Today marks a new era in the computing industry. The worlds largest software company has purchased the mobile phone unit of Nokia for £4.6bn. 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft in 2014 including of course the Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who used to be a Microsoft executive up until 2010, and stills lives with his family in Redmond Washington, the home of Microsoft.
With existing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer due to retire in 2014, this latest aquisition positions Stephen Elop as a front runner to replace him.
Microsoft will now go head to head in terms of software/hardware for mobile devices with Apple. Google bought Motorola mobile last year and they will also be competing in this space. Where does this leave Samsung, LG and the other manufacturers? And what about Blackberry - surely someone must gobble them up?
Microsoft can now redefine the mobile market, rather than continue fighting, and losing, in the existing battlefield - they can change the goalposts.
Here is one way they could do it..
Strike a deal with telecoms companies i.e. Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, O2 etc.. to allow Microsoft customers to purchase SIM bundled working phones directly from Microsoft's web site. When the phone arrives, the customer simply turns it on and it works - they can top up the balance (having paid for 1 month up front) at any time - true pay as you go.
This will eradicate the complexity, inconvenience and cost for customers and therefore drive down the price that Microsoft can sell their phones at. The price point for this phone should be around £100. Customers can buy a high end smart phone on-line, with no hassle.
This will redefine the market, attract new young customers and relegate expensive phones from Apple, Samsung etc.. to a smaller market share.
There are many more opportunities to engage with younger people, such as making a single Nokia XBox device which can be connected to the home TV and wireless controllers to multi-play, but unplugged and popped in the pocket/handbag to use as a phone.
Over to you Microsoft.