Report: Mapping software a key sticking point in Microsoft-Nokia deal

Ever since the announcement that Microsoft was going to purchase Nokia's smartphone hardware business hit the Internet earlier this week, many have wondering just how the two companies came to a deal. Tonight, AllThingsD.com has a lengthy report, based on using unnamed sources, that claims to have many of the insider details of this landmark business transaction.

The report says that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called up Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa and asked him, "Can we talk?" in late January. In February, during the World Mobile Congress event in Barcelona, the serious discussions between Microsoft and Nokia began, according to this story.

The talks even had a code name, Project Gold Medal, with each company using the name of a different track and field runner to identify themselves. Microsoft's name was Edwin Moses, the great U.S. Olympic hurdler, while Nokia was referred to in these secret talks as Paavo Johannes Nurmi, the late nine time Olympic medalist in running that was also known as “the Flying Finn”.

Nokia's mapping software played a huge part in the deal.

The article goes on about the twists and turns that the negotiations took between Microsoft and Nokia over the next several months. At one point, the talks stalled because Microsoft also wanted to buy Nokia's HERE maps software and technology. Nokia said it wanted to keep that division to itself, because it wanted to offer the software to other companies.

In the end, the two groups made an interesting compromise. Nokia could still have full rights to its mapping codes, but Microsoft can not only license HERE Maps from Nokia, it can also change the code for its own use, giving Microsoft what is called "rights equivalent to ownership." That was the last major hurdle in the deal that concluded with Monday evening's announcement.

Source: AllThingsD.com | Image via Nokia

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12 Comments

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Spicoli said,
So basically they forked it. It will be interesting to see who develops a better version a few years from now.
No, but they have the rights to do that if they want.
More likely they'll do what Nokia did with Win Phone and use the main version but potentially put some minor tweaks into it.

Spicoli said,
So basically they forked it. It will be interesting to see who develops a better version a few years from now.

Maybe it'll be like SQL Server all over again. Without the protracted cohabitation that preceded the breakup.

Metka said,
bing is Microsoft and Here is and will be Nokia

But as this says, with the licensing deal MS can take the data/code from HERE and use it in Bing so that in the end you'll probably see the same things.

-adrian- said,
can just say it over and over again.. combine bing and here maps and nokia and xbox music please

They did buy the services as well as the hardware right? So that does mean MS gets Nokia Music. I just wish they'd expand Xbox Music to more markets already, I've been left out in the cold since the start. I honestly don't see why they haven't tried or been able to expand it more, or buy someone else who does have the licensing in those markets you lack and fold it into Xbox Music.

I think that since the deal is done, we will see the backend data of here maps brought into more of the bing mapping
platforms and maybe more unified.

I would like to see favourites and other personalised data from my here maps on my phone to be included in the bing maps on windows 8, giving me access to the same data and being able to setup/edit all my favourites on each platforms. I would also like to see favourites to be categorised into groups which can be added to the map in layers.

So I could have 3 groups of locations, say 'work related' - 'fishing locations' - 'friends' etc. and simply show them on a map in layers. And have access to this data on my pc, phone and web, that would be great!

-adrian- said,
can just say it over and over again.. combine bing and here maps and nokia and xbox music please

Its already happening. Bing Map has Nokia technology already built in. see the watermark on bing maps. Nokia Music and Xbox music will become one.

S3P€hR said,

Its already happening. Bing Map has Nokia technology already built in. see the watermark on bing maps. Nokia Music and Xbox music will become one.

The mapping data, the satalite images and roads are from Nokia.
I'm pretty sure this is about the rest of the data, Nokia's data base of user mining is much, much bigger than Microsoft's, and the services are way ahead of anything MS has to offer.