsoft is in the same situation with Nokia. They need to respond to the approach that Apple has taken (owning the hardware and software) and they have lots of cash. Frankly, Microsoft has no interest in the rest of Nokia. This part is mostly involved in the network end. This was the situation with Mororola as well. That is a good business, but it is a very different business, with a totally different set of customers and competitors. You will notice that Apple has not gone there either.
Actually, this situation reminds me very much of IBM (where I worked for a time). They buy companies that have good products but that have stalled in the market. They would never buy a market leader. They pay a very low price, typically. In some cases these companies go on to be market leaders (Rational). Even if that is not the case, IBM gets the customer base and can convert them to their own technology.
So, basically we have two types of acquisitions, or mergers. One is a more powerful company buying their way into a market. The other is a merger of second or third tier players trying to catch up, or stay alive, against the tier one players. The dymanics of each is completely different.
Even withouth the IP, Microsoft needs to get into the mobile market heavily if they want to continue making money in the software arena. Google didn't buy Motorola becuase they were dying to make cell phones, they wanted a way to get more of their software in the consumers hands without being at the mercy of the phone vendors.
Naperlou- Admittedly, Equity Investors have very short-term memories, and this 'attention span of a gnat' has long been a frustration to many corporate NAVs. Not related to Long-Term-? I agree, 100%. Point being, at that moment, they saw the news and knee-jerked; indicating it was a bad decision to them.
Meanwhile, as you pondered a lot of "other-other-hand" scenarios, the main point I was trying to make was that, twice now, a Software Giant has taken-over a Long-Standing Handset OEM, (Google takes Motorola and now Microsoft takes Nokia). In this fact alone, I find an Amazing sign of the times.
I believe Google must have some Buyer's Remorse judging the past 24 months performance and output, because Motorola Mobility has not been impressive in the market. Comparatively, Microsoft only got half the deal, missing the ownership of the I.P. Portfolio. For their sake, I hope Nokia products perform better.
Jim, while the market value of Microsoft might have taken a short term hit, that is not really an indication of long term effect. Just look at Apple. Apple is down over 200 points from its peak. Tha is almost 30%. That is after a successful launch of its latest product. On the other hand, its share of the market is declining. On the other, other hand, they have about the most money in the bank of any corporation. So, what is the right answer. As for purchases, it takes time. The market is just guessing. If you look at the handset business today, it is Samsung and Apple. Now Apple entered the buinsess cold in 2007, while Samsung entered the market with car phones in the late 1980s. Google is starting to sell Motorola phones assembled in the US. Nokia has at times been the leader in phones, regular as well as smart, at times in the past. This is an industry where leads are changing and dynamic. For Microsoft, and Google, there is definately an upside to this market. They have the tools and they have the funds. Might they fail? Sure. But to not enter a market becuase it is tough is not an attitude that will get you ahead. Just look at Apple and Samsung. Look at Motorola in the beginning. AT&T wanted to define the mobile phone back then, and they were the biggest corporation in the world! So, while I agree with the title of your post, I wonder a little at the conclusion.
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