Microsoft closed its more than $7 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile company Nokia in 2014 and has since produced low-end handsets geared toward emerging markets. The Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, Mr. Terry Myerson said that the company was planning on focusing on the phone efforts and declared that the company was only drawing a foot back but was not going to entirely back out.
Microsoft is making further cuts to what is left of its ailing smartphone business, as sales of the devices continue to fade. Microsoft will take an accounting charge of $950 million related to the cuts, it said.
Microsoft's big push into the smartphone market seems to have failed. Microsoft announced 7,800 layoffs and claimed a loss of roughly $7.6 billion. By last summer, it had slashed the value of that business severely and it eliminated 26,000 jobs. It is a sad day to think of ALL that history and talent now being wasted, simply because Microsoft can not form a coherent mobile strategy. The combination of its hardware expertise and Microsoft's software skills never produced the results Microsoft had hoped for.
While some of its phones were well reviewed, independent app developers treated Microsoft's smartphones as an afterthought, making it less attractive to customers.
Last week, Microsoft announced plans to offload its feature-phone business to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn, along with another entity, called "HMD Global, Oy", for $350 million.
It's also possible that the company still plans to introduce a new range of small mobile devices in spring 2017, as previously announced.
"This list includes a limited set of Windows Phone 8.1 devices and does not include some devices that are now running Windows 10 Mobile in the Windows 10 Mobile Insider program".
It's been widely speculated Microsoft could build on the success of its convertible Surface tablets and leverage that product line to create a high-end Surface phone in the next year.
"When I look back on our journey in mobility, we've done hard work and had great ideas but have not always had the alignment needed across the company to make an impact", Mr. Myerson wrote in his e-mail to Microsoft employees.
Microsoft said it will continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile platform and support its Lumia smartphones, but declined to say whether it would develop new phones.