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Microsoft buys Nokia's smart phone business, for £4.6bn

Set aside those dreams of an Android Lumia -- Microsoft will soon wholly own Nokia's mobile business.

Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business, in a surprise acquisition that will see the Finnish firm building smart phones exclusively for the company.

The Xbox-maker has snapped up Nokia for a whopping 5.4bn Euros, or roughly £4.6bn, Nokia has confirmed. The deal is expected to become final in the first few months of 2014.

According to soon-to-depart CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft will get Nokia's, "smartphone and mobile phone businesses, their award-winning design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities around the world, and teams devoted to operations, sales, marketing and support."

While Nokia and Microsoft have had a close relationship for years, up until now the Lumia-maker has been free to experiment, making cheap Asha mobiles and the odd Symbian smart phone.

With Windows Phone-owner Microsoft now at the helm however, it's time to stow those hopes of a Lumia phone running Android.

Fans of inter-corporation executive drama will also be interested to learn that Nokia boss Stephen Elop -- himself an ex-Microsoft employee -- will continue to run affairs for the company's mobile division.

Nokia has non-smart phone business interests, with a secondary effort that supplies telecommunications equipment. Microsoft will shortly own the mobile business however -- the bit that actually makes gadgets.

Nokia's latest smart phone is the Lumia 1020, which packs some powerful camera technology. Microsoft's next big launch will be the debut of the Xbox One toward the end of the year.

Is Microsoft smart to buy Nokia? Or is there something else it should be spending its cash on? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.