Instead, the technology giant, rocked by a slump in PC sales and playing catch-up in mobile, decided to double down with a $7.2 billion deal to buy Nokia's handset business and license much of its patent portfolio, a move that will probably make the Redmond, Wash. firm the only smartphone manufacturer to rely on Windows Phone.
Ben Thompson, an industry observer and independent analyst who writes on his Stratechery.com website, was blunt in his take on the Nokia acquisition.
"The tragedy in the deal is that I think MicrosoftMicrosoft ought to abandon Windows Phone," said Thompson. "The war is over, and iOS and AndroidAndroid won. It would be far better for Microsoft to focus on serving and co-opting those devices, instead of shooting the most promising parts of their business in the foot for the sake of a platform that is never going to make it." Alles zu Android auf CIO.de Alles zu Microsoft auf CIO.de
Others have agreed with parts of Thompson's argument.
"My initial reaction, like many, was that this changes nothing," said Benedict Evans, an analyst at U.K.-based Enders Analysis, of the Nokia purchase. "Windows Phone is failing because of a classic vicious circle: consumers will not buy it because it has very few apps, and developers will not target it because very few consumers own one."