Microsoft's buying Nokia's phone and devices division -- basically everything consumer-facing and hardware from Nokia. It's been a long time coming, and seemed almost inevitable. But now you know those Lumia phones have Microsoft money behind them, are you more or less likely to buy them? Do we have another Apple on our hands here?
To me it essentially makes no difference. However, Nokia's been a relatively unknown quantity of late, given that its financials weren't great, and that only really now is it making phones you might actually want to buy (short of the gorgeously original Lumia 800).
Now that Microsoft's absorbing Nokia into the Redmond collective, we've essentially got another Apple situation. Microsoft will make both the hardware and the software that runs on top of it -- an end-to-end solution. Arguably that's what makes Apple's iPhone and iPad so great. Cupertino controls every minute little detail about its devices and knows where both its hardware and software evolution is going. That means it can build bespoke bits and pieces to refine the user experience beyond anything a software licensee can do.
Of course, that didn't work out so well for Microsoft's Surface tablets, but I have a little more hope for a Microsoft-owned Nokia. Nokia's hardware has always been top-notch, and its design ethos has been unique in a sea of black slabs of glass. Let's hope Microsoft capitalises on this billion pound move and really, genuinely produces something special. There's a lot of potential here for brilliant phones, so make it happen Microsoft.