Microsoft has announced that it will be killing off Nokia’s Android handset efforts, ending a lot of speculation about Redmond’s plans as regards Google’s mobile OS.
The news came in an email Stephen Elop, EVP of Microsoft Devices Group, sent to employees which noted a new focus on affordable smartphones with Windows Phone, not Android, powering them.
Elop wrote: “We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.”
“In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”
So there you have it – Nokia X handsets have been “shifted” off the map in favour of budget Lumia phones, and this comes into effect straight away.
It’s what many people figured would happen when Microsoft absorbed Nokia, anyway – it has just taken a little while. When the Nokia X2 launched, though, the assumption was this was a path Redmond was going to continue to tread.
Clearly not any more. It’s Windows Phone, all-in…
There will be major ramifications for jobs at Redmond, too, and Nokia employees are expected to account for 12,500 job losses – the majority of the cull of 18,000 which Microsoft is to make over the next year.