Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said Sunday that the cell phone maker would receive substantial benefits from licensing Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, including billions of dollars in support for development and marketing of new smartphones as well as a sizable reduction in operating expenses. Elop also denied reports that Microsoft would buy the company. The first pictures of what a Nokia-made Windows phone might look like emerged over the weekend as the deal gained support from more quarters.
Microsoft's bid to acquire Web shop aQuantive is a $6 billion investment in an ad segment that still is proving itself: interactive spots tied to user behavior. "This acquisition validates the fact that targeted advertising is the wave of the future," said Curt Viebranz, chief executive of behavioral agency Tacoda.
Microsoft's planned $6 billion acquisition of online advertising holding company aQuantive represents a milestone in the evolution of new media, according to observers. The deal is just the latest in a spate of advertising sector acquisitions by Google, Yahoo!, AOL and WPP Group. Bryan Wiener, chief executive of search marketing firm 360i told The New York Times: "It's not just talk anymore. The flood of dollars online is starting to accelerate to match the amount of time we spend online."
Google and Salesforce.com reportedly are negotiating an agreement for a potential alliance to merge the former's e-mail and instant-messaging services with the latter's client management tools. A deal, which would pose a challenge to rival Microsoft, could be announced within the next few weeks.