Microsoft’s brief tenure as an Android phone maker is coming to an end.
As part of the 18,000 job cuts announced by the company today, Microsoft says it will be moving future versions of its fledgling Nokia X product line from Android to Windows Phone — ending the Android project that began inside Nokia prior to the Redmond company’s acquisition of the company’s smartphone business.
“We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone,” writes Microsoft devices chief Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO, in an email to employees. “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.”
He continues, “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.”
The former Nokia business will be particularly hard hit by Microsoft’s layoffs, representing about 12,500 of the jobs to be cut. In his email message, Elop explains how the cuts will impact the former Nokia employees in different geographies.
Our phone engineering efforts are expected to be concentrated in Salo, Finland (for future, high-end Lumia products) and Tampere, Finland (for more affordable devices). We plan to develop the supporting technologies in both locations. We plan to ramp down engineering work in Oulu. While we plan to reduce the engineering in Beijing and San Diego, both sites will continue to have supporting roles, including affordable devices in Beijing and supporting specific US requirements in San Diego. Espoo and Lund are planned to continue to be focused on application software development.