Microsoft has made some big changes under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella but if the rumor mill is right we might hear another stunner later today. ComputerWorld heard rumors that the software giant is going to announce a write-off on a big part of its 2013 Nokia acquisition, which was one of the last major decisions made by former CEO Steve Ballmer.
Current CEO Satya Nadella was reported to have opposed the acquisition and appears to be in the process of cleaning the deck and getting rid of mistakes made by the previous CEO. Earlier this week Microsoft effectively exited the online advertising business, a big part of this business originated from the $6.3 billion acquisition of advertising firm aQuantive in 2007. Five years later Microsoft announced a $6.2 billion impairment charge and now journalists believe the Nokia acquisition is going to get a similar treatment, potentially as early as today:
The Nokia write-down could be made public with a filing to the SEC as early as Wednesday, the first business day after the end of Microsoft's fiscal year, which runs through June 30.
In its April 2015 filing, Microsoft said it carried $5.5 billion in goodwill from the Nokia deal, as well as another $4.5 billion in intangible assets. Because "goodwill" is the difference between the purchase price and the actual assets, tangible or otherwise, the $5.5 billion, or something close to it, would be the likeliest number.
The reduced future expectations of the Nokia unit may have further implications, the software giant bought Nokia's phone division to shore up its Windows Phone efforts but despite the billions spend it didn't do Microsoft much good. The Inquirer writes rumors are going around that Microsoft might give up on Windows Phone and adopt Google's Android operating system for future smartphones and tablets. If the rumor is accurate, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is in talks with his senior leadership team (SLT) to make it happen.
"Nadella and the SLT debating continuing Windows on phones and small tablets vs bundling Microsoft services on Android as the way forward," MSNerd said.
"Microsoft would push Google Play devices with Microsoft apps in exchange for Google providing first-class Maps, YouTube, Search on Windows."
We'd advise taking this rumour with a pinch of salt, but it does come just days after Nadella told Microsoft staff that the firm will "make some tough choices in areas where things are not working".