Feeds

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Elop explains new, lighter strategy (sort of)

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft's Android phones are the latest casualty of the company's axe. The X range was only launched in February this year, before the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit had been completed, but the mutant 'droids will soon be phased out, says CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is getting rid of up to 18,000 jobs as it digests the former No.1 phone maker. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, executive VP of the Microsoft Devices group, has also shed some light on where the cuts will fall.

"Microsoft knew what they were buying", a Nokia executive told The Register back in February. The X range was intended to supersede the aging Asha Series 40 for developing markets like India, and used cheap hardware based on the Android Open Source Project, AOSP.

Nokia appeared to be deadly serious, launching its own app store and developer programme to accompany the X range. Nokia had also persuaded app developers including Line and BlackBerry to port their apps to the platform, which also featured apps from Microsoft and Nokia's HERE division.

Early reviews were lukewarm, pointing to the cheap display and low RAM in the phones — but the most recent model has a specification capable of running Android well, at a price capable of luring impecunious Western buyers on pay-as-you-go deals to the Stickle Bricks™-coloured gadgets.

So maybe that's why it was shot in a hurry?

CEO Satya Nadella (or a robot jargon-generator speaking on his behalf) explained:

[Warning: Nadellese ahead]

To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences. In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.

Elaborating in an email titled "Hello there", former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop explained that Microsoft will continue to sell low-cost feature phones, but shift production to Hanoi, with some production continuing in Beijing and Dongguan.

The factory that produces X phones in Komárom, Hungary looks doomed. Elop said Microsoft will shift other Microsoft manufacturing and repair operations – to Manaus in Brazil and Reynosa in Mexico respectively.

Microsoft will make R&D cuts (or "ramp down our engineering work") in Finnish city Oulu, Beijing and San Diego.

Many expected Microsoft to look for a buyer for the featurephones division, which still generates considerable cash. But it appears to have decided against this, and to consolidate the operation instead. In any case, a featurephone without the Android X is a lot less attractive than it would have been with it. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.