Microsoft’s smartphone business looks like it’s hit the final nail in Nokia’s coffin, with the tech behemoth cutting down over 1850 jobs. Over 1350 of those affected are located in Finland while the other 500 are scattered across the world.
It’s a colossal loss for Microsoft since it’s being forced to cough up a whopping $950 million for impairment and restructuring charges, $200 million of which is just for severance payments. CEO Satya Nadella is still trying to maintain a strong front even in the face of collapse, declaring that the company will continue to focus on its phone efforts.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition started out in 2013 when it paid $7.2 billion to own the beleaguered company’s Devices and Services business. It was later forced to write off $7.6 billion in impairment charges after laying off over 7800 jobs in July last year.
Microsoft seems like it’s in damage control mode now, selling off its feature phone business to FIH Mobile, a Foxconn subsidiary, for $350 million last week. The main headline here is the fact that the company is attempting to streamline its handset division to the basics. Reading between the lines, it’s probably going to focus on stepping up its enterprise and cross-platform app game.
It’s not all bad news though, since the new restructuring may just give rise to the much-awaited Surface Phone which Microsoft fans have been waiting an eternity for. One of the key appeals of Windows 10 is its seamless support for a wide range of platforms, something which businesses can conveniently leverage through tools like Continuum which transform smartphones into mini computers.
A Surface Phone may offer that and more. There’s still no official acknowledgment on the existence of the phone on Microsoft’s side though, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether the handset will manage to rise out of the ashes and be the phoenix the company hopes it could be.