While Microsoft’s lack of interest in developing hardware (loosely) based on Android was always obvious, and the end of Nokia’s X experiment predictable, we sure didn’t expect Redmond to pull the plug so soon after the X2 unveil.
The bleakest predictions relating to Microsoft’s unavoidable layoffs came true earlier today, when no less than 18,000 jobs were officially cut. But that wasn’t the only drastic decision Stephen Elop, now Executive Vice President of the tech giant’s Devices & Services unit, had the daunting task to announce.
Nokia’s former CEO tackled the shaky future of the Lumia maker, which MS just acquired, essentially bringing an end to all (unfounded) Android speculation. No, Microsoft isn’t looking to manufacture Lumia products running Google’s highly successful mobile OS, and even the exploratory, peculiar X line is DOA.
Now, current (mad) owners of first-generation X, X+ and XL handhelds needn’t worry, as “existing Nokia X products” will continue to be sold and “supported”. That probably includes the just-introduced-but-not-yet-launched X2 as well, although clearly, you need a good dose of, um, eccentricity to board that particular bandwagon now.
What’s odd is Elop seems to suggest the X branding isn’t going anywhere. Not anytime soon at least, as “select future Nokia X designs and products” will be shifted to Windows Phone. Wait, “select designs”? So are you ditching Android altogether or not? Ugh, how I hate evasive business talk.
And the exec doesn’t stop there with his confusing, vague babble. First, he says Nokiasoft, aka Microkia plans to “drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments”, which makes perfect sense given the low-cost Lumia 520’s raging success.
But then he lays out a plan “to win in the higher price segments” too, claiming “we will focus on delivering great breakthrough products” There’s nothing wrong with aiming high in two distinct market niches, however you can’t say you’ll “focus” on two very different things when you literally just fired 18,000 people.