Earlier today we reported on the earth shattering news that Microsoft has acquired Nokia’s core phone business for $7.17 billion. This means that other manufacturers that make Windows Phone devices are now in direct competition with the very company that provides them with software. Microsoft has already confirmed that it will continue to license Windows Phone to other manufacturers, it won’t make the platform exclusive to Nokia devices. However, one may think that manufacturers might not be too pumped about this deal. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that their feelings are actually on the contrary. In a conference call with journalists and analysts, Ballmer said that OEMs, industry term for manufacturers, are more “enthusiastic” today than they were yesterday about their investment in the platform.

Ballmer added that this acquisition “grows the OEM opportunity.” He also said that he has talked to a number of OEMs, though he didn’t specifically name any manufacturer. This isn’t an unusual deal by any margin, or one that might probably put off manufacturers. Google entered the hardware business with its acquisition of Motorola, but it has gone a long way to separate its software and hardware divisions. Other Android OEMs don’t seem to be worried about that alliance, which produced its first smartphone last month. It would make sense if Microsoft hoped to see the same reaction from Windows Phone OEMs.

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