Microsoft Downsizes, Kills off Nokia X
Microsoft today announced a sweeping company-wide re-organization that includes major changes to the mobile device business acquired from Nokia. Of Microsoft's 18,000 layoffs today, 12,500 are within the former Nokia units. Microsoft will combine the smartphone and feature phone units, with the feature phone operations continuing "for maximum efficiency with a smaller team." Nokia's Android-based Nokia X lineup will be abandoned. Select future models will be reworked to run Windows Phone to address new low price points for Lumia. Existing Nokia X phones will be supported, but the software will not appear in any new phones. The company will focus primarily on Windows-Phone-powered Lumia phones, and tablets. In an open email to employees, Stephen Elop explained that "the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia. Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft’s overall strategy."
Microsoft's Jo Harlow to Depart, Too
Microsoft has confirmed that Jo Harlow, head of the company's mobile phones, will leave alongside device chief Stephen Elop in the weeks ahead. Harlow began at Nokia in 2003 and played a role in Nokia's switch to Windows Phone in 2011.
Microsoft Refreshes the Nokia 105
Microsoft today announced a new version of the Nokia 105, its entry-level feature phone. The Nokia 105 is a bar-style device with a physical keypad and 1.45-inch LCD display.
Nokia Will Design and License Phones Beginning In 2016
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said the company will tackle the mobile phone industry again once its non-compete clause with Microsoft expires next year. Nokia no longer owns any manufacturing facilities and will not make its own phones.
Microsoft Prepared to Cut More Jobs
Microsoft is planning to announce a new round of layoffs as early as today, reports the New York Times. Many of the cuts will target employees in Microsoft's hardware group, such as the smartphone unit it bought from Nokia in 2014.