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Microsoft buys Nokia's phone division as Steve Ballmer plans his exit

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With its long-tenured CEO retiring and an ongoing transition to becoming a "devices and services" company, Microsoft has taken another major step in acquiring Nokia's mobile unit for $7.2 billion.As part of the agreement, set to close in the first quarter of 2014, Nokia's current CEO Stephen Elop will return to Microsoft. Speculation has immediately swirled around him as a primary candidate to take over from Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO, however all parties remain tight-lipped on the matter. As to the future roadmap, Microsoft wants the deal announced today to help it triple Windows Phone's mobile marketshare by 2018, though it still remains committed to its other hardware partners for the platform. Stay on top of all developments in this expanding narrative by following this stream.