Microsoft bought up Nokia’s Devices and Services devision last year and we were all envisioning the company entering the smartphone market with a will. But they don’t really seem to know what to do with Windows Phone right now, so they’re going to be downsizing it.
Microsoft has announced redundancies, to the tune of 7,800 jobs, that will affect mostly the folks working the company’s relatively new phone arms as well as a write-off of assets related to their Nokia acquisition. The write-off comes to a total of $7.6 billion, more than the $7.2 billion that Microsoft paid for Nokia in the first place.
That’s bad news for the workers involved but it also means that Windows Phone as a whole is in for changes. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was explicit about this, saying in an email to company employees, “We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem including our first-party device family.” Which sounds to us like less of an internal focus on mobile overall, with third-party companies taking up the slack.
Windows Phone as a first-party manufacturer looks likely to get smaller, but there’s still the promise of handsets coming from Microsoft. They’ll just be fewer in number than we’ve become accustomed to. Nadella said in his email that the company will be working on business, value and flagship phones for future releases. There might be a silver lining here, we’re used to seeing the first two but an actual Windows Phone flagship hasn’t been seen in ages. It might be time for one.