Leak reveals when Microsoft must kill Nokia brand

Iconic Nokia theme tune and "connecting people" slogan to be scrapped post acquisition

Microsoft admitted months ago it plans to kill off the Nokia brand for handsets, but exact details of the two brands' integration hasn't been revealed.

However, @evleaks, one of the most reliable sources of leaks on the web, claims to have got hold of an internal Microsoft document showing how the brand is to be handled.

The document was sent to ex-Nokia employees who have been brought into the Microsoft fold.

According to the "Brand FAQs" section, the phasing out of the Nokia name will happen in stages.

We are carefully planning how, when and where to introduce the Microsoft brand, over a significant period of time

Post acquisition, the company has the right to use the Nokia brand for marketing purposes for 18 months for Nokia Lumia devices, until 31 December 2015 for Nokia X devices, and for ten years for "mobile phones", which we take to mean feature phones.

The document also suggested that Nokia retail stores and Nokia Care Centres will eventually be rebranded, but there is no solid timescale for this.

"We are carefully planning how, when and where to introduce the Microsoft brand, over a significant period of time," it reads.

The future use of the iconic Nokia theme tune, "Connecting People" strapline and clasping hands animation is somewhat uncertain as well.

The document makes it clear Microsoft "has not bought the rights to these assets under the deal agreement", and that they remain with Nokia Oyj. Yet "all Nokia branded products must carry the Nokia tune as default, and logo as it does today.

Quite how this dichotomy will be resolved is unclear, with Microsoft saying it is "evaluating the impact of this decision on future product releases".

Twitter updates

The recipients of the document have also been issued guidance regarding their social media profiles.

If their Twitter handle or profile refer to Nokia, they must change it, as they are now employed by Microsoft. They are also asked to update their information on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Finally, the ex-Nokia employees are told they must not say they work for "Nokia business", and should instead say "I work for Microsoft and I work on the Microsoft devices business".

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