On this day 6 years ago: Nokia announces the sale of Devices & Services business to Microsoft

Tempus fugit – goes the Latin phrase that translates to time flies, meaning how fast, in relative terms, a time period has passed. One can say that for Nokia’s sale of the historic Devices & Services business to Microsoft. On 3rd September 2013, Nokia delivered a press release that had a great impact on Finland and the technology scene as a whole.

In early morning Finnish time, Nokia announced that it sold its phone business to Microsoft for €3.79 billion, with a 10-year patent license that sets the whole transaction at €5.44 billion. In 2013, the Devices and Services business posted €10.73 billion in revenue, with a €590 million operating loss. The department had a headcount of 42,000 workers back then.

Long story short, Nokia focused on networks and licensing after that, Microsoft tried to do something with phones but failed and oriented itself as a software and cloud company, while the Nokia brand returned on the mobile market via the Finnish startup HMD Global in 2016.

If you want to learn more about the situation around Nokia in 2013 and before, I do recommend books “Operation Elop” that is available free online and Nokia Chairman’s “Paranoid Optimist” as good literature. The numerous articles around that time period might help as well.

It’s also interesting to take a look at Nokia’s (Archive) and Microsoft’s (Still online) press releases from that day. I also preserved Microsoft’s presentation explaining why they purchased the D&S business, that includes really bad predictions about the business.