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Nokia, Microsoft deal expected to close Friday

Nokia Inc. expects complete its $7.2 billion sale of its smartphone business to Microsoft Corp. on Friday.

“The transaction is now subject only to certain customary closing conditions,” Nokia said in a news release Monday.

The $7.2 billion deal announced in September is a major step in Microsoft’s push to transform itself from a software maker focused on making operating systems and applications for desktop and laptop computers into a more versatile and nimble company that delivers services on any kind of Internet-connected gadget.

Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, and Microsoft have tried to make inroads in the smartphone market as part of a partnership forged in 2011. Under the alliance, Nokia’s Lumia smartphones have run on Microsoft’sWindows software, but those devices haven’t emerged as a popular alternative to the iPhone or an array of Android-powered devices spearheaded by Samsung Electronics’ smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft is betting it will have a better chance of narrowing the gap if it seizes complete control over how the mobile devices work with its Windows software.

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