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This morning we learned that Microsoft is moving forward with plans to make Android and Windows Phone platforms friendlier, with a deal to have Karbonn Mobiles, an Indian smartphone maker, create dual-boot handsets that feature both operating systems. It seems that this move, along with the release of the Nokia X, would signal the company pursuing a single vision in terms of its relationship with Android and Nokia itself.

But a new report from Bloomberg today reveals that the company’s recently installed CEO Satya Nadella, along with company founder and then-board chairman Bill Gates, weren’t fans of Microsoft’s plans to acquire the smartphone maker in the first place.

The Nokia deal was spearheaded by now-former CEO Steve Ballmer, and while the company was looking to its senior members for their opinion, both Nadella and Gates didn’t support the move. The report also says that “Nadella later changed his mind,” going on to quote the CEO in an emailed statement:

“Nokia brings mobile-first depth across hardware, software, design, global supply chain expertise and deep understanding and connections across the mobile market. This is the right move for Microsoft.”

The report, however, does mention that Ballmer’s insistence over the Nokia purchase could be part of what prompted him to announce his impending departure from the CEO position last year. In fact, the report claims that, regarding his desire to acquire Nokia, Ballmer was “so loud that day in June his shouts could be heard outside the conference room.” Eventually the company went for the acquisition, “but by then the damage was done.”

The main issue, it seems, was the schism over whether or not Microsoft should go further into making hardware, or if it should retreat back into its original specialty, that of software. Ballmer clearly had his own thoughts on that matter, since the Xbox division launched under his watch, as did the so-far less successful Surface initiative. With Nokia, the company would have a third-party that already specialized in making devices within the fold.

Now that Nadella has Ballmer’s old job, it remains to be seen how many more resources Microsoft will put towards hardware. After all, the deal with Karbonn was for them to make the dual-boot phones. Wouldn’t a commitment to hardware mean that Nokia itself would make the handsets?

Of course, the Karbonn deal could represent Microsoft dipping its toe into the waters. If the effort is successful, maybe Nokia will jump in with dual-boot phones of its own. Perhaps we’ll see Android apps in the Windows Phone OS after all. But it’ll be interesting to see what choices the company makes in terms of pursuing hardware now that Nadella is at the helm.

[Source: Bloomberg]


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