WinHEC stands for the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) and is where Microsoft and invited companies and 'experts' come together to 'educate, facilitate the exchange of ideas and give people a venue to share best practices and discuss future opportunities'. This year it was held on the 18th-19th March and details of what was announced (mainly around Windows 10 for PCs, tablets and phones) and discussed have been trickling out online. A summary is, we thought, in order.
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At the showcase event in Redmond in the USA, Joe Belfiore has briefly demonstrated 'Windows 10' on phones, using a Lumia 1520, with updates to the Start screen, application list, settings, messaging experience, user input, and more. The key point, echoing the shared technical core announcement of Windows Phone 8, was the commonality of Windows across all devices. In this instance, the emphasis is on the consumer experience, exemplified by the arrival of numerous "Universal" applications that work across PC, tablet and smartphone (Office, Outlook, Calendar, People, Photos, Music, and Xbox, among others).
Nokia has released its Q1 2014 results, reporting an operating profit of €242 million for its continuing operations (up from a loss of €30 million a year ago), with net sales of €2.644 billion (down 15% year-on-year). However, the scale of the task ahead for Microsoft is shown in the operating loss of €326 million for Nokia's discontinued operations (i.e. the Devices & Services division), down from a loss of €120 million a year ago, on sales of €1.929 billion.
Microsoft today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services division, following approval by shareholders and governmental regulators and almost eight months on from the initial announcement. Microsoft is now a major mobile hardware manufacturer and will now begin the complex process of integration. Nokia continues to exist, primarily as a network infrastructure (NSN) business, coupled with the strategically important maps (HERE) and research and intellectual property (Advanced Technologies) businesses.
Microsoft's €5.4 billion acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services division, first announced back in September of last year and originally expected to close in the first quarter of this year, is now expected to be completed next month. While Microsoft has received regulatory approval "in 15 markets on five continents", it is still awaiting "approval confirmation in the final markets".
Microsoft has announced that it is now working with nine new Windows Phone 8 hardware partners as it seeks to "scale the platform" to higher volumes. The new partners include industry heavyweights LG, ZTE, Lenovo, and Foxconn, plus a number of smaller OEMs in the form of Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), and Longcheer.
Microsoft today announced that it has named Satya Nadella as CEO and member of the Board of Directors with immediate effect. Nadella, an internal appointee who replaces Steve Ballmer, previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.
Nokia has released its Q4 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €76 million (down from €439 million a year ago), with net sales of €6.109 billion (down 23% year-on-year). This is the last full set of results before the expected completion of sale of the Devices & Services division to Microsoft this quarter.
Nokia has released its Q3 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €118 million (up from a loss of €564 million in Q3 2012), with net sales of €5.6662 billion (down 22% year-on-year). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating loss was €86 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -3% (up from from -18.9% in Q3 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 8.8 million (all Lumia), up from 7.4 million in Q2, while mobile phone volumes were 55.8 million, up from 53.7 million in Q2, but down 27% year-on-year.
Nokia yesterday published additional material about its proposed transaction with Microsoft that will see the sale of its Devices & Services business and a major patent licensing agreement. The information is intended to give shareholders more information ahead of the proposed 19th November EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) at which shareholders will be asked to follow the board's recommendation and vote to approve the proposed transaction with Microsoft.