Leaked Microsoft Document Tips Details of Nokia Brand Transition and More

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With Nokia completing sale of mobile business to Microsoft in April, many tech pundits considered it as an ending to a chapter in Finnish firm's history that began with paper making in 1865.

The closure of the deal included licensing of Nokia mobile patents to Microsoft, and an end to the production of mobile phones by the Finnish company, which had once topped the globe with a 40 percent market share in the year 2008.

Microsoft without wasting much time had announced that Nokia's phone business would be renamed to Microsoft Mobile. But confusions about the brand usage have been around with launch of recent Lumia devices (Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930) that carried Nokia branding alongside Microsoft's logo.

Stephen Elop, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group giving more clarification about the scenario of brand usage by Microsoft had said, "The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand."

Now, phone tipster @evleaks has come to the rescue, clarifying some of the confusion of how Nokia branding will be handled by Microsoft. The tipster has leaked what he calls an internal Microsoft document that is evidently meant to give employees (new and old) insight about brand usage and how the ex-Nokia employees would be integrating with the new Microsoft company.

The leaked document appears to be from January 2014, and we suspect that the guidelines might have since then been replaced with newer guidelines.

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Notably, the leaked Microsoft document talks about 'Day One' throughout the guidelines, which we assume refers to April 25. Considering Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business on the said date.

Here are some of the important bits from the document.

  • Microsoft has [the] right to use the Nokia brand for product marketing purposes in connection with devices that carry the Nokia brand (18-months post-close for Nokia Lumia devices; through 31 December 2015 for Nokia X devices; and 10 years for mobile phones).
  • Microsoft brand will only replace the Nokia brand in product, applications and experiences when Microsoft has launched a new product into the market.
  • The Lumia and Asha brands and products, the Mobile Phone portfolio, including Nokia X, sold under the Nokia brand will be transferred to Microsoft as part of the transaction.
  • Nokia Lumia, Nokia Asha, Nokia X and the rest of the mobile phone product portfolio will continue to receive the full support from Microsoft.
  • All current branding on Nokia retail stores will remain the same on Day One, until further guidance is received. We are carefully planning how, when and where to introduce the Microsoft brand, over a significant period of time. As new guidance is developed, we will proactively reach out to relevant teams.
  • You may now say, "I work for Microsoft and I work on the Microsoft devices business.

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