05.26.16

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Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nokia still a piece in Microsoft’s patent stacking strategy against Android

Nokia trolls
Image from BusinessKorea

Summary: Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft’s favourite patent trolls to pick

SEVERAL readers have sent us links regarding the latest passage of Nokia patents by Microsoft, having already seen how Microsoft feeds Google-hostile trolls using Nokia’s patent portfolio. These links have been sent to us for over a week and we can no longer ignore the subject, despite the fact that we try hard not to cover Microsoft (there are more pressing issues like the EPO). This article is an accumulation of news about Microsoft and Nokia, including the patent angle that the media overlooks, as usual.

Microsoft is fully aboard on a marketing campaign and it is still in a major war against Linux. Anyone who doesn’t see it probably pays no attention to patents. As Benjamin Henrion put it earlier this week, “Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others hardly pay any taxes in any country, with patent boxes and other tricks.”

“Microsoft does not think it needs to obey the law. It never really did. Bill Gates already got arrested as a youngster, but as a child of very rich parents he quickly got bailed out.”The Patent Box trick was covered here before. It’s one classic way to evade tax through patents (as loopholes) and IAM published ‘sponsored’ ‘content’ about this the other day, titled “The Patent Box is changing shape”. Recall Microsoft’s tax avoidance (it was found guilty in a court and the IRS now goes after it, however belatedly) and consider the fact that Microsoft hardly cares about the law. Microsoft does not think it needs to obey the law. It never really did. Bill Gates already got arrested as a youngster, but as a child of very rich parents he quickly got bailed out.

Microsoft hardly matters in mobile. It never really mattered. It was companies like Nokia with Symbian that dominated the market. Regarding this article from a Microsoft booster, iophk wrote to tell us: “Aside from its role in killing Nokia, Microsoft was never a player. And statistics say otherwise about iPhone vs Android market share.”

Yes, it is disappointing to see some of the claims put forth by Microsoft boosters in ‘journalist’ clothing. They are trying to rewrite history regarding Microsoft and mobile and also misplace the blame for Nokia’s demise. As one person put it earlier this week: “#Microsoft #mobile cutting 1350 people in Finland + 500 globally, killing #windowsphone #wp So this was Microsoft’s mobile first strategy.”

It was a failed strategy, but Microsoft refuses to admit this and would quite likely resort to a strategy of revisionism. Watch Microsoft’s CEO and the mole (Elop) in the photo used by Microsoft Peter. Will the world remember that it was Microsoft’s Elop who killed Nokia?

The Helsinki Times wrote: “The network equipment manufacturer confirmed that it will trim its headcount in the country by 1,023 as part of a global, almost one-billion euro cost-cutting programme aimed at achieving the synergies arising from its recent takeover of Alcatel-Lucent.”

Gizmodo has chosen the headline “Microsoft Is Demolishing Its Smartphone Business” and said: “A week after selling off its feature phone division, Microsoft has announced that it’s also “streamlining” its smartphone hardware business, cutting 1,850 jobs in the process.”

“Will the world remember that it was Microsoft’s Elop who killed Nokia?”These are more Microsoft layoffs, which oughtn’t be attributed to Nokia because Nokia was killed by Microsoft after Microsoft had infiltrated it. Initially, the Finnish press reported a different number, e.g. “Nokia to cut 1032 jobs in Finland”. To quote: “Networks giant Nokia has slightly lowered the number of employees being made redundant in Finland from April’s estimate of 1300. About half of the jobs being eliminated are in Espoo, with about a quarter each in Oulu and Tampere.”

Later on came the headline “Microsoft to cut 1,350 jobs in Finland” and whatever the real number is, we know from experience that Microsoft disguises many of its layoffs using a variety of tricks, so the real number is probably a lot higher. As CNET put it: “The company announced Wednesday that it would be axing 1,850 jobs in addition to the 4,500 job cuts that were announced last week, along with the sale of its feature phone business.”

It is getting hard to keep track of the numbers, but considering all the loopholes (like temporary employees and contractors), assume the real number of laid off staff to be much higher albeit hard to verify.

The Australian media says this will cost Microsoft a billion (probably more in reality). To quote: “Software giant Microsoft appears to have all but thrown in the towel on its disastrous mobile phone experiment, announcing a US$1 billion restructure of its smartphone hardware business with the loss of 1850 jobs, most of them at the former Nokia plant in Finland.”

“It is getting hard to keep track of the numbers, but considering all the loopholes (like temporary employees and contractors), assume the real number of laid off staff to be much higher albeit hard to verify.”“Good riddance,” iophk told us. “Now how can they be reconditioned so as not to be a liability for society, which they will be if they continue to spread Microsoft?”

Yes, there’s a growing danger of entryism by Microsoft in Finland.

Microsoft ended up killing Nokia after Nokia had worked on Linux (which was created by a Finnish man) and now this is costing Finnish taxpayers (i.e. economy) a lot of money. Consider the report “Government ministers pledge to help laid-off Microsoft workers” which says: “The Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn and Minister of Justice and Labour Jari Lindström said that the government would help the 1,350 workers in Finland who are scheduled to be laid off by the computing giant Microsoft.”

This sounds like corporate welfare for thugs.

“Again,” iophk wrote, “it is the taxpayers who are left holding the bag.” With its back doors (for NSA at al) Microsoft cost economies trillions (some estimates circa 2010). How much more can the world tolerate? Imperialism/espionage by Microsoft and those whose offensive spying it actively facilitates? Even near the Russian borders, where such activity can invoke brutal retaliation?

So Microsoft killed Nokia and everyone but Microsoft is expected to pay the price now?

“Microsoft is a ruthless company that won’t tolerate Android, not without it becoming a Microsoft cash cow somehow.”What about patents? Well, see this report from IAM. It says: “HMD Global is reportedly owned by its own management team – which includes several former Nokia and Microsoft executives – and private equity fund Smart Connect LP. This latter entity is managed by another Nokia alumnus, Jean-Francois Baril, who served as senior vice president and chief procurement officer for the Finnish company from 1999 to 2012.”

According to press releases we were shown, patents too (including software patents) were passed, so we might know quite soon if the gutting of Nokia is a way to ensure Android gets heavily taxed (at OEM level) in the patents sense. This is what Microsoft has basically been doing to Android for over half a decade, including through Nokia (we gave several examples in the past). Microsoft is a ruthless company that won’t tolerate Android, not without it becoming a Microsoft cash cow somehow.

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