There have already been rumours that Microsoft could acquire Nokia but the latest round of speculation would see Microsoft not only acquire Nokia but also chipmaker Nvidia. According to InformationWeek’s Paul McDougall who is proposing this theory, Microsoft is “sick of watching Apple’s beautiful new products draw raves and set fanboy hearts afire while its partners come out with Windows-based devices that, well, let’s just say can be less than impressive.” The acquisitions would allow it to control the software but also the hardware, in much the same way as Apple does today.
Microsoft has already acknowledged that “a fundamental shift” is underway in their business. They have also confirmed their intent to launch more hardware products in the future. There are rumours that it could launch a Surface smartphone and an Xbox gaming tablet in the not-so-distant future. Acquisitions could quickly allow Microsoft to take control of a number of key areas of hardware development and ramp up development of additional devices without relying on third party partners.
Microsoft could buy Nokia for between US$10 and US$14 billion while NVIDIA could go for a bit more, perhaps US$15 billion, especially if competitors like Google decide to try to keep it away from Microsoft. With over US$66 billion in its coffers, it is in a position to manage both acquisitions.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft will move in this direction. It has already upset many hardware partners with the launch of its Surface tablet. Every additional hardware product it releases will grow that rift. Somewhere there is a tipping point where adopting an Apple-like model makes sense. Now Microsoft has to find it and decide if it has the heart for the changes it will bring about.
Read more: InformationWeek