The $7.5 billion deal involving the sale of Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia's device and services arm to Microsoft is likely to conclude this Friday (April 25), but surprisingly there are still many unanswered questions.
Nokia's Indian manufacturing unit, which has come under litigation, will most likely be excluded from the deal. The company has expressed that it hopes to continue to operate the plant located in Chennai under a service agreement with Microsoft, but there hasn't really been any official announcement.
The deal with Microsoft also brings up questions about the fate of Nokia's newly launched X range of Android Open Source Project powered phones. With Microsoft's opening up its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system for easier third party development, along with making its Windows platfrom free for use by devices with screens smaller than 9-inches, the future of Nokia's priced project X seems to be doomed.
Many would argue that the Nokia X was a marriage that should have never happened, and with the recent developments that seems true. The Finnish company has taken far too long to bring its Android powered devices to the market, which has clearly not changed in the favour of Nokia.
Even after going on sale, the performance of the devices in the market is muted to say the least, and while it offers a vastly different experience to regular Android phones, it is far from perfect. Slotted in between the company's Asha range and more expensive Windows powered Lumia devices, the Nokia X may make good sense on paper, but in reality, it's critically flawed.
Nokia has created a feature phone using the world's most powerful mobile operating system
It may seem funny, but the Nokia X is nothing more than a feature phone. It would have seemed far more useful for the company to develop its tried and tested Asha range of phones further, than investing on developing a whole new environment – which the company has no expertise in.
Even if Nokia had made good phones out of the X series, recent developments at Microsoft could make it nothing more than a distraction to the company's plans. With tie-ups with Micromax and other low-end device manufacturers, Microsoft can effectively lower the price point of devices that run its Windows Phone operating system. This singular move goes a long way in propping up Windows as a worthy competitor to Android.
Studying Microsoft's recent moves, it's clear that the company wants to make Windows Phone as powerful as Android and then some. The operating system may never be as malleable as Google's offering, but with the sheer number of users that have been exposed to the Windows environment, it's definitely worth a try.
If Microsoft perfects integration of software across PCs, tablets, mobiles and other devices, the Windows environment could well beat Android in the race towards the 'Internet of Things'. While this may be dwelling deep into Microsoft's plans for Windows, it only goes to show how useless the Nokia X series is in Microsoft's grand scheme.
We wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft kill off the Nokia X range just as easily as it plans to kill the 'Nokia' name altogether. Nokia's marriage with Android was clearly made in hell, and its imminent failure is unfortunately a classic case of 'too little, too late'.