Turn your back for a moment and all hell breaks loose. Well, Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn, thus adding the world’s biggest international telephone company to its existing portfolio of Nokia and … Oh wait, it doesn’t own Nokia, just the Finnish phone maker’s next operating system. Now it just needs UK chip designer ARM, and it will have a pretty interesting portfolio of telecommunications assets.
But adding ARM might disturb Microsoft’s cosy relationship with Intel, which is anxious to be a player in the mobile comms market. Or will it? Since an Intel bid for ARM would likely attract regulatory interest, why not let Microsoft pick it up and reprise the Wintel hegemony of the desktop on mobile phones?