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Verizon taking full ownership of the nation's largest wireless provider wasn't the only big tech news announced Monday, as Microsoft gobbled up the biggest supporter of its Windows Phone platform.
Microsoft announced Monday that the company will be acquiring Nokia's Devices & Services business in a deal valued at 3.79 billion Euros, plus another 1.65 billion Euros to license Nokia patents, for a grand total of 5.44 billion Euros (roughly $7.11 billion).
The deal won't come as a big shock to those who have kept an eye on the slow progress being made by the Windows Phone platform, which Nokia focused their exclusive attention on back in February, 2011 with a variety of Lumia brand handsets.
“It’s a bold step into the future -- a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies," said outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services."
Former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop certainly helped orchestrate the deal as Nokia's President and CEO, a position he has now abandoned to become Nokia Executive Vice President of Devices & Services, while board chairman Risto Siilasmaa steps in as interim CEO.
The Microsoft-Nokia transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, assuming it gets the green light from Nokia's shareholders and government regulators. Microsoft plans to keep Nokia based in Finland, which will also become home to the company's new data center for European customers.
Update: The Verge is reporting that Microsoft's deal only includes trademarks for the Lumia and Asha brands, leaving Nokia to produce feature phones under a 10-year license. That particular bullet point means we've seen the last of Nokia-branded smartphones, a particularly sad end for the company who virtually helped invent the category to begin with.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter