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Leak reveals when Microsoft must kill Nokia brand

  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia integration plan

By Jane McCallion

Posted on 12 Jun 2014 at 08:56

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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User comments

Relatively easy

all existing products that were on the market or in the pipeline at the time of the takeover have the Nokia branding, this cannot be changed, so they will remain Nokia branded until they are phased out and/or replaced by newer models - which must happen within 18 months for Lumia products and until December next year for X.

I would therefore assume that the new 630, 635 and 930 will be the last of the Nokia Lumias and must be removed from the market over the next 18 months. The next phones to be released after these 3 will probably (unless they are already in pre-production) have to carry Microsoft branding.

The interesting question will be, whether they can still use Lumia.

Looking at the Nokia.com site, it already has the MS branding on it, the cookies message says "Microsoft Mobile uses cookies" and there is a Microsoft logo at the bottom of the page.

"mobile phones" will be feature phones and the "30€" basic handsets you find in the big bins in electronics stores, mixed in with Samsung 30€ phones.

It would be interesting to see the bits that aren't shown - all the interesting bits seem to be post page 22, but they only have the front page or 2...

By big_D on 12 Jun 2014

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By Trippynet on 12 Jun 2014

Nokia Account

So I am assuming that the Nokia Account will be merged into Microsoft Account...

By henry20012 on 12 Jun 2014

@henry20022

Not necessarily - the Nokia account is in part used to sync Here maps settings between devices. Since Here maps is staying with Nokia, the account may well not transfer. If anyone knows the answer I'd be pleased to hear it

By thewelshbrummie on 12 Jun 2014

@henry20022

Not necessarily - the Nokia account is in part used to sync Here maps settings between devices. Since Here maps is staying with Nokia, the account may well not transfer. If anyone knows the answer I'd be pleased to hear it

By thewelshbrummie on 12 Jun 2014

Good luck with that

Re: 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".

I live in Espoo where Nokia had its new headquarters building now defaced with a large Microsoft sign.

Apart from the craziness of expecting them to say the very long "I work for Microsoft and I work on the Microsoft devices business", certainly the Finns among them - presumably the majority - will no doubt bring Nokia into it some way. "I work on Nokia phones" (with or without a trailing "nowadays Microsoft") would seem more likely and how is any Non-Finnish-speaking boss likely to know what they said anyway? (... Even "Nokia" - hard UK Northern O - is pronounced differently to Elop's consistent N(oh)kia).

By MikeW2 on 13 Jun 2014

@MikeW2

I've been in several takeovers and that has always been the case and the employees have generally fairly quickly adjusted.

We often used to use "xyz, formerly abc" when people were confused.

By big_D on 13 Jun 2014

@big_D

Re: "We often used to use "xyz, formerly abc"

Yet that is precisely what these rules say is NOT allowed.

You'll note I suggested 'I work on Nokia phones now Microsoft' as one possibility. The problem is that they are apparently then breaking a rule not to say 'Nokia'. That for me is the crazy part.

They retained the right to the Nokia name for the phones for a long time yet from day one people working on those phones aren't allowed to say Nokia. Madness.

I too have been in a company that has been taken over and for months we needed to say both names otherwise no customer or potential customer would make the right connection. We also had the old e-mail address in parallel with the new one for several months - maybe even more than a year.

That however was a UK company taking over a Swedish one. Are the US ones more fixated with themselves or is that just Microsoft?

By MikeW2 on 14 Jun 2014

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