no kia

Every major corporation has to fire people at some point. But Microsoft's plan to eliminate 18,000 jobs this year is, to say the least, a big deal. The company announced its plans on a blog post titled "Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture," written by new CEO Satya Nadella. Former Nokia employees will bear the brunt of this downsize, with 12,500 office and factory workers from the Finnish phone giant being laid off.


Microsoft gained approximately 32,000 Nokia employees with the acquisition earlier this year. Estimates placed Microsoft's total number of employees in 2013 at approximately 100,000.

We don't wish to downplay the massive impact of those lost jobs, but this is also a pretty dire harbinger for Nokia's current Android lineup. The Nokia X line of phones runs a heavily-modified version of Android with its own app store, not unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire line. While Nadella didn't say outright that Microsoft/Nokia wouldn't be making any more X phones, it's heavily implied that the next major push for the budget market will be made with the Windows Phone operating system.

The first-party [Nokia] phone portfolio will align to Microsoft’s strategic direction. 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.

Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO and Microsoft's current Vice President of Devices & Services, issued his own letter to all employees. He's equally coy, but it's clear that Microsoft isn't interested in continuing to use a competing platform (even one as highly-modified as Nokia's X phones) when it wants to push Windows instead.

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.

The newly-combined Microsoft phone unit, made of the remnants of the Nokia Smart Devices and Microsoft's Mobile Phones division, will be run by former Nokia VP Smart Devices Jo Harlow. Most of the employees who are being laid off will be notified within six months. Satya Nadella is holding a Q&A session for Microsoft employees tomorrow.

I'm guessing that Nokia's X phones will be a brief footnote in the strange recent history between Microsoft and Nokia, an odd duck in the twilight between the announcement of Nokia's acquisition and its complete absorption. The layoffs aren't a huge surprise, but I don't think anyone was expecting them to be this extensive.

Source: Microsoft

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Christopher Bement

    I'm not sorry to see these poor excuses for phones cease to exist, they add nothing. However, it's always a bad sign when this many people lose their jobs.

  • biff98786

    Not uncommon after an acquisition. Once you buy another company you have 2 of everything. 2 executive teams. 2 HR departments. 2 accounting teams... certainly sucks for the company being acquired, but there's no need for 2 of everything so you have to eliminate the redundancy.

    • barbaracbell

      My Uncle
      Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
      with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • black

    This is embarrassing. This company is at a loss.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Microsoft had a net income of $21.86 billion last year. To say they're "at a loss" is like saying finishing 3rd in the Olympic 100-meter dash makes you a "loser."

      • black

        I was referring to their mobile arm. Use your brain...

        • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário


    • JWort93

      How exactly is the company at a loss? These are job cuts because of redundancy due to the Nokia acquisition, not because they aren't making enough money.

  • Bill Gates

    Microcrap at it again.

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      Respect your own child, sir!

  • Prasad Tiruvalluri

    All those poor guys who bought Nokia X phones..

    • Sqube

      I know, both of them must be pissed as hell right now.

      • dude

        Nah man, not if they're smart enough to put Cyanogen on it.

  • SuperMario7

    Such a shame to see Nokia go out like this, a few years ago when they released the Nokia N8 running a very competent open source OS in the shape of Symbian 3, I thought they'd turn things around, that phone was streets ahead of iphones and pretty much every Android phone at the time from the amazing Karl Zeiss camera to having things like HDMI ports and the ability to hook up a external hard drive directly to your phone and just copy files without any need for a PC

    Shame they wimped out and appointed Elop, and being torn apart by Microsoft


      Nothing can defeat iPhones.

      • Just_Some_Nobody

        Nothing can defeat the superiority complex that iPhone users have.

    • BBXiong

      the real turning point wasn't Symbian, but was Meego. It was so nice to use, and smooth, given the specs it has. If they did not announce the discontinuation of the platform, I bet the phone can easily sell millions.

      • SuperMario7

        Of course I forgot about Meego, I really wanted an N9 back in the day!

  • MarkG54321

    Landfill Windows Phone. Joy....

  • cody

    Windows Phone? nahh, they'll scrap it 3 years from now just like Nokia

  • John Smith

    for anything MS related, I like to read http://minimsft.blogspot.com/

  • DaveTexan

    It is a really sad ending for Nokia. They actually make very nice phones with great cameras. If those phones were running Android they might have been quite competitive against Samsung. The Nokia 710 was a very good free phone I got for my wife. It had a very nice display and free offline GPS... At the time it was really only missing apps. But they keep cutting back the premium features and none of the budget phones has a front camera. Their current budget offering (Lumia 635) has no chance at $119 against LG Optimus F6 at $99 which has more features, Android/Google apps, and a front camera... I read in the news that the Nokia camera designer joined Apple after the Microsoft acquisition...

  • f

    Fuck you, M$.

  • WhyWai

    Sad end for Nokia.. only because their shareholder hired Elop.