Following the end of the deal Microsoft had with Nokia, it seems the tech company is taking its hands off mobile. On Wednesday Microsoft announced that it would let go up to 1,850 employees, “scaling back” its involvement in mobile hardware, a Finnish union also said the company is ceasing to design and manufacture mobile phones entirely.
“Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs,” it said in a statement, adding 1,350 of those jobs would be eliminated in Finland where its smartphones have been designed. The other 500 jobs will be cut “globally”, it added.
Last week, a study indicated Windows-powered handsets accounted for less than 1% of global smartphone sales over the first three months of the year, clearly the smartphone market is highly competitive such that Microsoft is finding it difficult to keep up. According to Microsoft, this move would result in “an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million” (852.6 million euros) for the company.
It is important to note that Microsoft isn’t letting go of its mobile division completely, well, in practical it is, but technically speaking, it isn’t, the company intends to focus its efforts primarily at enterprise users, when asked if the company was fully halting its smartphone production, a spokesperson for Microsoft said: “We will continue to develop new devices and adapt Windows 10 for small screens, support Lumia Phones such as the Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL, and phones from our OEM hardware partners like Acer, Alcatel, HP, Trinity and Vaio”.
Kalle Kiili, Microsoft’s chief shop steward in Finland, informed AFP that the decision means Microsoft will no longer design or manufacture phones, but will continue on its software division. Microsoft had called up all its employees in Finland to hear the news, Kiili said the news left the crowd “silent”.
We had rumours that something would happen but not that everything would go
Although the Lumia 950 and 950XL are still on sale, they may be the last consumer-focused devices of their type seen from Microsoft. Where then does that leave the much anticipated Surface Phone? You tell me 😉
Microsoft Corporation, founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates on April 4th 1975, is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services. It is the world’s largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world’s most valuable companies. It’s product the Microsoft Lumia is a range of mobile devices designed and marketed by Microsoft Mobile division, it was introduced in November 2011, the line was the result of a long-term partnership between Nokia and Microsoft—as such, all Lumia smartphones run the Windows Phone operating system. The Lumia name is derived from the partitive plural form of the Finnish word lumi, which means “snow”.