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Nokia gets $250m from Microsoft, promotes Lumia designer

updated 09:25 am EST, Thu January 26, 2012

Nokia takes MS cash as Ahtisaari becomes Exec VP

Nokia in sidenotes to its tough fall quarter has revealed some of the inside workings of its deal with Microsoft as well as its shift in design direction. The Finnish company acknowledged being paid a $250 million installment from Microsoft as a "platform support payment." Neither side has fully disclosed how much the deal is worth, but the initial sum supports allusions to Microsoft paying billions and implies that Nokia has made a multi-year deal.

In jumping from Symbian, Nokia is known to have considered Android. It has regularly said that it picked Windows Phone to genuinely differentiate itself, although the financial investment suggests that monetary compensation was a major factor. Microsoft is known to have been eager to boost Windows Phone's share after a first year of low sales and is hoping it can effectively buy market share by talking to the company that still leads overall phone shipments.

The payout came just as Nokia said it was promoting its design strategy director Marko Ahtisaari to become its Executive VP of Design. Its shift would put Ahtisaari in the core Nokia Leadership Team and have him report directly to CEO Stephen Elop.

The Finland native may be instrumental to Nokia's turnaround. Having led the design wing since 2009, he's credited with much of the sudden resurgence of distinctive phones in Nokia's lineup since. His centerpiece is considered the N9. While a modest-selling device itself, its seamless, uniquely high quality shape led to two of the most critically well-regarded Nokia phone designs of recent memory, the Lumia 800 and the upcoming Lumia 900.

He's also responsible for the Asha basic feature phone line and a minor resurgence in a field that has been rapidly giving way to smartphones.

Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer at the Nokia-Microsoft deal in February 2011 (top); Marko Ahtisaari (bottom)

By Electronista Staff


  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Wouldn't it be easier...

    Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper for Microsoft and Nokia to simply make products that consumers actually want to buy. It seems to work swimmingly well for a little company in Cupertino.

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    If you cannot sell it

    You can try to give it away free, and if that does not work, you can pay people to take it.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2011


    Pay People?

    I've seen that strategy before. Good think Nokia is partnering with a company that are experts on that! LOL

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