Rumor has it Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) could be getting closer to tying the knot as we check out what's happening in the world of operating systems this week.
Nokia, Microsoft merger rumblings: Rumors of a merger between Microsoft and Nokia resurfaced this week as Russian blogger, and often reliable Nokia source, Eldar Murtazin suggested execs were meeting to discuss selling Nokia's hardware business to Microsoft. Nokia quickly refuted the claims, which have been made in the past as well, but the rumors have many wondering if a merger might just be the pair's best option. (See Nokia Has to Rock Its World.)
Nokia acquires a feature phone OS: Nokia's plans do include M&A, however. The Finnish company on Friday acquired Norway-based Smarterphone, which builds OSs for feature phones. Outside of the U.S., feature phones are still an important business for Nokia and one it needs to bolster its status in. (See Analyst: Nokia Faces Low-End Threat.)
Samsung's smart Q4: Samsung Corp. finished out 2011 strong, noting Friday that it expects to have made between 46 trillion and 48 trillion Korean won ($39.6 billion to $41.3 billion) in the fourth quarter. The South Korean company doesn't break out its smartphone shipments, but analysts believe it could have moved 35 million in the quarter, making it the Android force to be reckoned with. (See OS Watch: Samsung Scores on Smartphones.)
HTC flounders in Q4: Fellow Android supporter High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) did not have the same luck. The handset maker's preliminary results included a 26 percent dive in profit to NT$11 billion ($364 million), its first slip in two years. HTC has two big upcoming shows, the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress, however, to prove it's in the game.
Countdown to CES: HTC's first opportunity will, of course, be the giant gadget show next week in Las Vegas, where mobile is sure to dominate discussions. Microsoft's Windows 8 and Android's Ice Cream Sandwich will likely get the most air time, but also expect to see OS updates to cars, cameras and the hot new category of ultrabooks. (See CES 2012: The Ultra Tablet Show.)