Microsoft reportedly neared deal for Nokia's device business, but talks broke down

It's often been rumored that Microsoft had an eye on Nokia's handset business. It made perfect sense for both companies -- one a struggling pioneer of the mobile industry and the other a struggling stalwart from the first wave of smartphones. According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, the two were actually quite close to striking a deal and were having "advanced talks" in London as recently as this month. But, according to the all-too-familiar "people familiar with the matter," those talks have broken down. Those same sources say it was Microsoft that walked away from the table over concerns about Nokia's asking price, especially in light of its continued failure to put a significant dent in Apple and Samsung's market share. Though it seems like dreams of a Microsoft-Nokia merger are dead for the moment, don't expect the disagreement to severely affect the duo's partnership. Nokia is still reliant on Microsoft's help to stand out in the market and Microsoft needs the Finnish manufacturer to keep pumping out flagship handsets with Windows Phone on them.