You may know by now that Microsoft has just struck a $7 billion deal to buy Nokia’s handset business.
While we’re all watching the tech-community freakout over this bombshell and trying to figure out what it all means, let us enjoy what people were saying last year back when rumors were flying around that Microsoft was considering such a deal but, as The Register reported in June 2012, “ran away screaming”:
The story is that having had a gander, Microsoft walked away. […]
Should Microsoft wish to acquire a crack Windows Phone engineering team, it'll be cheaper in 18 months time when Nokia runs out of cash, than it is today. It suited both parties to remain independent partners.
Evidently it’s now cheaper, reports the Wall Street Journal:
For Nokia, the onetime leader of the mobile-phone business, the deal is a capitulation to the harsh realities of its deteriorating position—a sign that management concluded it is unable to take on rivals like Apple and Samsung on its own.
Mr. Elop has been hacking costs out of Nokia in the three years since the Finnish company agreed to tether itself exclusively to Microsoft's Windows Phone smartphone system. But while Mr. Elop has promised that Nokia's operating expenditures for its phone business will be cut to half the 2010 levels by the end of this year, analysts say Nokia's phone sales have fallen even faster.
Looked at that way, perhaps the MS/Nokia deal was just a matter of time.