Microsoft has confirmed that it will complete its acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business this Friday, expanding the reach of the Windows Phone operating system.
The announcement comes after months of work to finalise the deal, which was originally announced last September. Microsoft has since announced a new chief executive, Satya Nadella, and updated its Windows platform on both mobile and desktop devices.
In a statement on the official Microsoft blog, executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs Brad Smith said: "This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones."
Mr Smith also announced an adjustment to the original deal, which will see Nokia employees in China join Microsoft, having originally been designated to stay with Nokia.
Microsoft's line of Windows phones, that include the Nokia Lumia, have so far struggled to match the market dominance of Apple and Samsung and their more established devices.
As part of the deal, Microsoft will take control of and manage the nokia.com domain and all official social media channels for a minimum of one year, amid rumours that Nokia will be re-branded as part of the acquisition.
Data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, a global consumer analyst, showed that as of February, Windows had a 10% market share for smartphones in the UK, compared to a 32%t share for Apple and 54% for Android.
The company recently announced its first major update to the Windows Phone software, introducing a virtual personal assistant for the first time.
Named Cortana, the software is able to carry out functions within the phone through voice commands, and is a direct competitor to Apple's own assistant, Siri, and the Google Now programme that runs on Android.
Dominic Sunnebo, global strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: "The finalisation of the Nokia acquisition this Friday guarantees the future of Windows Phone - without Nokia, Windows Phone would not be a viable contender in the global smartphone race.
"Even so, the core challenges remain in place: attracting developers and enticing Android and iOS consumers across. Microsoft is now addressing the 'app issue' head on, with the recently-announced universal Windows apps system - allowing developers to effectively create one app which will work across Mobile, tablet and PC.
"Nokia still has a great global distribution network and a highly skilled consumer-centric marketing team - if Microsoft can build on this with a truly enticing cross-device services offering, then we could well see Windows Phone start to generate serious sales numbers."