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New Nokia boss sells his shares in Microsoft
[February 18, 2011]

New Nokia boss sells his shares in Microsoft

Feb 18, 2011 (Evening Standard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Stephen Elop, Nokia's chief executive who recently said his firm was like a blazing oil rig, sold all his shares in Microsoft yesterday and spent EUR1million (UKpound840,000) buying 150,000 in the mobile phone giant.

Elop quit Microsoft to head Nokia last September becoming the first non-Finn to run the company. He then unveiled a major deal to switch Nokia phones from their home-grown Symbian software to Microsoft's.

Today he predicted the price of smartphones using Microsoft's Windows Phone software platform would fall rapidly as the two firms took on Apple and Google.

There have been fears Nokia will miss out during the transition on surging demand for cheaper smartphones. Elop said a key topics in talks with Microsoft was convincing Nokia that it could reach "a very low price point".

He said: "We have become convinced we can do that very quickly." Trying to better compete with Apple's iPhone, Microsoft has so far had tight hardware requirements for phone models using its software, pushing up handset prices and limiting the potential market.

As part of the push to a wider market and lower prices, Microsoft plans to open its mobile platform to other chipset suppliers beyond Qualcomm.

Elop said the final agreement with Microsoft would be signed in the next few months.

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