The deal between Microsoft and Nokia was signed more than seven months ago, but has been pending the final arrangements, thanks to the Chinese regulators who have been looking at the deal really closely. With the Chinese approval now on the table, together with approvals from the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other relevant jurisdictions, the Microsoft deal is now good to go.

By the end of April, Nokia may finally turn over its handset business, which has been struggling to keep its head above the water, to Microsoft, which is not exactly winning in the handset wars either. There is no doubt about the capabilities and assets of both parties, though, and with the Nokia-Microsoft “acquisition”, a new breed of smartphones might just arise.

Microsoft Nokia

However, in order to get Chinese approval for the deal, Microsoft has had to make some concessions, specifically in terms of patent licensing. From a WSJ report:

The conditions, which will last for eight years, require Microsoft to make its standard-essential patents—which are incorporated into broader technologies throughout the industry—available for licensing on so-called fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms.

It also agreed to make nonexclusive licenses available for Android smartphones, which use software developed by Google. Android smartphones rely on approximately 200 patent families that Microsoft holds the rights to, Microsoft said.

In other, related news, after the deal got Chinese approval, Nokia is reaping some benefits. The Finnish company’s shares rose by 3.1% to 5.49 euros after the news of the approval.

What does this mean for consumers?

In all likelihood, Nokia phones will be undergoing an overhaul, especially in terms of design. Not that Windows Phones are looking that good, I have to say. With Microsoft making so many changes and shifts in focus, though, their mobile lineup might just become more interesting in the months/years to come; at the very least, they might have a chance to get a larger slice of the mobile pie.

Your thoughts?

[Image via BGR]