So that next firing cycle came today at Microsoft. Lumia is dead, has been dead for years. Nadella knows this. He fired Elop earlier and I told you then, that now its on borrowed time and more layoffs were coming and the new VP will get some time for one last attempt to revive this unit.
So today Microsoft announced 7,800 jobs lost mostly from the ex-Nokia handset business. They also write off $7,6 Billion of their Nokia purchase, nearly all of it in fact. Furthermore, they announce that their previous expectations for the handset business are no longer viable, in other words, that the handset business will continue to struggle and now the expectations of returning to profit next year, is unlikely. And they say they are going to have a more 'effective and focused' in their phone portfolio which is lawyer-speak for 'we will offer less variety in phones'. Will that help sell more, of course not. Nadella just wants the bleeding to stop and this is his way, lets cut off nearly half of the remaining staff, and reduce the phone offering, so the damage of the loss-makng unit will be less severe in coming months, before this unit is shut down.
So, first, my condolences to all ex Nokia staff who will lose jobs from these cuts. And my warning once AGAIN that this is not the end, there will be more cuts to come. And that this unit is already dead, it will be shut down or shifted to Surface or other business at Microsoft. The handset dream at Microsoft is still dead. It cannot be revived. It died in 2011 as first reported on this blog. The root cause for the reason why Windows Phone/Windows 10 can never succeed as a smartphone OS has nothing to do with the iPhone or Android, nothing to dio with apps, nothing to do with phones (the phones are pretty good). It is all dependent on the carriers/operators and the distribution channel which said in 2011 that because Microsoft bought Skype, and Skype is the only existential threat to the mobile telecoms business, the operators will not subsidise their own death..This is what then-Nokia CEO said to Nokia sharehiolders and Nadella knows this is what he hears from all his negotiations with major carriers/operators. The same thing Steve Ballmer heard when he was Microsoft CEO and tried this gambit. The operators do want a third ecosystem but they will never accept Windows Phone (Windows 10). Not because it happens to have (or not have) Skype. Its because MICROSOFT owns Skype. Owns the poison that would kill the telecoms operator business. That is why Windows and Lumia will never succeed in smartphones.
I told you first here on this blog in 2011 when Microsoft bought Skype and Elop told you when he spoke to the Nokia shareholders and it is 100% true. The boycott against Windows smartphones started BEFORE there was any Lumia handsets. It started BEFORE there were Skype apps for Windows Phone. And while Android and iPhone have Skype, its not aimed at phone makers who have Skype. Its aimed at MICROSOFT because MS OWNS Skype. Very clear. And all the handset makers who exiteed Windows Phone have said so in more or less clear terms, as have departed Microsoft Windows Phone execs too.
So now we see the final stage of this sad play. Nadella will give one last chance for someone other than Elop to try, with only a very reduced portoflio of handsets and with far less staff, to try the miracle of turning this business around. And they warn publically not to expect profits for more than a year. And yes, as the losses will continue, this unit will be shut down. Now the clock is ticking... From 12 to 24 months i the time-frame when Microsoft exists the phone manufacturing business. And Windows Phone side of Windows 10, I would not count on much R&D ivolvement on this dead path. The next Windows version (I would suggest it might be called Windows 11) will no longer bother to support handsets, only tablets and PCs...
By the way, a possible shut-down date at Microsoft's remaining phone business might be a little before newly returned real Nokia smartphones on Android start their sales next year, similar to how Elop was fired just before Nokia CEO officially admitted they are coming back to phones..
The sound you heard was the last Windows Phone develoeprs jumping off this sinking ship.