Microsoft buys Nokia phones: Trojan Horse finally ruins Finnish brand

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Microsoft buys Nokia phones: Trojan Horse finally ruins Finnish brand

Microsoft will pay US$7 billion to buy the mobile-phone business from struggling Finnish company Nokia. That's more than the $8.5 billion Microsoft paid for the fake phone-business Skype, which it bought on Ebay.

The acquisition is the result of a three-year Trojan Horse strategy that began in September 2010. That's when Nokia hired former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop to be its CEO.

So it was no surprise when Elop a few months later announced Nokia was ditching its Symbian operating system in favor of Windows Mobile.

Over the next three years, Nokia watched its stock tank from about $10 per share when Elop took over to about $3.90 per share today. While Elop was busy pushing Windows phones nobody wanted, companies like Samsung soared on the back of Android.

Now Microsoft is buying Nokia on the cheap and Elop is returning to Microsoft. Just as its chief executive Steve Ballmer gets ready to retire. No prizes for guessing who will get Ballmer's job. Suspicions have surrounded Elop ever since he left Redmond-based Microsoft to join Nokia nearly three years ago.

By February 2011, Elop had issued his infamous 1,300 "burning platform" memo to employees outlining his plans to scrap Nokia's operating system. He argued that continuing to support Symbian was like standing on a burning oil platform and radical change was needed.

But instead of finding safety and prosperity in a platform such as Android, Nokia instead adopted another "burning platform" in Windows. Little wonder many long-term Nokia employees see Elop as a mole.

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