Microsoft-Nokia deal now expected to close in April

The Microsoft-Nokia deal, which saw the Redmond-based giant making a play for the Finnish OEM’s hardware and services division, is now expected to close in April.

Though the $7.2 billion deal has been approved in Europe and North America, Asian regulators have held up the deal past its initial end-of-Q1 close date. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, with late April as the intended date. Brad Smith, EVP of Legal at Microsoft said, “the completion of this acquisition will mark the first step to bring Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business together. Our acquisition will accelerate our mobile-first, cloud-first imperatives. We’re looking forward to accelerating innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones and introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones.”

Nokia has continued walking to its own beat in recent months, releasing an Android-powered device, the Nokia X, for developing regions. While Microsoft publicly acknowledged the project as a “jump start” for exposure its services, like Bing and Office, for those who wouldn’t have otherwise used them, it’s possible that, once subsumed, the “X” series may quickly die.

Nokia is expected to release a few more devices in the coming months, aligned with Microsoft’s announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 in early April. Smith concluded his blog post by saying, “We remain as excited as ever to welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business officially as part of the Microsoft family.” Let’s hope they put that excitement to good use.