Microsoft continues its struggle to address the problems caused by the takeover of Nokia’s Devices and Service unit with a new round of layoffs scheduled to complete by the end of the year.
Microsoft is also writing off $950 million, $200 million of which will be used for severance payments to employees impacted by this decision.
A total of 1,350 employees who will be laid off are working at Microsoft Mobile in Finland, so they are former Nokia workers who remained with the company after the purchase of Nokia. Another 500 employees worldwide will be impacted too.
Following the Nokia acquisition, Microsoft “welcomed” no less than 25,000 employees, but the company has gradually reduced the workforce with several rounds of layoffs. Originally, the company let go 18,000 employees, approximately 7,800 of them being part of the mobile business, and with today’s announcement, it finally completes the years-long struggle to reorganize following the purchase.
“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation – with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains. “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”
Windows 10 Mobile will live on
Despite the fact that all these decisions seem to point to a dark future for Windows 10 Mobile, the platform will live on, and Microsoft executives claim it still has a key role in the coming years.
The company will retain its sales unit in Finland despite the job cuts, but the focus is now expected to switch to the Surface team headed by Panos Panay and believed to be in charge of Microsoft’s biggest phone project in years.
The Surface Phone, a new project that’s expected to bring the latest in terms of hardware, is likely to land next year running Windows 10 Mobile, and Panay’s team is likely to be the one creating it. Microsoft is thus trying to follow the same path as for the Surface tablet, seeking to create a premium device that would excel in terms of hardware, leaving the rest of the market to partners who can create more affordable models.