Microsoft trumpets ‘bigger, smarter’ product portfolio after Nokia deal

Microsoft has wasted no time in marketing its acquisition of Nokia, taking out a full-page print ad to highlight its enlarged product portfolio, despite the fact the deal is still far from complete.

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The ad uses the headline “The Microsoft family will be getting bigger. And smarter.” to welcome the Nokia division and specifically its range of smartphones. It includes a picture of Nokia’s Lumia 520 devices in a number of colours. Microsoft has also advertised the acquisition online on websites including the New York Times.

Microsoft took the bold move of purchasing Nokia’s handset business at the start of the month in a deal worth €5.44bn (£4.6bn). The acquisition is aimed at creating a proposition to go head to head with Apple and Google in the mobile hardware and software market.

The ad hints at changes that could come when the deal closes, which is expected in the first quarter of 2014. While Microsoft acquired the “Lumia” and “Asha” brand names and the use of the Nokia brand on current products and feature phone under a 10-year agreement, this didn’t stretch to smartphones. This led to early speculation that the Nokia brand could disappear from the smartphone market.

The ads are only adding to this theory. Microsoft has removed the Nokia logo from the center-top of the phones appearing in the ad and replaced the apps on show with Microsoft’s brands, such as Internet Explorer, rather than on Nokia brands, like its Here mapping service.

Microsoft hopes the deal will accelerate its share and profits in mobile by moving its family of devices and services under on unified brand. Windows Phone held just 3.3 per cent share of the global smartphone operating system market in the second quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, while Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android made up more than 90 per cent of the market.

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