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Stephen Elop to oversee Microsoft's games and hardware

The Nokia boss will take charge of Microsoft's games and hardware, including Xbox, and the soon-to-be-acquired Nokia mobile division.

Nokia boss Stephen Elop might have missed out on the top job at Microsoft, but he's still going to be a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory Redmond company. According to an internal memo that's leaked to TechCrunch, Elop will become head of Microsoft's Devices and Studios business. That means he'll take charge of Xbox, Microsoft Surface, all game development, and its handset division (i.e. what used to be Nokia's mobile arm). He'll replace Julie Larson-Green in the role.

Elop should already know the ropes. He's a former Microsoft man himself, having helmed the Business division responsible for Office before he joined Nokia. So it's a return home of sorts.

Elop will start his new job as soon as Microsoft's acquisition is complete. A Microsoft spokesperson has told The Verge that this was always the plan for Elop, but it hadn't been announced.

Larson-Green will become chief experience officer for Microsoft's Applications and Services group, responsible for the look and feel of Bing, Office, and Skype.

So what does Elop think of the Nokia X, the first Nokia phone to run Android? Unsurprisingly, he's a fan. He reckons it will "damage" the low-end Android smart phone market, The Inquirer reports. Elop confidently predicts the X, X+ and XL will sell in the "tens of millions".

He added the range would "win customers' hearts because it features traditional, strong Nokia traits, and because it offers a unique selection of apps and services." Our own Jessica Dolcourt's verdict? "An awkward amalgamation that doesn't do justice to any of the hybrid platform's component parts… an ill-fitting mix at best and an unholy union at worst."

Are you looking forward to seeing what Microsoft can do once it owns Nokia's mobile division? Or will you miss Nokia-branded phones? What do you make of Nokia using Android? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.