Whoa, Microsoft follows Google's playbook for mobile, buys Nokia Phone unit

WSJ covers Microsoft's move buying Nokia.

Microsoft in $7.17 Billion Deal for Nokia Cellphone Business

Microsoft Corp., MSFT -0.45% on the heels of announcing the planned retirement of Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, has agreed to buy most of Nokia Corp.'sNOK1V.HE +1.30% devices and services business and bring aboard several executives who could be contenders for Mr. Ballmer's job.

The companies said Monday that Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion ($5 billion) to buy "substantially all" of the Nokia business, which includes its smartphone operations. The Redmond, Wash., company will pay €1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, the companies said.

Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, and several other executives are joining Microsoft as part of the deal. Mr. Elop, a former Microsoft executive, is among the names being circulated as Mr. Ballmer's successor. Microsoft recently announced that Mr. Ballmer will retire from his post within a year, or when the next CEO is chosen.

Google bought Motorola.  Microsoft buys Nokia.  Mobile has changed dramatically with Apple, Google, and Microsoft competing to sell smartphones.