Microsoft has concluded plans to kill off the Nokia X range of smartphones running on its in-house fork Android OS. Nokia X was released by the Finnish mobile vendor earlier this year, just before Microsoft signed all documents finalizing the acquisition of Nokia for $7.2 billion.
The completion of the Nokia deal was greatly seen as the end of Nokia Android efforts, but there was a twist as Microsoft announced Nokia X2, the successor to Nokia X last month, fueling speculations that software giant would continue to produce Android phones, which would be in direct competition with its Windows Phones.
However, in a recent development which will see Microsoft cut roughly 18,000 jobs next year, the company announced it would kill off the Nokia Android project. In an email to former Nokia staff, Microsoft devices chief Stephen Elop details the company’s renewed focus on Windows Phone. “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,” says Elop. “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”
This means future Nokia X smartphones would be powered by Windows Phone OS. The company would also be concentrating its efforts in areas where Windows phones are hugely successful. “We will determine each market approach based on local market dynamics, our ability to profitably deliver local variants, current Lumia momentum and the strategic importance of the market to Microsoft,” says Elop. “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.”