How Will Microsoft’s Purchase of Nokia Affect Your IT Plans?

    By Colin Skinner | Small Business

    Following the recent acquisition of Nokia’s Devices Unit by Microsoft for a whopping $7.2 billion, it’s vital that companies working in custom software development or application maintenance (such as MSM Software)  gauge just how business partnerships such as this one will affect the future landscape of the industry, and most notably, the likes of mobile apps and operating systems.

    For a number of years now, Apple has dominated the market – pushing boundaries in the smartphone market and migrating these successes into a growing demand for tablets. Android soon followed and has now taken a sizeable chunk of the market, with others falling behind in making an impact – even Nokia, a brand which has for so long been pivotal in the mobile communications arena.

    So what does the Microsoft acquisition mean? Ultimately, both Microsoft (and now Nokia too) want a piece of this pie, and want to be taken seriously as competitors in the field.

    Whilst this is a steep hill to climb, by coupling Microsoft’s extensive experience in operating systems and computing with Nokia’s wealth of history in communications, together the partnership makes sense, with huge potential to create a third ecosystem through a competitive mobile operating system.

    Ultimately this will have knock-on effects, not just for their competitors, but for the users and the way we view technology within business.

    Although Apple and Android now dominate the high-end smartphone market, where the gap remains is within the entry-level smartphones as well as utilising the already-existent relationships so many businesses have already with Microsoft, through the desktop computers in their workplaces.

    Microsoft has the capability to create high-specification hardware and make the most of their loyal software users. They have already pushed for control of its hardware, which is apparent through their launch of the Windows 8 surface tablets – but sadly these did not wow customers, only critics. And it is these consumers who need persuading before business in IT can be considered.

    With this being the case, we can expect to see the beginning of this merger start to take shape. Now that Microsoft has experience in both smartphones and tablets, it would not be a huge leap to start the merging of the Windows handheld devices with the likes of Windows desktop computers – making a seamless new operating system, flexible for the likes of both the more traditional static desktop computer users and the on-the-go consumers currently dictating this market.

    Furthermore, creating seamless web-enabled systems will be paramount for the custom software developers who will be required to produce compatible and flexible mobile applications, which give the user the ability to monitor, report and input to systems, regardless of their location or technology being used.

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