Nokia may be a “burning platform“, but it’s still the world’s biggest handset maker by a stretch, with unparalleled distribution muscle. So once it became clear Nokia‘s new CEO was going to ditch its next-generation platform MeeGo, you can bet Google and Microsoft were going to do everything to get Nokia to pick their platform — including pull out their checkbook.
Buried in a long Times story about how Nokia, Microsoft and HP are desperately trying to catch up with Google and Apple, they report that both Google and Microsoft offered Nokia “hundreds of millions of dollars” in “engineering assistance and marketing support” to get them to switch.
And again, it makes tons of sense — Nokia is huge, and this is a platform game with a race to become the biggest gorilla. And these companies have tens of billions of dollars in cash that they don’t know what to do with.
Money certainly wasn’t the only, or probably even the main reason Nokia picked Microsoft — Elop knows Microsoft well, and being the first (and so far only) big phone maker to go all-in on Windows is more attractive in many ways than being the nth maker of Android phones after HTC and Motorola and Samsung. But there’s clearly a financial component to this deal.
How much is Microsoft paying, exactly? Is it just in-kind or is there cash as well?
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