Tuesday, Sept 3rd, 2013, Microsoft issued a press release announcing Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s devices & services business, license Nokia’s patents and mapping services.  The cost, a whopping $7.2 billion. Is Microsoft ready to enter into the Smartphone market on the heels of Apple and Blackberry, well, they may not have a choice.  With the popularity of Smartphones and tablets, laptop sales are declining rapidly, and to move forward, Microsoft will need to step up their game.  The first run was the launch of the Surface device with an expectation of the sale of 2 million devices fell short with a total of 1.5 million sold.  The new Surface RT model was a huge disappointment with lower than expected sales and contributing to a staggering $900 million loss for fiscal Q4 2013 prompting Microsoft to permanently reduce the price of Surface RT by more than $100.  In February 2011, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop unveiled a new strategic alliance with Microsoft, and announced it would replace Symbian and the MeeGo project with Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system so the acquisition of Nokia does not come as a shock.  How successful will the deal be, only time will tell, but for Microsoft, it is not so much of a gamble as a means of survival. There is talk that Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia may take over as CEO for Microsoft after Steve Ballmer leaves.  Stephen Elop was born in Ancaster Ontario, a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton and was once head of the Business Division Microsoft, leaving to become CEO at Nokia in 2010.  It would seem to be the natural progression for Elop to step into Ballmer’s role with his history at Microsoft and CEO of Nokia, but there are still a lot of contenders at Microsoft that have a better fit. Read the Press Releases Nokia Press Release September 3rd Microsoft Press Release September 3, 2013   Wonder if we'll soon see Stephen Elop do the Ballmer Dance.