Microsoft now a true devices company, expect much cheaper devices and upset OEM's
I believe this was a much needed purchase for Microsoft. As most have realized by now, one of Microsoft's primary barriers in penetrating the mobile market is the high price of devices running Windows Pro/Windows RT, perhaps even more so hindering than the immaturity of Windows RT and respective ecosystem.
With this purchase Microsoft acquires the steel mills sorta speaking, it has its own Manufacturing plants worldwide and can pump out hardware at a fraction of the cost that 3rd parties like FoxCon and similar would charge a lot more for. It's in control of how many units of something it will produce and when, without being pushed into deals that require enormous order quantities to get a good price. Not to mention the degree of expertise and quality of workmanship we can expect from the formerly Nokia run facilities and staff.
I believe Microsoft now understands that to make an impact it must at first sell at or near cost price. Being greedy and expecting a high return from devices running a G1 platform with an immature ecosystem is foolish, instead selling cheap and getting user participation in the ecosystem up should be of primary concern for the next year or so, price hikes can always be made later.
Now every American ecosystem powerhouse has a devices and manufacturing division of their own ! Asian OEM/OEDM's should be afraid, very afraid.
What is Samsung devices and services division if not just a distribution platform for the Google ecosystem. Samsung has no own ecosystem that can stand on its own two feet, it relies on the Google Play store, search, maps and more. Whilst Samsung makes higher profits, Google is really the daddy and can/will downsize Samsung's dominance with ease. Google understands it could be earning those 8 Billion + in profits for devices! Google aims to take a huge chunk of that money with Motorola.
Likewise with Microsoft, it says it won't impede on its partners existing markets too much but it's a blatant lie, similar to how it claimed to only intending to sell a couple of million Suface units, but in reality ordered in excess of 8+ million !
We can safely say that Microsoft will sell Windows RT/Blue powered phones and tablets cheaper than any OEM could, no OEM will be able to or want to compete with them on ARM. The OEM's will have but one retreat and existing market, x86 PC's/2nd sort Android tablets and even that is not guaranteed for the future going forward as Ms may just as well upgrade its manufacturing arm to include notebooks and other x86 PC form factors.
Also the OEM's aren't going anywhere. As long as the x86 PC business is profitable Acer, Asus , Samsung etc. will continue pumping out x86 tablets, notebooks etc. There will always be demand for Windows PC's, so there will always be OEM's making them.
With this acquisition Microsoft now has in excess of 135,000 + thousand employees ! How agile and nimble can it be with so many people and assets to manage ? Sadly many people will loose their jobs soon.
There's no doubt Microsoft understood by now that it can't take things slowly or feel the water out with its foot before jumping in, it's all in or failure. Now certain people that only focus on the past or status quo and believe companies are some sort of habitual offenders and not an evolving organisation of people that constantly change, think Microsoft will not be serious about its devices division, take too long and run it to the ground. On the contrary I think Ms has learned its lessons and this is not advertising nor some other project it can make a half arsed attempt at, it's the future of Microsoft in the consumer market full stop, consumer technologies eventually trickle over into enterprise too so Ms can't simply hide there.This will be given a foremost priority and nailed home I believe. A lot of people will loose their jobs in the next 6 month I reckon, as the market changes Microsoft must cut the fat off itself in order to become more agile and meet new demands whilst lowering expenses. I think it should start by cutting away/reducing divisions that deal with OEM PC partners, desktop application related teams, legacy support teams etc.
In the next year or so I want to see:
Bunch of Microsoft Lumia phones and great accessories.
Microsoft Lumia Windows RT business tablet
Microsoft Surface ARM/x86 Pro tablet
SurfaceBook - ultrabook
SurfaceBand - Smartwatch
SurfaceTop - All-In-One