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Microsoft cuts 1,850 mobile staff signaling the end of Lumia phones

The rollercoaster ride that saw Microsoft acquire Nokia has come to an abrupt end, and around 1850 former Nokians are about to be tossed clear from the train.

Of those workers, 1,350 are currently working in Nokia’s home country of Finland. A further 500 jobs will be cut at other locations around the globe, but Microsoft didn’t specify where. With these latest layoffs, Microsoft will have shed nearly 10,000 employees in the wake of the Nokia acquisition.

That human cost comes on top of $7.5 billion in writedowns last year and another $950 million this year. In case you can’t recall how much Microsoft spent to buy Nokia, it was $7.2 billion, and it’s only been two years since they did it. In that time, they’ve watched their share of the global mobile phone market shrink to less than one percent, according to recent estimates.

On a positive note, they did manage to offload Nokia’s featurephone business to Foxconn a little while ago for a cool $350 million… so they can at least claim that as a victory, however small.

While they’re done making Lumia phones and will be scaling things back, Microsoft is quick to point out that they’re not ready to to give up on smartphones. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement that Microsoft will be “focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation.”

VP of the Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson stated in an memo sent out to Microsoft employees that they are “scaling back, but we’re not out!” Myerson also echoed Nadella’s comment, saying that Microsoft “needs to be more focused.”

That could mean they’re finally getting close to launching a Surface phone. Let’s hope that goes better for them than the whole Nokia thing did. It couldn’t possibly go much worse, right?

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