With the acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft is trying to give its Windows Phone operating system a boost

Microsoft to complete Nokia takeover

Microsoft will complete its acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business this Friday, expanding the reach of the Windows Phone operating system.

The announcement comes after months of work to finalise the deal, which was originally announced last September. Microsoft has since announced a new chief executive, Satya Nadella, and updated its Windows platform on both mobile and desktop devices.

In a statement on the official Microsoft blog, executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs Brad Smith said: "This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones."

Smith also announced an adjustment to the original deal, which will see Nokia employees in China join Microsoft, having originally been designated to stay with Nokia.

Microsoft's line of Windows phones, that include the Nokia Lumia, have so far struggled to match the market dominance of Apple and Samsung and their more established devices.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will take control of and manage the nokia.com domain and all official social media channels for a minimum of one year, amid rumours that Nokia will be re-branded as part of the acquisition.

Data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, a global consumer analyst, showed that as of February, Windows had a 10 per cent market share for smartphones in the UK, compared to a 32 per cent share for Apple and 54 per cent for Android.

The company recently announced its first major update to the Windows Phone software, introducing a virtual personal assistant for the first time.

Named Cortana, the software is able to carry out functions within the phone through voice commands, and is a direct competitor to Apple's own assistant, Siri, and the Google Now programme that runs on Android.

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