Former Nokia CEO to lead Microsoft devices, work with Xbox team

Nokia X Elop Stage 2

Stephen Elop, who was once considered as a possible replacement for departing CEO Steve Ballmer, will rejoin Microsoft to run its devices division. Elop used to head Nokia, which struck a deal with Microsoft last September to sell its phone business.  

In an internal memo sent to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced Elop’s new position, saying:

“Effective with the close of our deal with Nokia, Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as Executive Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group, reporting to me … I’ve had a chance to work closely with Stephen, when he was previously a senior leader with Microsoft, as a key partner during his tenure as Nokia CEO, and again in the last several months as we’ve worked through the initial stages of integration planning. I look forward to working with Stephen as a key member of the senior leadership team and welcoming the Nokia Devices and Services employees to the Microsoft family.”  

With his new position, Elop will take charge of handsets and the Microsoft Surface. He is also expected to play a role in the company’s Xbox business. Elop’s appointment has further fueled speculation over the future of the Xbox. Ever since Nadella was named CEO in February, there have been rumblings that Microsoft would sell off its Xbox division in spite of valuable assets such as its Gears of War and Halo franchises. Back in November, when Elop was still in the running for the Microsoft CEO job, Bloomberg reported that he was in favor of selling Xbox. Nadella says he’ll work closely with the Xbox division head Phil Spencer, likely to create future Xbox hardware.

The Microsoft-Nokia deal expected to be completed in April. However, a report from the Wall Street Journal, a tax audit on an Indian cell phone factory may delay the sale by another 6 months. 

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Product Review

The Division 2 feels more like a revision, but fans will love it

If the private beta is any indication, The Division 2 is shaping up to be a better version of the original, rather than a brand-new experience. That said, the game is looking quite great.
Smart Home

Amazon to add home mesh router maker Eero to its smart home ecosystem

Amazon will acquire the Eero mesh Wi-Fi router system brand. After the deal clears regulatory hurdles, Amazon will own another piece of a complete smart home package. Eero's Wi-Fi infrastructure covers the whole house with fast internet.
Mobile

Samsung teases it will reveal its foldable phone during the Galaxy S10 event

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.