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Microsoft may buy beleaguered Nokia for £11.6bn

Microsoft is about to buy Nokia for $19bn, according to an industry insider who correctly predicted the Windows Phone 7 deal between the two tech giants.

Microsoft is rumoured to be considering a purchase of Nokia for a cool $19bn. That works out at about £11.6bn.

With the ink on the Skype deal barely dry, an industry insider has claimed a Microsoft offer for Nokia is already on the table. Eldar Murtazin correctly called Nokia's Windows Phone 7 deal, so his claims carries some clout, despite a Nokia spokesperson saying his rumours were getting "less accurate with every passing moment".

Nokia has had a rough ride lately. Despite head honcho Stephen Elop making all the right noises about running a fast-paced, aggressive company, sealing the Windows Phone 7 deal with Microsoft, and committing to support Symbian for another five years, some still think Nokia's goose is pretty much cooked.

Meanwhile, Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu has stated that "in a fast-changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly". He suggested Nokia's overall market share would drop from 35 per cent to 30 per cent next year, with the company's smart-phone market share falling by half, to 19 per cent. The company is currently in a financial mess and we've already seen it lose its title as Europe's best-selling phone manufacturer to Samsung.

One of the reasons for Nokia's current predicament appears to be its own MeeGo platform. According to Bloomberg: "Nokia was on track to introduce only three MeeGo-driven models before 2014 -- far too slow to keep the company in the game."

Although teaser videos of the N9 suggest Nokia hasn't abandoned MeeGo completely, it does seem to have been sidelined by Windows Phone. Either way, Nokia's new Windows Phone mobiles can't come quickly enough.

Could Microsoft turn Nokia's fortunes around? With the exception of the Xbox, its forays into the hardware market have been pretty poor affairs. Should Microsoft just stick to improving Windows Phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall.