Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s devices and services unit, bringing the Lumia lineup under the Redmond roof. The move unites Windows Phone 8 with its biggest hardware supporter, giving the company the integrated mobile offering it’s been looking for with Surface and other devices. When the deal closes in the first quarter of 2014, Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion for Nokia’s business, plus another €1.65 billion to license its portfolio of patents. 32,000 people are expected to transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, including 18,300 that are “directly involved in manufacturing.”
The purchase comes on the heels of what appeared to be a failed acquisition in June, at which point it seemed conversations had broken off entirely. Now the two come together, in what outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called “a bold step into the future.”
A driving force behind the sale seems to be Nokia’s low-end Asha brand, which Microsoft has acquired outright. Asha gives Microsoft a far larger footprint for Windows Phone, and access to millions of customers in developing countries that it plans to use as an “on-ramp to Windows Phone.” The emphasis also lends some credibility to the notion that Nokia’s high-end strategy isn’t working — analysts predicted a horrific Q3 for the company, and its struggles to find a foothold are well-documented. In fact, Microsoft’s licensing deal for the Nokia brand doesn’t include future Lumias — Nokia as a smartphone brand is effectively dead, as Microsoft takes the lineup in-house.
Though Nokia was by leaps and bounds Microsoft’s best hardware partner for Windows Phone 8, EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson was careful to note that Microsoft’s purchase doesn’t come with nepotism. As Google has with Motorola, Myerson promised every partner would be treated the same, even quoting a song by The Killers to make his point. And from Huawei to HTC, there are still other partners — Nokia’s coming in-house, but Windows Phone 8 isn’t being walled off.
- Microsoft: Nokia kept some of its Lumia hardware features secret from us (neowin.net)
- Nokia kept secrets from Microsoft over its Windows Phone plans (theverge.com)
- Microsoft Purchases Nokia’s Device and Services Division to Unite Windows Phone Hardware and Software (macrumors.com)
- Even with its purchase of Nokia, Microsoft won’t forget its Windows Phone partners (phonearena.com)
- Microsoft’s Nokia Deal by the Numbers (allthingsd.com)
- Microsoft: This is why we bought Nokia (wpcentral.com)
- Microsoft purchases Nokia for $7.2 billion (digitaltrends.com)
One of the best ways for Microsoft to jump-start its lagging mobile business is to buy struggling BlackBerry. Why buy a mobile company quickly going south? There are plenty of reasons — here are the top six why Microsoft should pay up and take over BlackBerry.
Reason 1: Microsoft’s enterprise focus
Microsoft’s core business is in the enterprise — Windows, Office, servers and tools, Exchange, and more. BlackBerry’s core business is in the enterprise as well. But Microsoft has been hurt by the BYOD movement, because it allows iOS and Android devices to make their way into enterprises. BlackBerry is valued by enterprises for its secure networks and servers. The New York Times reports that “In its most recent quarterly report, BlackBerry reported having roughly 72 million users worldwide, most of whom were still generating monthly services fees by sending data over the company’s special closed network.” There’s clearly great synergy here for Microsoft.
Reason 2: increase market share
The latest figures from IDC show Windows Phone with a 3.7% worldwide market share, up from 3.1% a year ago. BlackBerry has 2.9% market share. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a 6.6% market share. Given that it took Windows Phone a year to grow by only .6%, this would be a big increase. Over time, Microsoft would switch users from the BlackBerry to the Windows Phone platform, and grow Windows Phone that way, especially in enterprises.
Reason 3: hardware engineers
Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft is to turn it into a devices-and-services company. Microsoft has not primarily been a hardware company up until now, and so it is not rich in hardware engineers. It takes a long time to recruit and hire them. Buying BlackBerry would immediately bring to Microsoft a sizable core of experienced mobile engineers and designers, who could work not just on smartphones but on other Microsoft devices.
Reason 4: increase intellectual property
The Times notes that “Analysts generally suggested that BlackBerry’s most attractive asset is its intellectual property, including some of its software and its various cellphone patents.” In today’s litigious tech world, patents can be used to harm competitors and get very serious licensing revenue from them. Microsoft uses its patent to extract licensing fees from many Android device makers. It’s not clear that BlackBerry has any patents that could be used in this way. But it’s certainly possible, and growing your patent war chest is always a good thing.
Reason 5: Smartcar strategy
One massive mobile market is currently up for grabs: Automobiles. There’s no doubt that all cars will soon become rolling networks and smart devices. No one dominates that market yet. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a headstart on owning it. BlackBerry owns QNX Software Systems, which built the operating system that powers the BlackBerry 10. More important, though, is that the same operating system is being used by GE, Cisco, and notably General Motors. General Motors uses it for its OnStar service, as well as for its Audi and BMW lines.
The Times says that BlackBerry has plans to “use QNX’s automotive ties and its unique global data network to allow car companies to update vehicle software through wireless networks and to monitor vehicles’ mechanical state.” Microsoft could do that and go beyond it, looking to make Windows Phone or Windows the smartcar operating system.
Reason 6: cheapest cost
It’s clear that by itself, BlackBerry has no future. So the company can likely be bought at a bargain price, rather than at a premium. Microsoft is cash rich. It’s time to put that cash to good use, and BlackBerry would be a very good mobile investment at a reasonable cost.
- Six reasons Microsoft should buy BlackBerry (blogs.computerworld.com)
- Speed is the key: How Windows Phone jumped ahead of BlackBerry (zdnet.com)
- Report: BlackBerry Advisers Eyeing Microsoft (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Where Will BlackBerry’s American Tale End? (fool.com)
- BlackBerry’s biggest strength (news.yahoo.com)
- Verizon pushing Bing app to BlackBerry Storm (reviews.cnet.com)
- The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry? (mayo615.com)
Despite my early optimism for Windows 8 and its potential for interesting laptop-tablet hybrids, I must make a confession: I haven’t gotten around to buying one yet.
It’s not because I lack the funds or the knowledge of what’s available. For the right machine, I’d be willing to spend $1,000 or more --it would serve the purpose of two devices, after all--and I’ve tested a handful of PCs that fall roughly within that range.
- Windows 8.1 'Transfer Settings' Screenshot Leaked (microsoft-news.com)
- The ASUS Transformer Book Trio: Atom + Haswell, Android + Windows 8 (anandtech.com)
- Big surprise: Bill Gates thinks Windows 8 is great (reviews.cnet.com)
- Asus unveils Transformer Book Trio -- a Windows 8 and Android hybrid (betanews.com)
TOP4 Internet Browsers on Laptops
For last 5 years, main evolutions are Internet Explorer (IE) position divided by 2 from 68% to 32%, Chrome started from nothing to the first position with 38%, low reduction from Firefox from 28% to 24% and low progress for Safari from 4% to 8%.
TOP3 browsers in 1st pos. by country
It is very interesting to see that the first Internet Browser is very different from a country to another. In USA, Canada, Australia, China and all south African countries, IE remains the TOP1 Internet Browser.
Chrome is the first Internet Browser in Central America and South of America, in all European countries expect Germany, Poland and Finland, in Russia and all old Russian satellites, in India, in Pakistan, in Morocco, in Egypt.
And finally, Firefox is in the first position in most of North and central African countries, in Germany, in Poland, in Finland, in Iran, in Indonesia & in Madagascar.
Future tendencies for the next 5 years?
Positions of browsers of mobile devices are probably the most important indicator for the tendency of browsers position for the next 5 years, if we take as valuable hypothesis that the future of computers are mobile devices.
Chrome is also at the first position (Android) with 30%. Opera has reduced from 28% to 15% in 5 years, Safari (iPhone) from 22% to 24% has slowly progressed.
Firefox & IE don’t have any position on mobile devices currently. But it could change in the next 5 years, with high progress of Windows Phone with Nokia, and the launch next summer 2013 of Firefox OS, the mobile OS of Firefox.
We have finally to notice important progress of UC Browser from 0% to 10%, a very fast Browser working with all mobile OS. Is it the future main browser for all mobile devices?
See more statistics
- http://gs.statcounter.com/ (statcounter.com)
- Safari boosts mobile browser market share, retains top spot (itproportal.com)
- Browser Trends April 2013: is Chrome Unstoppable? (sitepoint.com)
- Web browser war: The early 2013 report (zdnet.com)
- Internet Explorer mobile browser: Sleek, but weak? (reviews.cnet.com)
Innovation isn’t this abstract thing that some companies have and some don’t. Innovation is actually a business skill that executives and employees can develop and master.
No. 1: Everybody might be an innovator
Innovative companies believe that all employees should be creative. That means that all employees are looking for better ways to do things in their jobs. They are rewarded, not shunned, when they try to alter the status quo. With that as a corporate culture, new ideas thrive and so do new products.
No. 2: idea-generation measured
Whatever a company values, it measures. Companies that value innovation measure how many of the ideas they generate turn into development projects. Most companies Booz surveyed convert fewer than 20 percent of their ideas into products, but a few say they convert up to 60 percent. Size matters here in a surprising way. The smaller the company, the more likely they are to act on their ideas, the report said. That’s because even though smaller companies have fewer resources, they also have less bureaucracy.
No. 3: Ideas change a lot before becoming a product
The magic of innovation doesn’t really come at the idea stage or the winnowing stage. It comes at the feedback stage where iterations of the idea are developed and tried. Successful companies incorporate what a customer asks for with new things that the customer didn’t know were possible, so the iteration stage is as much about education as it is about feedback.
No. 4: Ideas tested with customers
Innovation isn’t just about coming up with ideas, it’s about choosing between them. The best companies know how to pick which ideas to pursue because they have good idea-picking systems in place. Many of them line up customers to be guinea pigs, trying things out for them. They find risk-taker customers who are likely to buy new things. They also build a network of internal employees and partners to be guinea pigs, too.
No. 5: An internal “idea Caesar”
Innovative companies make one or more execs responsible for finding new ideas and turning them into products and services. The Booz report calls these folks “innovation champions” and says they are assigned “to coordinate the capture, development, and internal promotion of new ideas.”
No. 6: Customers & partners associated to innovations
Creating ideas means knowing customers really well. Most creative companies say they find their best ideas by talking to customers. And “talking” means having senior execs converse with actual people about new ideas. It doesn’t mean hiring a market research firm to talk to people, although one-third of the most innovative companies do that, too. Nothing beats direct, unfiltered input from real-life customers.
No. 7: Ideas found everywhere
Innovative companies don’t care where ideas come from. They look inside their company and they look outside. Acquisitions can be a way of bringing in innovation. A company might make a purchase to open up a new area of expertise, a new market, or to bring in entrepreneurs with cutting-edge thinking.
No. 8: Ideas generated in 3 basic ways
Innovative companies fall into three categories, according to how they most frequently generate ideas, Booz finds:
- Need Seekers talk to customers to find out what they want and generate new products based on that.
- Market Readers closely watch the market and then quickly create incremental improvements on hot up-and-coming ideas already in the market.
- Technology Drivers create brand-new stuff by letting their tech experts experiment.
No. 9: R&D spent thoughtfully & not reckless
The 10 most innovative companies aren’t the ones that spend the most on R&D.
Of the list of the most innovative (Apple, Google, 3M, Samsung, General Electric, Microsoft, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Amazon), only three of them — Toyota, Microsoft, and Samsung — are among the companies with the biggest R&D budgets, as listed in this chart from Booz. (Click here to see the chart.)
For example, Apple, Google, and 3M together spent $9.2 billion on R&D. Samsung alone spent $9.0 billion in total. Yet Samsung was ranked as more innovative.
No. 10: New ideas created systematically
Any company can come up with one or two great ideas. But to do so year after year requires systems for:
- Generating ideas.
- Choosing which ideas to pursue.
- Iterating on those ideas in response to feedback.
- Knowing that customers will buy new products before investing in production.
- Measuring success.
Simply put, innovative companies create systems for all five steps.
See more details
- Getting Crazy Ideas Off the Ground (blogs.hbr.org)
- 4 Ways to Turn Your Company Into an Innovation Machine (printforms.wordpress.com)
- Innovation for Small Businesses (prweb.com)
- 5 Customer Experience Innovation Killers (business2community.com)
- 4 Rules of Innovation: What Nike And SAP Know (business2community.com)
- Is Samsung sacrificing innovation for marketing? (ibnlive.in.com)
The previous photo shows the TOP5 SmartPhone on Feb 2013: Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia, iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4 and Motorola Droid.
1 main winner if we compare Feb 2012 & Feb 2013: Android with Samsung phones over 50% everywhere.
In American countries, the progress of Windows is not significant. Black Berry OS and Symbian are not representing anythink in 2013. In Mexico, the progress of Android in incredible from 25,9 to 55,8 in one year.
In Europe, there is 2 main winners. Of course Android with Samsung phones over 70% in Germany! But also Windows with Nokia phones more that 5% everywhere and more than 6,5% in GB and Germany. In Italy Windows is over than 10% with 13,1%. Symbian is nothing in Europe now. RIM is over 5% in GB and Germany.
- Android continues to grow as iOS and BlackBerry shrink (androidcommunity.com)
- Android And Windows Phone Gain, BlackBerry Loses In Smartphone OS Share According To Kantar (techcrunch.com)
- New Quad Core Android Smartphone from China Challenges Leaders Supremacy (prweb.com)
- Windows Phone Increases US Market Share Ahead Of BlackBerry (techweekeurope.co.uk)
The global population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050. What are all those people going to eat?
We need to find new ways to deliver protein and calories to everyone. Our approach to food hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years. We need to look for new ways to raise nutrition in the poor world while shifting some of our choices in the wealthy world.
Fortunately, there are thousands of plant proteins in the world, and many of them have yet to be explored for use in the production of meat alternatives. Food is ripe for Innovation.
- Bill Gates: Food Is Ripe for Innovation (mashable.com)
- What Bill Gates Believes Is The Future Of Food [Video] (psfk.com)
- The 3 Companies That Bill Gates Thinks Are Shaping The Future Of Food (fastcoexist.com)
- The year the Valley embraced sustainable food innovation [GigaOM] (gigaom.com)
- 3 Plant Proteins That Reduce Belly Fat (expertscolumn.com)
- Bears Committing Suicide, Bill Gates on Food, Vegan Medicine and Other Vegan News (changeforayear.com)
- Bill Gates Advocating For Big Cut In Meat Consumption (planetsave.com)
- Surprise! Plant Protein vs Animal Protein (veggloverherbaltraditions.wordpress.com)