Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) decision to pay around $7.2 billion for Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) handset business was spurred by a desire to more tightly control and swiftly execute Nokia's Windows Phone smartphone business, according to reports on the deal. However, according to a New York Times report, which cited unnamed sources, it was also sparked by a desire to keep Nokia from switching to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform after late 2014. A team within Nokia had Android running on the company's Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating their deal, the report said, adding that though this did not come up in the negotiations, Microsoft recognized it could be a possibility. Nokia had the option to opt out of the partnership it struck with Microsoft in 2011 after 2014. Such a move would have been difficult for Nokia but devastating for Microsoft, which relies on Nokia to deliver around 80 percent of all Windows Phone sales.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, Microsoft's deal with Nokia is likely going to be just one of many hot topics at Microsoft's first major huddle with financial analysts in two years, scheduled for Thursday. Also on tap will likely be discussions about succession plans for CEO Steve Ballmer, who plans to leave Microsoft within a year. Article