According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Nokia is set to begin discussing the possibility selling its cell phone business to Microsoft. The blogger, who has a proven track record of disseminating accurate intel, says negotiations will begin next week and the results will not immediately be made public. If the two giants do work out a sale, however, it could close before the end of 2011. According to Murtazin, “both companies are in a big hurry.” The idea seems like a bit of a stretch, but some believed Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was brought on board for this very reason — an idea that seemed far fetched at the time. And let’s not forget, Nokia was founded in the 1800s as a paper company and it shifted gears several times before building its first cell phone, so a change in direction would certainly be in line with the company’s heritage.

UPDATE: Nokia spokesman Mark Squires posted the following on Twitter: “We typically don’t comment on rumors. But we have to say that Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.”

[Via Unwired View]

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