Earlier today, Microsoft announced it is discontinuing the Nokia X Android phone and is also cutting up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Yes, 18,000.
First, the Nokia X. When phone was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, it was a bit of a head scratcher. While some thought it was a strategic move by Microsoft to lure Android users to the Windows Phone UI, apps and services, others speculated Nokia was hedging its Microsoft acquisition bet because the deal was not yet finalized.
When Nokia unveiled the Nokia X in February, it was a bit of a head scratcher. Now, it’s gone.
Well the deal went through April 25. And yet even then, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop talked up Nokia X. This quote, is from PC World:
“Microsoft acquired the mobile phones business, inclusive of Nokia X, to help connect the next billion people to Microsoft’s services,” Elop said then. “Nokia X uses the [Microsoft] cloud, not Google’s. This is a great opportunity to connect new customers to Skype, Outlook.com and OneDrive for the first time. We’ve already seen tens of thousands of new subscribers on [Microsoft] services.”
“What’s clear, however, is that Elop was overruled (by Microsoft) on how to take forward the Nokia X,” wrote PC World’s Mark Hachman.
As for the layoffs, VentureBeat reports nearly 70% of the job cuts will affect ex-Nokia employees: “up significantly from the 1,000 job cuts reported by a Finnish newspaper yesterday (July 16).
Since Microsoft bought the Nokia mobile division, it has inherited 25,000 Nokia employees. Half of those people may soon be jobless.
“As we’ve previously detailed, Microsoft bought the cellular device devision (sic) of Nokia last spring, and since then 25,000 Nokia employees have become Microsoft employees,” wrote VentureBeat’s Harrison Weber. “Of (Microsoft CEO Satya) Nadella’s 18,000 job cuts, ‘Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs,’ he said.
“Nadella said Microsoft plans to add new ‘roles in certain other strategic areas,’ but he made no promises in regard to the number of jobs Microsoft will create.”
But hey, at least Nadella and Elop can go for nice walks on mountainside paths (see above photo).