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Satya Nadella still 'committed' to Microsoft's phone business despite layoffs

Following Microsoft's official announcement that it will lay off 7,800 more members of its workforce in the next year, mostly in its phone division, the company has now published an email sent by CEO Satya Nadella to his employees that offers additional details on those plans.

Most of these new layoffs will come from Microsoft's phone division, and the company will also take a one-time write down charge of $7.6 billion related to its 2014 acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services division. Despite these moves, Nadella claims that he is "committed to our first-party devices including phones". However, he added that Microsoft will switch its strategy from a stand-alone phone business to one that will "create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family." Apart from Microsoft's Lumia smartphones, other OEMs that have recently launched Windows Phone devices include LG and Acer.

The full email Nadella sent to employees is below:

Team,

Over the past few weeks, I've shared with you our mission, strategy, structure and culture. Today, I want to discuss our plans to focus our talent and investments in areas where we have differentiation and potential for growth, as well as how we'll partner to drive better scale and results. In all we do, we will take a long-term view and build deep technical capability that allows us to innovate in the future.

With that context, I want to update you on decisions impacting our phone business and share more on last week's mapping and display advertising announcements.

We anticipate that these changes, in addition to other headcount alignment changes, will result in the reduction of up to 7,800 positions globally, primarily in our phone business. We expect that the reductions will take place over the next several months.

I don't take changes in plans like these lightly, given that they affect the lives of people who have made an impact at Microsoft. We are deeply committed to helping our team members through these transitions.

Phones. Today, we announced a fundamental restructuring of our phone business. As a result, the company will take an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately $750 million to $850 million.

I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.

In the near term, we will run a more effective phone portfolio, with better products and speed to market given the recently formed Windows and Devices Group. We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments where we can make unique contributions and where we can differentiate through the combination of our hardware and software. We'll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they'll love.

In the longer term, Microsoft devices will spark innovation, create new categories and generate opportunity for the Windows ecosystem more broadly. Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones.

Mapping. Last week, we announced changes to our mapping business and transferred some of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber. We will continue to source base mapping data and imagery from partners. This allows us to focus our efforts on delivering great map products such as Bing Maps, Maps app for Windows and our Bing Maps for Enterprise APIs.

Advertising. We also announced our decision to sharpen our focus in advertising platform technology and concentrate on search, while we partner with AOL and AppNexus for display. Bing will now power search and search advertising across the AOL portfolio of sites, in addition to the partnerships we already have with Yahoo!, Amazon and Apple. Concentrating on search will help us further accelerate the progress we've been making over the past six years. Last year Bing grew to 20 percent query share in the U.S. while growing our search advertising revenue 28 percent over the past 12 months. We view search technology as core to our efforts spanning Bing.com, Cortana, Office 365, Windows 10 and Azure services.

I deeply appreciate all of the ideas and hard work of everyone involved in these businesses, and I want to reiterate my commitment to helping each individual impacted.

I know many of you have questions about these changes. I will host an employee Q&A tomorrow to share more, and I hope you can join me.

Satya

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

247 Comments
  • I didn't understand anything.
  • Phones go on.  Sell lots of cheap ones, make flagships, bring new ones to market quicker.  BUT, try also to have other manufacturers sell more.
  • He doesn't actually say all that. Read again, he uses the word "experiences" for productivity and "services" for the value customers. He only mentions phones/hardware for fanboys. Hmm. Will the new flagships just be one-offs to appease the fanboys? I never understand what this guy is saying...
  • Ok, I am not a Nedella translator, but I think I may be hearing this... We're going to make specialty and highend devices, like Surface, but it sounds like he may be opening the doors to OEMs to fill some of the Nokia gap.  Not a bad idea if the OEMs step up.     
  • yes he does. Paragraph 6 "I am committed to our first-party devices including phones". Paragraph 7 he says that they are narrowing the focus the 3 segments, value, business, windows fans. Value gives basic phone that meet people's communication needs. Business meets business need of security and device management. windows fans meets their need for a flagship. Paragraph 8 says they will have better speed to market. So you see, he does say what realwarder stated.
  • I hope you're right.
  • I guess we wont know for sure until we hear from Paul Thurrott's and MJ Foley's "sources" today on Windows Weekly.
  • What do you mean "I hope you're right"?  It's right there in his email for all to read. That is exactly what he says.  How much clearer does it need to be?
  • I don't understand why he says "narrowing focus to three segments." What segments were they targeting BEFORE the restructuring? The same ones, basically.
  • I think it means they'll have less models out there, which will be a good thing. The number of Lumia models available is creating confusion
  •   The strategy before was "let's put out a whole bunch of phones with different features and price point combinations. Maybe we'll get a diamond in the rough and have huge sales".  Now, it's "Here are 2 value phones for emerging markets, pre-paid, and entry level smart phones.  Here are 2 phones that'll have a different windows mobile sku and work really well with our mdm solutions and in your business.  Affordable, durable, and business minded.  Here are 2 phones that are expensive, but have some awesome unique features and keep our enthusiasts reminded why we can create the best hardware." I think the focus will help them long term.  I mean, I still can't tell you about the 535 vs. 540 or 635 vs. 640 without looking it up. And that is crazy.  
  • Lets be frank. They were trying to please only the regular consumers. Neither the fans nor the business people were pleased with recent devices (except for the 640xl)
  • "In the longer term, ..........Our reinvention will be centered on creating mobility of experiences across the entire device family including phones"  That means Lumia will stay for the long haul. Actually, MS did what they have to do.  They are cleaning up the mess in the phone division by streamlining the product lines, outsourcing some manufacturing(?), focusing on W10 ecosystem and writing off Nokia purchase.  W10M phone is virtually becoming pocket W10 PC with cell capability instead of standalone phones.  The flagships should definitely include L1040 which provides differentiation. 
  • Microsoft is going to stop selling 20 Lumia models and just sell three: One will be focused on their Value customers (will be cheap). One will be focused on their Business customers (will have all the control businesses want and will be more rugged) One will be focused on their Flagship customers, us (will have all the new features)  
  • This would be a wise strategy but I don't see any commitment to paring down the Lumia line to 3 models in this announcement!
  • "We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments where we can make unique contributions and where we can differentiate through the combination of our hardware and software. We'll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they'll love."
  • "segments" =/= "models" See: Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL
  • While there is no way of knowing exactly if it will be 3 or 4 or 5 products, reducing your use cases makes it way easier to build high end products for them.  Its a good engineering strategy.  Basically, our 3 best customers were 1, 2, 3.  Lets stick with those and leave the rest to the wolves. Basically cherry picking.  Their focus this next year should be business TBH.  They have a huge opportunity to bring all the W7 people to W10 and provide a mobile device to go along with their OEMs new PCs.  The mobile versions of office, onedrive, Skype for business...  A lot of large companies are waiting to upgrade their OS' and MS would probably love to provide them with a single ecosystem solution that works perfectly via continuum with all hardware.  Surface Hubs would also be a great addition to the hardware line for some companies.
  • "We plan to narrow our focus to three customer segments..." It makes sense to release one model each (maybe two if they release an XL version as well). Yes, I know I am conjecturing. Honestly, it also makes sense when you consider their other products: Surface, Surface Pro, Surface Hub
    Windows Home, Windows Pro, Windows Enterprise So I predict:
    Lumia, Lumia Pro, Lumia Business
  • This man deserves a cookie
  • +1520.3
    Kinda makes sense.
  • Best translation of the long letter I've seen so far... Well done
  •   I actually think we'll see Lumia, Surface, Surface Pro?  Or even a better possibility long term if Intel can get it together.  Lumia, Lumia Pro, Surface, Surface Pro.   
  • It's not 3 models. It's 3 segments. That should mean less budget phones and more phones geared toward business and at least one true  flagship. I'm hoping that the flagships phone have 2 phones, the performance model 9xx and photo model 10xx .
  • I'm hoping that they produce an actual flagship instead of this 940xl crap we keep hearing about. Hopefully the 940 and 940xl are the low and business grade phones. Microsoft needs to set a standard, not tag along.
  • Thank you! I am with you on that one. This whole numbering system doesn't create flagships, it creates "just another duck in the pond".
  • One model 940/940xl(same phone different size) only equal one device segment. So cannot service business and low end customers.
  • If you don't see the commitment to paring down the Lumia line to three lines in this announcement, then clearly you didn't read the announcement.
  • That would make so much sense.
  • That's some creative interpretation there. How about reading what he said: "We'll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need..." This sounds more like backend services and software, not a phone per say. "...value phone buyers the communications services they want..." Skype, anyone? "...and Windows fans the flagship devices they'll love." Ah, yes. They will, in fact, release a feature phone... And THEN they'll turn off the lights.
  • Not all that creative. Almost every non-fanboy news site I've visited has interpreted it the same way: Microsoft will build three different types of devices. ZDNET has also interpreted it the same way.
  • Yeah, that's how I'm sadly reading it too. He really only talks about hardware for the last one. The other two are "experiences" and "services" which sound like software. The word "short -term" scares me as well. It sounds like he's saying, "We'll give you one more phone, but that's not our long-term strategy." I could be wrong, but it's hard to be optimistic at this point.
  • Personally, I interpreted the "short term" statement differently; rather tha implying that this is the "end of the road", I read it as "for now, 3 segments, niche devices (i.e. 1020 successor) will be reconsidered later on". In a nutshell, my interpretation was that for the short term, they will focus on strengthening 3 core segments, then broaden later on.
  • You're interpretation is quite creative as well. The paragraph right before that states "I am committed to our first-party devices including phones?". For business, those backend services need to run on a phone. They might be able to work on android. Will iphone allow 3rd party software to manage the iphone, limit which apps can be installed, and control the security? So, windows fan will love a feature phone?  They writing off the nokia investment. If they wanted to wind down the phone division, right now would be a good time to announce it. He is reaffirming Microsoft's committment to first party devices.
  • I don't think that's what he meant. I think he was referring to cutting down on the number of device models by having them categorized in three distinct flavours. Perhaps they're finally abolishing the carrier exlcusive models? Maybe moving to more of an iPhone stategy? 
  • That's exactly how I read it.  Small model choices = easier, quicker (and hopefully), more stable upgrades.  
  • I don't see what you're saying in Nadella's comments. If I was to look into the proverbial "crystal ball", I would see the following: 1) Low-end Nokia phones (the 4XX and 5XX series) that sell well in parts of the world where people simply can't afford higher-end phones (also, in Wal-Mart in the US); 2) Business-level phones, such as the 6XX and 8XX series, that will focus on managemnt and security issues; and 3) Enthusiast phones, such as the 9XX series. What I think you're going to see is a decrease in the amount of advertising and marketing of these phones, as Mr. Nadella is NOT going to go after large market share of these devices.  Microsoft, instead, will continue to court the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony, and the dozens of other brands to make Windows Phones to compete against Android.  For the short run, at least, Microsoft has thrown in the towel against Apple. Lastly, I think the amount of hardware research and development for future phones will drop dramatically (not the phone coming out in the next 6 months, but the next 18 months), unless Microsoft somehow hits a home run with one of their phone models (the Lumia 640XL could have been that model, but it will never be marketed to test it). That's my opinion and, if you disagree, that's cool...
  • I kind of agree with your interpretation of his statement or your outlook. I think he is going for a similar business model that Blackberry has transitioned to, as far as hardware, inorder to lower cost/risks, yet promote and put emphasis on their software and services;   1) Remaining in the hardware business by continuing  to sell the low end Lumias where they sell just enough, mostly in emerging markets and to budget conscious consumers. (like Blackberry Z3) 2) Continue to serve the business sector with mobile apps and services (cross platform) and possibly a device such as a Lumia phablet, but it would be a device for a niche market, not expected to sell a lot. Its purpose would serve to interlink business consumers to Microsoft services and products. (Like Blackberry's transition to software and services and business devices like Blackberry Classic) 3) High-End models for the fanboys, another niche market that is probably not expected to sell a lot, but helps to keep the brand relevant and current and fans/supporters enthused and engaged. (Like Blackberry Passport) Before these new layoffs were announced, there have been recent rumors that Microsoft was going to kill Windows Phone, so, I think there was a little truth in the rumor, although I think Windows Phone will be around, but serving more a niche market that serves to promote and sell their Windows 10 services and products. But, I hope I'm wrong and it gains market share, but it doesn't sound like a lot of advertising money, effort and promotion will be put into making these new devices bigger than just niche devices that are apart of the Windows 10 ecosystem.   All of that to say, that I think he is saying that the hardware business will remain, but with a different purpose and expectation. It will no longer have the goal of competing with IOS and Android, but just like the Surface line, a tool to lock  in consumers into their ecosystem, products and services, nothing more, nothing less.
  • If that is indeed true. It should be a good choice. Take for example iPhones come in two versions, and Samsung has been doing the same. GS6, 6Edge and Active. Just saying.
  • The business segment is a little strange, I would expect all phones to have that security since it's the same OS. I'll wait and see what devices they actually sell in the future 
  • I think Microsoft will sell 3 models of each 3 catgories CEO Nedella spoke about. There will be 9 models of Windows 10 smart phones. some of the current Microsoft brand Lumia budget smart phones will survive. 3 New Flagship Microsoft brand Lumia smart phones will launch in this fall      
  • He's a clown
  • No, clowns are funny.
  • You can't read?
  • Microsoft Mobile, as expected, is dead. Future Windows Phones will come from the same place as the Surface and the Microsoft Band and the time of endless Lumias is over with future portfolios being much smaller and focused on specific segments. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @DJCBS
    That's a good thing. WP future is much brighter now.
  • Yes that is a good thing, produce phones in line with Surface models and the mess created by Nokia is sorted Those who claim Nokia would have succeeded on its own does not seem feasible when you look at Sony's current position where they are more diversified but potentially stopping production of phones. So Microsoft and Nokia made the correct decision here. Nokia can continue in business and the new Lumia segments will be successful for Microsoft.
  • If it's only sold in limited market (just like Surface and MS Band), then screw about this plan. MS will left a crater of windows phone user in some market. Oh yeah, OEM will fill in that blackhole, but hey....what OEM? No one is making serious WP but Microsoft.
  • There's still over 20k old-Nokia employees I think (45k initially)
  • 25000 moved to Microsoft. 12500 were already fired in the "first round". Now another 7800.
  • You're right, I had remembered wrong.
  • Well done!!!
    Clear Nokia mess and start afresh. That's the way forward.
    Nokia deal was an expensive mistake.
    Surface needed good few years to get it right. Next is Windows Phone devision . In couple of years WP will have 8-10% market share (as in Europe now). I am optimistic.
  • I dont know if I would say it was a mistake. It was an expensive neccessity if they wanted to keep WP going. The other OEMs were ignoring WP, or worse, making junk. MS needed its own manufacturing and distribution capability. They just didnt need to be as massive as Nokia. If Nokia had continued, I think they would have had to have scaled WAY back as well. If MS had not bought Nokia they would have had 2 choices. Kill WP completely, or start your own global manufacturing and distribution channels from scratch. The latter might have been cheaper, but probably not faster.
  • Essentially: a) they had too many people doing similar jobs since the Nokia purchase, had to let a bunch of people go b) they had too many phone models, from now on there'll be 3: entry, flagship and business That's all.
  • Look at the Surface line. They arent trying to be a PC OEM with that product line. They focus on innovation and creating inspiring ideas to encourage OEMs to step up their game. They bought Nokia, a massive phone OEM. It was a defensive move of sorts because no one else was taking WP seriously. Now, they are saying, we cant keep trying to be Nokia, the massive handset hardware company, we are scaling back to something more like what the Surface line is to the PC OEM market. They will proably keep their best designers, engineers etc, but they wont keep making 18 different budget phones for every individual market. I think the hope is also to also give room for OEMs to start making Windows devices. If MS is flooding the market with so many devices, why would Samsung or others want to step in?
  • I believe that's exactly right.
     
  • If you didn't understand, then Satya was successful.
  • I'm just surprised there are 7800 people working on phones, and this is all they can deliver.
  • Most of those people are on the production line and have nothing to do with design.
  • Watching the man speak is boring, reading his email is even more boring.
  • You have to know how to speak corporate PR as well as well as the dialects of vagueness and PC. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sounded a lot like limited inventories of value phones and a few Flagship devices to keep the fan-base happy in the short term.  From there, push the hardware expectation (ecosystem) to players like Samsung, HTC, Acer, etc.  Same as they do with the Tablets and PCs. As long as we see a Flagship in the fall with W10M, I am fine with looking at devices from Samsung and others in 2016 and 2017 - even if they are just copies of Android devices running W10M.  In short, I wouldn't turn away from a Samsung Note sort of device with Edge, a good processor and lots of RAM running W10M.  After all, if Nadella pulled the plug today, what else would we be looking at?
  • Streamlining the business model. Not just focusing on phones but on devices capable of running and taking advantage of Windows 10. How many Lumia devices are there, 20 plus? Make sense to rationalize the workforce if you're only making fewer lines of phone model.
  • I care more for the people that got fired......... :'(
  • Maybe most probably those got fired is from factory site..
  • Layoff is not bad. Firing is. This only tells the new employer that the employee services were not needed to run that business anymore.
  • Layed off is different than fired. Layed off employees are elegible for a severence package and I hear MS has a good serverence packages. Plus it looks really good to other employers that you worked at MS. So I'm sure those employess will still have bright futures ahead of them.
  • Well 7800 employess are official employees of microsoft which might get some benifits. But there are many contractors that microsoft works with and each of them with many employess that they specifically hired for their microsoft assigned projects, they will lose their jobs and they are not part 7800 figure. But on the bright side, we know something for sure: microsoft witll be in your hands, on your desk, on your wrist and in your living room and soon on your eyes.
  • Best comment of the day. Thank you. Though they're not being fired.
  • :/
  • And I'm willing to bet that those cuts are coming from low-wage factory workers and not important Lumia design/software teams. I'm going to be one of those outliers and say that this is a good idea. Microsoft controls 97% of the Windows Phone market. That's extreme. They have tons of OEMs signed to make WP devices and Microsoft is killing their own supporters. Microsoft needs to withdraw from the low-end market. Maybe not completely but enough so that there's room for OEMs to breath. They need to (and apparently are) slim up the Lumia line. Nokia started it by releasing an unnecessary range of devices which left Microsoft with a huge mess. Hopefully Microsoft is done with that line of thinking.
  • I think the majority would agree with you that this is a good idea. Nokia depended on selling phones, MS doesn't. They'll make the software, which is what they do, and make a couple or 3 phone models, leaving the rest to OEMs. They're replicating their pc business model, basically. Which is a great thing.
  • Unfortunately the OEM's dont exactly have a good track record with thier WP offerings. The two models quoted in the article are the same low end dross thats doing nothing for the platform, unlike the PC business phone OEM's already have a successful platform, android. I dont see them changing their attitude towards Microsoft's platform when the same issues still plague it.
  • Which is precisely the point. Why bother designing, manufacturing and selling phones if you're going to be crushed by the manufacturer of the very operating system that you designing for?
  • @thefman, but an important difference with phones is that a phone an OEM makes for Android can also be a Windows phone with minimal additional effort. Not no effort or no cost, so some won't bother, and there's still the question of distribution taking the extra models, but on net, the arguments for an OEM to offer at least a Windows Phone version of their Android phones are solid. So if MS makes the example and flagship phones to generate buzz and provide examples for the OEMs, then leaves the lower-priced part of the market to the OEMs, that's a win for everyone. If/as Windows Phone gains market share, hopefully there will also be some OEM Windows Phones that are not just repurposed Android, but to your point, that probably won't happen until the market is there.
  • Not to mention that techinicaly microsoft makes Asha (cheap android phone) and those pay as you go $20 Nokia phones which they are getting rid of and limiting their phone manufacturing to Lumia.
  • I disagree with you heycori , I suggest working on it's own is way better , it controls 97% and that's insane in one OS , so reaching a 100% is better IMO
  • Sounds like the same old same old. Are they finally going to support features on windows phone at the same time that they do on iOS and Android? if not, then I doubt anybody will pick windows phone again seeing as how the best MS experience is on non windows platforms.
  • I understand what you mean. I think that MS was waiting for Windows 10 to add the same features that are on IOS and Android. I think once Windows 10 is available we will see feature parity when it comes to MS products.
  • We wish, don't we. Lets hope that actually happens.
  • WP isn't really missing many features from iOS or Android. It's the apps that are problematic. That's not entirely up to MS, hopefully all this app porting will spark some development this fall (full disclosure: after 4 years with WP I'm switching to Android this fall)
  • Lousy timing to switch to Android.  Don't you at least want to try W10M first?
  • I would still choose Windows mobile.  Keep in mind that they have been working towards creating Windows 10.  MS is focusing their resources there instead of 8.  For example, the iOS office apps are better than Windows Phone 8.  Once 10 comes out thenthe Windows mobile version will be leaps and bounds better because it is running the full desktop version of Office on a mobile device.
  • This is very true. If you have Technical Preview goto the Beta Store and download the new office apps. They are worlds ahead of iOS and Android.
  • Take in mind, that all the core apps where attached to the OS in previews version, now with wm10 the are apps and can be updated individually from the OS as they can be on android and IOS, so seeing from that perspective, they have more control about the development of the apps without rewrite the whole OS, Deus! Even the store app can be updated itself.
  • Tightening the focus is a good thing. I do feel for the people being laid off though, I've been through that and it's rough.
  • All he pretty much said today was Microsoft paid way too much for the failed Nokia experiment, and that they concede. Men and brethern, the future for WP looks very cloudy.
  • Did you read the letter?! They have too many employees in redundant positions in mobile! The CEO just acknowledged and assuaged all our Lumia fears as best as words could, and people are still angry and afraid. This NEEDS to happen! They're firing the teams that have been making redundant low ends!
  • Cleary you didn't read the letter.
  • I did in fact read the letter and from a strictly business aspect (no sentiments attached), he's saying that they're writing off ~7 billion dollars from the purchase. If you think these "redundant employees" are solely responsible for this, you clearly have no idea how businesses operate.
  • Yeah, you can see it through clearly if no emotions attached. As MS fanboy, I just hope for a sunny morrow after this sandstorm.
  • As I said before, I expect fewer handsets with better quality and commitment (like the Surface Team). But I think they'll still try one more time with Windows 10 Mobile and Terry Myerson in charge, if this doesn't work ... then yes, dead Lumia.
  • That's the point: Are Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore capable of leading the Windows phone and hardware across the whole Windows devices?
  • No. They both need to be canned!
  • I think the problem is mainly marketing strategy. If they don't improve it, W10M has a dim future.
  • I'm not worried. I'll be rolling with Windows Phone till the tires fall off.
  • I was on the webOS Titanic playing with my Pre 3 next to the violin players. I'll be here until Microsoft pulls the plug.
  • I'll be rolling right behind you, enjoying the ride. Here's to good tires.
  • While fixing your tires, I'll be waiving my iPhone as I drive by..
  • The consummate Judas Iscariot.
  • First, there is no universe where I believe what Nadella says.  Second, I have zero confidence in his competence.  Nokia should never have sold.  Microsoft has lowered the standard, and has created nothing but sub-par devices.  I'm convinced if Nokia had held onto the devices division we'd STILL be seeing REAL flagship devices unfettered by the idiotic decisions Nadella has made.  I don't consider the two rumored devices coming out later to be true flagships, and I don't believe we'll ever see another flagship.  We MIGHT see a high-end device or two, but not a device that clearly outsteps the competition.  I believe we are seeing the end of Windows Phone.
  • Well, keep believing that then :)  I'm sure there is no point trying to convince you otherwise. 
  • You do realize that Nadella never wanted Nokia, right? Most of what you're complaining about happened under Ballmer
  • Can someone please explain to me what a flagship is then. How is an octacore processor, 5.7 inch 4k screen, 20mp pureview camera, with SD card support not a flagship?!! Even the lower hexacore is a damn flagship. How many octacore phones are you sporting right now? Look I'm as disappointed as anyone with MS over the past year or so, I think they are a bunch of idiots. But it boggles my mind how people say those specs are not a flagship.
  • Those are flagships.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
  • I know the knee-jerk reaction to this is to be negative, but I beleive that there are certain assumtions you are making that are just wrong.   Nadella was opposed to buying Nokia, but eventually gave in.  I can see the reason that Satya didn't want to take this on, but I also see why Ballmer had to do something to salvage their main WP manufacturer. Nokia was on the Verge of moving to Android, and chances are that it would have resulted in WP becoming a second class citzen with yet another OEM.  I also would not have been surprised if Google stepped in and bought them just to cripple MS' phone efforts further. That being said, nobody owns their own manufacturing plants anymore.  It's an old school philosophy from an old school company.  Don't get me wrong, I love the quality of Nokia devices and I appreciate that they were made in-house, but that doesn't take away from the fact that iPhones are impecible devices made by Foxconn. Also bear in mind that Nokia is the reason that there are low-end "sub-par" WP devices.  When WP 7 launched there were minimum specs that were impossed that Nokia thought were too costly.  They forced MS to agree to tweak their OS to work on lower end devices so that they could replace Symbian phones in developing nations.  That was honestly a good move since that is the only area seeing growth, but it still it did lower the value of the brand. Satya has made one thing clear, he wants MS to grow on their strengths which are Software and Services.  The hardware simply showcases the underlying software, so beyond reference devices why compete in an area that is not your core compentency? Look at Surface Pro 3... it took a few iterations to get it right, but it shows what MS software is capable of.  Yes the hardware is awesome, but clicking the pen to open One Note is what makes it shine.  The touch friendly OS is allowed to be front and center, and that is the type of thinking that is being applied to phones (I hope) At this point you can't only offer flagship devices since so many people rely on low end Lumia's, but by minimizing the product line you can offer the best in class low, mid, and high end devices.  The low will fill the space of the 52X, the mid I would assume is the 640 line and the high end will have the cameras, continumm and facial recognition that truly showcase what the OS can do. Will this save Windows Phone Mobile?  Time will tell, but right now it can't be called a bad move.  Trust me, I don't want to be forced to move to iOS or Android, but I also know that MS has to do what's right in the long run.  If the time comes is 1-2 years that the phone OS is axed, I would be bummed, but I know that their apps and services will live on on any device I pick up, and that is the goal after all.
  • Doom and gloom... The other motto of WC. What would you do differently? Nadella is cleaning up every mess at MS one by one, and given everything on the table at this point, things are looking more optimistic than ever. Maybe you're not sold on his strategy so far, but I'll bet you every penny to my name that there is at least one flagship windows mobile device available within 12 months, it's not even debatable at this point.
  • That's the whole idea behind parallel universes--somewhere there is a universe where Nadella says exactly what you want him to say and is truthful in doing so.  Nice dramatic effect, though.
  • A flagship doesn't necessarily have to be the best device in the world.  Only the best device in the lineup.  
  • Go home. We'll see what we see and if that's it, we'll go down fighting the good fight. Its what men do. When its all said and done, that stripe on your back carnival barker, will still be yellow.
  • I hope this means less wasting time with cheap phones
  • I Hope too
  • Don't count on it. Microsoft's strategy may just be to double-down on cheap, low-end Lumias that are (barely) capable of running Windows 10 apps in a desperate attempt to grab market share in developing countries.
  • A very large %age of the world's population can benefit and afford these so-called cheap phones.  A much smaller %age are able to afford the high-end devices.  Why not develop and sell both?
  • But wp fans been glorifying on these low crap. Nadella gonna make them cry.
  • So...fewer low budget phones over saturating the market and more flagship phones that actually drive adoption?  Maybe the phone and tablet divisions will work in tandem on future devices.  But...ya I have not idea what he just said.
  • Cutting fat, and making muscle work be more agile. All in all, sucka for the lais off, but if you put in your resume you worked at Microsoft, you're have an advantage.
  • So pretty much Daniel was right and they're focusing on high end hardware
  • You're actually surprised? It's not like we couldn't see this coming from a mile away. And Microsoft never really made much of an effort to hide it either... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I was actually more summing up the letter than anything. Obviously this was going to happen and I, as someone who wants higher ends phone, am happy about this move. Microsoft doesn't need to justify its low market share if its making profit and cutting back is the most effective way to do that.
  • And the value phones are not going to be so low-end anymore. The 640 is a fantastic example of that, it's a cheap phone that doesn't feel cheap and has a fantastic value of money. I imagine the 640 is going to be the low end of the Lumia phone line-up from now on. I don't think we'll be seeing anything like the 435 ever again. It was an ugly chunk of phone anyway. ;)